The Seasons Outside My Back Door: Week 6 February 2016


CrocusThis morning as I watched the ducks run around in excitement my breath was coming out in a thick fog. It has got much colder this week. Each time I've stepped out the back door I've noticed a frost. Sometimes heavy. Sometimes just a trace. And in the evenings a keen wind has blown; with it icy rain. (Alas, no snow.) And during the day it is glorious. Cold, yes. But beautiful. Bright sunshine, blue skies. Perfect winter weather. So much better than the mild, wet, dull days of the last two months.

Despite the cold every day there is more blossom bursting out. Not in our garden, but along the country roads and the busier dual-carriageways. Trees covered in white petals making you smile.

Today I noticed the green shoots of the bluebells underneath our trees as I made my early morning walk around. The snowdrops are well and truly out now in full glory. And we have the the first dash of colour in our garden. A beautiful purple crocus. Glowing brightly from its brown surroundings.

The pond we have created from the winter spring has dropped considerably. The frosts, and lack of rain, has reduced the amount of water flowing. It has left a muddy area which the ducks are delighted with. You can hear them rooting around for exciting finds, a sound like you're blowing bubbles through a straw.

The ducks know spring is on its way. They are desperate to be let out in the mornings and run up and down the stream banks, in the water, out the water, in the mud, out the mud. Never still.

The chickens are leaving feathers everywhere they go. Lots of white and ginger. Those who didn't moult during the autumn are shedding a few feathers now. Typically they always do it when it gets colder. Daft hens.

I've found a couple of nests in the stable. Underneath the lights. I'm not sure what they are except it is a small, flying thing. Maybe a wren? It was dark, I was getting wood out for the fire, and I obviously disturbed whatever it was with my torch. I was too busy hurriedly ducking for fear of it flying straight into me to notice what it was...