A couple of mornings ago, Rambling Ratz staggered out into the garden just after dawn. A misty grey blanket heralded the day, a shadowy figure scurried across the lawn – it was friend blackbird searching for the sultanas that had been left out the night before. The grass crunched underfoot; it was frosty as well as foggy. Please keep reading, there is a pretty picture at the end.
If the birds want a drink or a bath this morning, then the ice on their bowl will have to be melted. In the UK we have had a mild winter as far as temperatures are concerned; mild probably isn’t the word that springs to mind if you have been flooded by the deluge of rain we have had, or had the Welsh coast dashed against your windows in the recent storms. This time last year though, the UK was frozen solid under several feet of snow. This was discussed in this post. A bit of frost and fog remind us that we are still in the middle of winter. A closer inspection of the big bird bath shows the moss that is growing on it is prettily frosted. There were also intricate, fractal like frost patterns on the car windows, see also this post.
The birds may be singing as though they think spring is on the way, but look up and you see that the trees are still naked, their leafless branches silhouetted against the cold wintry sky. Somehow the little birds still manage to hide amongst these branches.
It looks as though this winter jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum, is the only thing holding the fence up! Hey, that fence is hedgehog friendly! It is one of the few plants that flowers in the British winter and the yellow flowers do add a bright splash of colour. The plant is native to China and was introduced to the UK in around 1845. Any other dashes of colour tend to be provided by berries, such as the red ones on this cotoneaster.