.
Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
  The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
  A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
  Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
  Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Gerald Manley Hopkins

Spring

My favourite line-and-a-half is “Have, get, before it cloy,
  Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning”,  for the repeated “cl” and “ou” sounds and because sinning does sour what is good.  We had a tree surgeon put a barn owl box in an ash tree today, facing outwards over fields in the direction of the barn owls we have seen during the winter months.  They should be looking for new nesting places right now.  The nesting box is about five metres above the ground, and has an inspection hatch to check for eggs and chicks.  We are not allowed to look in the box ourselves without a licence as barn owls are protected birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  All wild birds and their eggs are protected by the Act, but the barn owl is one of about twenty rare, endangered, declining or vulnerable birds enjoying additional protection from disturbance at the nest.

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