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Spring lambs herald season of hope

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Lambs on the McAuley family farm

Lambs on the McAuley family farm

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Lambs on the McAuley family farm in Co Antrim

Lambs on the McAuley family farm in Co Antrim

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Lambs on the McAuley family farm

These are the sort of images which have inspired poets throughout the ages to pen an ode to a spring day.

What could be more associated with the changing of the season than a newborn lamb on a Co Antrim farm? Its birth heralds an end to the dreariness of winter when everything is dormant.

But this year is different. Nature may be springing into life just as we humans are going into an enforced hibernation due to a virus - one of a group of seven ­- which have made the jump from animals to humans. As the little lambs or newborn calves clamber up on their unsteady legs to greet a confusing world they have the reassuring presence of their mothers to ensure their safety.

Be it animal or human, that is a constant in nature and to see the ewes or cows nuzzle their young is like watching a parent cuddle their baby.

For those who live in the country in this largely rural province they will be hoping that the current pleasant weather continues so they can take their daily exercise by strolling past the fields where livestock are being naturally replenished.

There is something about seeing young animals running through the fields which makes us think of the wonder of nature. Suddenly the world seems a better place and we look forward with optimism.

Certainly things are much different this year as no one is sure what the future holds for us humans, but as long as we adhere to the scientific advice and act sensibly there is no reason to doubt that the present contagion can be defeated.

By this time next year we will again see another generation of lambs and calves born as nature regenerates from the depths of winter. And perhaps we will appreciate the sight of them even more.

Belfast Telegraph