This is an old photo of mine, but it was taken at exactly this time of year - April 7th. I like it as it looks so full of the promise of spring - and that's what we need round here! The photo shows the Great Barn at East Riddlesden Hall. I showed a picture of its interior on 31 October - it's a magnificent medieval oak-framed building, dating back to the 16th century. East Riddlesden Hall itself is a 17th century manor house, reputed to be haunted. It's the nearest National Trust property to Saltaire, situated just a few miles up the Aire valley towards Keighley. It's not very big but it has attractive gardens and is a lovely place to visit, particularly in the spring or autumn.
The flowers sprinkled across the grass are Lesser Celandines... the messenger of spring. In one of my favourite books, C S Lewis's 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', when Aslan comes to Narnia the whole wood passes in a few hours from January to May. The children notice 'wonderful things happening. Coming suddenly round a corner into a glade of silver birch trees Edmund saw the ground covered in all directions with little yellow flowers - celandines.'