Saturday, 19 December 2009

In the bleak mid-winter

The recent weather has certainly helped lift the festive mood. It always seems "right" when the garden looks a bit like the myriad of Christmas cards adorning more and more of the horizontal surfaces in the lounge. I hasten to clarify that I'm referring to the snowy scene, rather than the herd of red-nosed reindeer being tended to by the portly gentleman with the white beard.

A cold snap does tend to draw wildlife into the garden. Under the bitter sun, it becomes an oasis in a barren, frozen desert. Over lunch, I spotted a male Bullfinch in one of our rose bushes, his chest incredibly red against the white snow on the branches. Then between these two paragraphs, a male Sparrowhawk has spent a few minutes sitting in the Hawthorn tree attempting to flush a snack from an ivy-covered fence with his icy stare. Several unsuccessful lunges later, he decided to take his custom elsewhere, to terrify some other bird feeder. There will inevitably follow a few nervous minutes until I can confirm the continued existence of the single Coal Tit to grace the environs of Tense Towers. Heck, a male Blackcap, just where the "sprawk" was hunting! But it's chased off by a blinking squirrel before I can bring the camera to bear. Bum.




All this action is set against the Test Match Special cricket commentary from South Africa, with soaring temperatures and waning England hopes. My mental clock is now on Saffer time, so I've felt a meal behind all day.

As the low sun sends the lengthening shadows slicing across the garden, the birds (who are a meal ahead of everybody) congregate for the final eating opportunity of the day. It will be another very chilly night and, whilst running the risk of mixing up my religious festivals, sadly for some, it may be their Last Supper.

Coal Tit! Phew!

1 comment:

John said...

Anuver amusing ramblings - I say Mr W this very good