The deal is either wet, mild and cloudy or cold and bright. So the last few days of cold and cloudy were not part of the deal.
So when the skies cleared
and the sun shone
today (before it goes back to milder, wetter – and cloudy next week)
we wanted to join Mrs
Blackbird in their busy optimism.
Or oh to be a Wren
to whom one compost heap provides infinite happiness.
The Yellow Rose of Gribin shone bright
and the sun gave us Alpine-like vistas
so as the sun went down
and provided a rose-tinted view of life
we say, with the Blackbird
we have survived another day.
At the rising of the Moon
Our personal cohort of starlings, who have been spread out spending the day with us, congregate on the Old Ash Tree
Periodically they send up a scout to scan the Eastern horizon
Until they spot the rush hour coming
They rise up to join the throng
and are gone
Leaving the December Moon, sometimes named the Cold Moon
or the Moon of the Long Night
or, perhaps more optimistically, the Oak Moon
with the sky to herself.
We only had a small deposit of slushy snow overnight
but even that accentuates things differently
Things normally in the distance are spotlighted
The eye is drawn to new detail
Contours are accentuated
and the light shines on seemingly exotic slopes
Pathways are exposed,
dark shapes harshly outlined
and distant trees are seen anew
So as the starlings fly to their roost
we stoke up the boilers
and watch the Cold Moon, two days away from its fullness
It is Christmas – but not as we know it
The Christmas tree has been banished outside – or maybe repatriated to a more appropriate environment
Starting to decorate it in a more… organic… way
Indoors, there is a contest for queen of ceremonies between…
….the Wicker Woman and…
The Festive King
was pulled from the Welsh sea over forty years ago, and has been biding his time.
The assembled animals
seem a bit out of proportion.
But the sheep
know their place.
has had his presents
some tiny fish to care for
Our neighbour brought round the traditional gift of Christmas Giblets
So, time to keep our heads down
and share our decorations with the local owl
Each day recently has been a mix up of sun
glimpses of blue sky
interspaced with rainbows, heavy showers, and hail
The predominately Southerly wind
has kept up temperatures
The Welsh Poppy will flower at any time
and the eco-system on the old ash stump still includes un-ripened strawberries
Alongside Winter trees
are signs of things to come
Our personal Starling cohort come visting each day
and tonight the Moon
is working itself up to the Full Cold Moon of the month’s end.
You don’t think of December as being a rainbow month but with the weather we have these days nothing is a surprise. These last few weeks have been full of rainbows here.
Up the hill this morning, with only a phone camera, this full one would only fit on screen via video
Back down with a wider lens it would fit into frame
The question was, which end
would lead to
the Golden Pie
Time to check the reference book
We have got the tree silhouettes
We have got the Magpies, they are always hanging round the meadow plus the poultry and the pig run but they have the art of flying away just before you arrive.
We have the Starlings (see yesterday) not just sitting in our trees but also the magical whoosh as the sky is filled at dusk as they pass over on their way to roost.
Catkins are always a promise of Spring to come. And blackbirds in profusion, foraging in the leaf litter and making a very big fuss at bedtime.
the Lapwings in that picture are a reminder that a once abundant species is now on the Red conservation list.
brings to mind shifting baseline syndrome if we see one heron or a snipe here we get excited.
We have spotted some things that are not in the reference book
The Winter Sheep saying “do you really expect me to get by on this winter grass then?”
The Winter Dog saying “Winter, what’s that then?”
a good selection of Winter reading material
A reminder of when Winter meant enough snow to go sledging
A Winter cushion
A Winter candle with Winter soap
A Winter fire
and of course, the Winter damson wine
One Starling a spying
One Starling a preening
One Starling a showing off its tail
One Starling a sunbathing
One Starling a singing
One Starling on watch
One Starling a snoozing
One Starling pinching a free meal
One Starling pretending it is a sparrow
two Starlings cleaning up beneath the bird feeder
and one Starling racing the post van
Today we were at the end of the rainbow
but instead of digging for gold we were planting Beech hedging,
a Greengage and a Hornbeam
As we know, unfortunately males are of limited use
but can find a purpose
when combined with Hoisin Sauce
Better than just sticking to the vegetables
Away to the North West of us is a mountain range we still, after 6 years have to identify.
Often taking a back seat in our view, today it lives up to its etymology
as the morning sun strikes across from the East