Friday, 30 December 2011
This morning as Ben and I were having our walk it became clear that the small birds were very agitated, on looking round I realised that I could hear wings, on looking up I saw a hawk hovering just level with the tops of the trees at the side of the lane. It flew off as we approached, I think it was probably a sparrow hawk as they are the most common. It also occurred to me that the only green at present in the hedges are most appropriately holly and ivy both of which offer food and shelter to many birds at this time of year, as well as featuring in the carol of that name. I have identified another fern growing in the ditch it is the male fern. The chestnut tree buds are beginning to look quite sticky and growing well now. The mild winter means that in the garden the first snowdrops will soon be out and some of the daffodils are several inches high. The cyclamen I planted in a trough in the late summer still have flowers on them as do the pansies in with them. I also noticed a couple of geraniums have not died but have green leaves on them still. So much easier than this time last year when every thing was covered in snow and frozen solid. I am so grateful for this mild weather even though it is cloudy, dull and inclined to rain.
Monday, 19 December 2011
Now that the leaves have gone even off the hedges it is possible to see what is growing in the ditches. At present the main plants are the ferns of which there are several different types, the most common being the Harts Tongue fern. I shall have to identify the others as soon as I can. There are some berries left on the hawthorn, holly and spindle but most have gone. The birds are really tucking into the peanuts, birdseed and fat balls now as it has been frosty the last week or so. All our resident birds are feeding regularly now, the black birds were the last to return. The robin is getting cheeky, he came into our back place the other day and started eating the dog food. It is milder tonight and is supposed to stay that way over Christmas, I hope it does I had enough cold last year to last a very long time. I saw the squirrel leaping along the trees at the side of the garden today, I hope it found some food for it's trouble, we may see it again if it stays mild for a while.