All week, the April showers had brought snow rather than rain. By the weekend, the overnight frosts had got thicker, and a light dusting of snow had even settled for a while. The gorse aside the main path had gathered barely melting ice, and in the Greenwood the paleness contrasted with the auburn of last year’s curled up and crackling leaves.
Some time recently, a horse and rider had passed this way. The churned mud was hard and edges were still tipped with frost, but it was overlaid with relatively fresh hoofprints. On one print, the outline of the horseshoe and nails was as clear as a brass rubbing.
The puddles in the tractor ruts bore thin layers of ice, which little feet in muddy yellow wellies broke eagerly with an energy and delight that carried me back three decades in a blink of an eye.