Monday, 27 January 2014

Our annual birdwatch

Each year the RSPB ask people to spend an hour making a note of the birds they see in their garden and then upload the results to their website.  We like to take part and do our bit to help out as we feed birds in our garden all year round.  I think last year's bird watch was the quietest day bird wise in the whole year, but it was soon after we had snow so they had an excuse. 

This year was far busier, although the blue tits we usually see every day were a little shy.  The idea is that you make a count of the most of each type of birds you see in the garden at one time over the course of one hour.  This is to stop you counting the same birds several times!  We fed the birds and went back inside and started our count.

Our count came to:

1 crow
2 wrens
1 robin
5 blackbirds
3 collared doves
9 starlings
5 goldfinches
2 magpies
1 woodpigeon
1 sparrow
2 blue tits

 Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art. 
Izaak Walton

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The rain it raineth every day

Although the torrential rain and strong winds have lessened and we have even had one or two lovely sunny days, I don't think there have been many days recently where it hasn't rained. Indeed it has mostly rained constantly every day.  I'm aware that to some people around the world having some rain for a few weeks isn't a major issue when you have hurricanes, snow or drought.  However for our generally temperate non-extreme corner of England, it feels rather excessive. 

The garden is so wet and marshy only the birds and the squirrel are braving the lawn.  I've still not planted my tulip bulbs other than a few in a pot in the front garden, and I have no clue what is happening to the end of the garden other than the fence panels have mostly blown down.  Both we and the garden feel rather beleaguered right now.  After the light and brightness of Christmas, January and its incessant rain and wind is quite dull and drear.  The old house even has a few leaks and it feels as if we cannot escape from the rain.

All this rain reminded me of a verse of a poem called Winter Song by Katherine Mansfield:

"Rain and wind, and wind and rain.
Will the Summer come again?
Rain on houses, on the street,
Wetting all the people's feet,
Though they run with might and main.
Rain and wind, and wind and rain.

In all the gloom, I am continuing with my patchwork picture, slowly putting the hexagon patches together.  I don't know whether I am imagining it but I think my sewing is getting a little bit tidier as time goes on.  I don't think I will post a close-up picture though!

"Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."
-  John Boswell
Due to the rubbish dull weather I haven't taken many photographs lately.  I did take a few pictures on the couple of lovely winter days, my favourite of which is this one.

Rather than depress everyone with my negative ramblings, I want to end this post with a lovely positive quote from one of my favourite writers, Jerome K Jerome:

A new life begins for us with every second
Let us go forward joyously to meet it.
We must press on, whether we will or no,
and we shall walk better with our eyes before us
than with them ever cast behind.