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Landscape (UK) - - News - Hi­lary Scott Edi­tor

AT LAST THE coun­try­side is warm­ing up, the early sum­mer sun a de­light to see as it glances across the fields and woods first thing in the morn­ing. It is all too easy to think sum­mer doesn’t ar­rive un­til mid June, and miss these lovely May evenings. This year, though, I am de­ter­mined to make the most of this part of the sea­son. Whether it is just cut­ting the grass, go­ing for a walk across the fields, or watch­ing the aerial ac­ro­bat­ics of the swifts and swal­lows, I shall be out­doors as of­ten as the weather al­lows. The prob­lem is that I get home from work, head out with a cup of tea for a quiet half hour, then spot some­thing that needs do­ing. Next thing you know, two hours have passed, the tea is cold, and you have barely skimmed the sur­face of the tasks to be done. I think the se­cret is to relax and make men­tal lists of what needs do­ing, while re­frain­ing from ac­tu­ally do­ing it. Per­haps I should des­ig­nate cer­tain evenings each week for leisure and oth­ers for work. Of course, it is al­most bound to rain on the leisure evenings. But once it stops, there is that lovely fresh feel­ing to the air. Wa­ter drops sit on petals, birds take the op­por­tu­nity for an im­promptu bath in a pud­dle, be­fore feast­ing on a fresh hatch of midges that rise like a cloud of smoke into the sky. Then, if I wait long enough, the bats come out, hunt­ing down their prey. Si­lence pre­dom­i­nates, bro­ken only by the munch­ing of the cows in the field be­hind. It is time to go in.

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