In our valley, around this time, the colours shift from browns to vibrant, shining green. It's most obvious on the hillside our window looks out to - a few trees will bud and leaf a little earlier and there's a tinge of fresh growth...then, just about now, the majority hit their stride. It is nothing short of miraculous as layer upon layer of lush green growth bursts forth. Apparently, there is a saying around these parts that if you stand still long enough, you'll sprout a tree. It is a particularly verdant valley, and this is its moment of glory. I tried to capture some of this yesterday but my camera and I were not getting on so well. So I gave up, and focussed instead on the community get-together that is the Cragg Vale duck race.
I understand that duck races are not everyone's cup of tea. They're generally soggy affairs, the bigger ones are ridiculously busy, meaning there's a fairly slim chance of seeing your duck let alone winning. The Cragg Vale duck race though is genuinely fun (or at least I think so). You can usually clearly see the little duckies so you sometimes are able to spot your own and cheer it to the finish line. Running alongside the river, chasing and shouting them along their route is a feast of jolly-ness. The children swarm the bank running in and out of the trees or wade until the water slooshes over tops of wellies. It is good wholesome fun. And it brings our little commmunity together. Those cheery little plastic ducks always put smiles on faces.