Toad of Toad Hall


A lot of people love spring. They love it, they want it, they crave it. Me, I do like spring but not in the way other people do. I don’t want spring to start January 2nd and I keep in mind that what people mean when they talk about spring and what they actually get is not necessarily the same thing. Where I live you don’t get leaves on the trees until very late April, if you’re lucky, but probably more likely early to mid-May. We do have some early flowers now – snowdrops and eranthis hyemalis and I did indeed see some croci the other day – but other than that it looks like the picture above (and that’s on a sunny day and I couldn’t even find a single coltsfoot even though I kept looking). I doubt this is what people mean when they say they love spring. I don’t love spring. I love the light and I love the month of May (despite that May is usually my busiest month and I rarely get a chance to enjoy the greenery as much as I want), I love bird cherries and lilacs and walking around with only a light coat on and all of that could be called spring but that’s not now. This is still spring though. Brown, a little ugly. In need of color. That’s why pink is such a good color for February and March knitting projects.

When I see pictures like the one above, of a brown river surrounded by yellow grass, I quite expect to find Mole and Rat out on a walk back to Rat’s house or perhaps Toad waterskiing on the river while Badger looks at him sternly. It’s what I imagine the setting for The Wind in the Willows to look like just after winter is over when Mole loses patience with his spring cleaning. I loved that book when I was a kid and I think a part of my fascination of holly comes from that. When I think of Mole and Rat it’s much easier to appreciate the brown river with its yellow grass. And soon enough it will be green again and because of this yellow and brown I will appreciate the green so much more. I think it might be time to re-read Kenneth Grahame…