It is the light, yes, the light, which makes early spring so special. It is challenging to elucidate with the written word, but spring light has a sparkling lustre that is absent in the depths of winter or during the height of summer.

It has and all-enveloping glow of benign softness that is completely addictive.

Whenever I tramp across the rough, boggy pasture behind my house by the edge of the Ochils, the comforting light reveals the wonders of nature in a way that enthrals at every turn. On one recent outing, above me, in a towering oak, a song thrush unleashed his sweet melody, with each phrase repeated twice, before moving onto the next.

It was a song thrush in full flow at dusk that inspired Thomas Hardy to write of a bird that had “chosen to fling his soul upon the growing gloom” with an “ecstatic sound” of “joy unlimited”.

In a boggy puddle, a clump of frog spawn glinted in the morning sunshine, each black dot within the jellified mass containing a beating heart that will wriggle free as a tadpole in a few weeks’ time. Frogs always spawn in this small pool, which usually dries-up by early summer before the tadpoles have had a chance to transform into froglets, and only intermittently filling with water thereafter when there is heavy rain.

And herein lies a mystery - do the tadpoles succumb when the pool dries? I had always presumed so, but the fact that frogs spawn here annually would suggest not, and it seems likely the tadpoles survive in temporarily dormant state in the mud during dry spells, waiting for the pool to fill again, when they can spring back into life and resume feeding.

Somewhere in the distance, I heard the rattle made by a great-spotted woodpecker furiously drumming his bill on a hollow bough to advertise his presence to other woodpeckers. This hypnotic percussion-induced resonance has as much beauty as any spring bird song, with the beats pitched in such a way that they carry for a considerable distance.

In the air, a skylark rose upwards on quivering wings, the head moving from side to side as he let drip his enchanting notes. In spring, skylarks often sing just before dawn, giving rise to the familiar saying ‘rising with the lark’.

The compelling beauty of the skylark’s song has been revered by poets over many centuries. William Wordsworth penned his tribute, ‘To a Skylark’, in 1815: ‘There is a madness about thee, and joy divine / In that song of thine / Lift me, guide me high and high / To thy banqueting place in the sky.’

I wandered further on, and then sat on the gnarled trunk of a tumbled oak, so that I could fill my lungs with the crisp spring air. The song thrush continued to utter his sweet notes, while the woodpecker ‘drummed’ away with wild abandon.

Nature was busy at work and its soothing embrace quickly banished from my consciousness the turbulent woes of our modern times.