While there have been two falls of snow it has been incredibly mild on the lane. A week ago I noticed the first lesser celandine flowering and they have been continuing to flower among the damp leaf litter of the wooded area. Evidently the lesser celandine are a good source of nectar for Queen bumblebees.Then, two days ago I saw a violet in flower, the first this year.
The smaller birds are active. Pied wagtails, tails flicking up and down, fly up the mill stream like ace pilots, just above the water. Tree creepers continue their high pitched tssing sound from high in the trees, creating an echoing other worldly sound as though I am entering a place inhabited by local sprites and spirits. Blackbirds negotiate the lane at lower levels, moving from side to side, searching out the ivy berries and other food. At times it is a bit like negotiating a rather busy ‘bird rush hour’ much more pleasant than a vehicle form.
The mild winds which birl over the hills are the sort that make cats rejoice and dogs, at least in Rosie’s case, want to run for cover. She crouches low as the wind sends leaves and twigs clattering to the ground from the trees. On days like this George, the cat, often meets up at the end of the walk, having been on his own check of the lane.
Ash trees are beginning to sprout their distinctive winter buds like bishop’s mitres and are now also beginning to open up into the exquisite magenta flowers