The Rites of Spring


The signs of spring are well on the way here in County Mayo. Apart from the birth of new born lambs I think perhaps, the greatest harbingers of spring are birds.

Robin Song15

Most mornings of late I awake to the lilt of birds declaring their territories and inviting a mate. Birds have photoreceptors in the base of their brains, that record the length of the dark period each day and as the light of each day lengthens birds get the “Spring Fever.” The dawn and dusk chorus will be cranking up a gear as the season progresses. So leave off the radio and TV and listen to nature’s wonderful melody.

spring blackbird

In my garden it is between the Blackbird and Robin which bird, sings first and loudest in the morning but I am giving it to the Blackbird whom I think sings loudest and longest at dusk.


Blackbird singing in the dead of night

Take these broken wings and learn to fly

All your life

You were only waiting for this moment to arise (Beatles)

crow pairing

The Crows are pairing up and are beginning to repair their nests.

goldcrest 2

And this little beauty, the Goldcrest (which is Ireland’s smallest bird) is frantically fluttering from tree to bush looking for food so much so that it was near impossible to get a photograph of him.


Finally I got you.

Rite of Spring

So winter closed its fist

And got it stuck in the pump

The plunger froze up a lump

In its throat, ice founding itself

Upon iron. The handle

Paralysed at an angle.

Then the twisting of wheat straw

Into ropes, lapping them tight

Round stem and snout, then a light

That sent the pump up in a flame

It cooled, we lifted her latch,

Her entrance was wet, and she came.

by Seamus Heaney


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