It looked like nothing much at first. There have been other blue sky days, when the sun was set to light toast but the breeze was marked on chill. Two listless soldiers tapping swords beneath a vast, indigo arc - the most normal thing in the world.
But they are there - countless tiny swellings skirmishing in the darkness, propelling upwards through the hard earth, which they crack with their soft stalks. Dots of colour spike through the landscape.
And everywhere, tender bell-ends crown the audacious erections of the new buds that are thrusting out of old bark.