When I woke this morning the light was that odd, unsettling paleness that comes just before snow, we’d had quite a heavy frost in the night and I took some photos of my beloved broccoli and a few pots of herbs while I was filling the bird feeders and breaking the water in the bird baths…we have a robin who has become very bold in the past couple of weeks, he likes to sit on the handle of a watering can while I’m filling the feeders and he looks like an extra from Mister Mcgregors garden……yesterday and this morning he sat quite still on the cherry tree branch as I put out food, he was so close, perhaps a couple of feet away if that……he tilts his head to the left and right and as soon as I back away he jumps up on the feeder and begins his breakfast.
The other birds aren’t quite so brave, the big fat wood pigeons and the more dainty collared doves sit on the fence, as will the blackbirds and thrush, but the tits and chaffinch wait patiently up in the trees until I’m indoors and then they fly down and squabble amongst themselves as to which feeder belongs to who…..the great tits are the most bolshy, they’ll pick little fights with the robin and will shoo off the blackbird as well given half the chance……the chaffinch never comes too close to the house, preferring to stay to the garden edges but the other tits (blue tits, stripey black and white headed coal tits, marsh and willow tits) all come up as close as day, and I often pause when I’m washing up or making breakfast to watch them.
We also get sparrows as they nest in our neighbours hedge, a dunnock and in the Summer and Autumn I was regularly seeing a little wren….this last week I’ve seen a lone starling on the fat feeder (in past years they’ve been in abundance however I’d not seen one for ages til quite recently)…we also get magpies and a beady eyed jay that doesn’t miss a thing (he finds all the tasty treats like sunflower hearts and dry meal worms)
We used to have dainty little long tailed tits in the garden but two years ago we had a really cold Winter, two weeks of heavy snow (this counts as a bad Winter in England though I know if you live in colder climes it’s really nothing) and sadly all the long tailed tits perished…they were so pretty, like tiny pink and cream pom poms with delicate long black tails.
While we sat and ate breakfast the light became even weaker and then it began to snow….not really enough to write home about, it lasted maybe an hour at most, but it’s enough to make my heart beat quicker, always I feel a stir of excitement at the first snowfall, we’re supposed to have more this afternoon and maybe tomorrow so hopefully we’ll go out for a walk when everything is transformed and becomes swan snowy white.
I keep waiting in the garden all bundled up to take pictures of the birds but my hands become too numb and the pictures end up looking like nothing on earth (seriously it’s hard enough for me to take a decent picture of something still let alone anything that is moving)….so for now it’s just more pictures of my beautiful flowering broccoli ……I used to have a cookery book called “The Broccoli Forest” and this is what my raised bed of broccoli is now referred to …our broccoli forest…..it won’t be long before it’s ready to eat and I’m going through cookery books to find new ways to cook it. One of my resolutions this year was to try at least one new recipe a week…that’s already been changed to “perhaps try one new recipe”……The Arette does most of the cooking and he’s one of those wonderful cooks who doesn’t need a recipe, he can just potter about and make something delicious from nothing…..