It appears English nature has had quite enough of the same old song, and has decided it’s high time to blend some late autumn hues with the colourful beats of summer.
Dragonflies are naughtily running amok, and spring flowers are vying for the party to go on, all while gaudy trinkets and Santa hats are making their annual shopfront appearances.
Life in England seems to have turned upside down. Even the ducks look confused.
“Our countryside is looking much more flowery than it should be”, says National Trust Ecologist Matthew Oates. Similarly, spokesman for the Woodland Trust remarked “autumn has been a bit weird”.
This strange behaviour, it appears, is widespread, as Twitter is abuzz with reports of countryside oddities, while scientists are becoming increasingly concerned. There’s even reports of citizens gaining a certified suntan.
The real worry, however, lies at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), where scientists report that some spring species have recorded their earliest appearance since the 1700s. Although there’s scientific debate over whether they are witnessing a second spring or if next year’s has come early.
The CEH’s Dr Stephen Thackeray says real problems occur when some species react quickly to changing conditions, while others are slower to adapt. He says it’s vitally important for many species to synchronise their life cycle to other species.
That may be so for England’s monogamous ducks, who detest disruptions to their stale and wintry love nests. But for the poppies nestling in the long grass, the fruit ripening cheek to cheek, and the crickets rubbing their wings together in extended spring excitement, life is extraordinary.
As Shakespeare once put it, “in the spring time, the only pretty ring time, when birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding; Sweet lovers love the spring”.