After the terrible weather of the last few weeks, it was like winning the lottery to pull back the curtain and be almost blinded by the sun yesterday. Although I really love Winter and all it brings; soups, stews, blankets, frosty mornings and of course, Christmas, I'm one of those people who gets withdrawal symptoms if they can't get outside frequently. The frost and snow has made for some really ace photo opportunities though, and I've spent a long time over the last few weeks crouched over leaves and branches, desperately trying to capture the beauty of the colder months...
|Cyclamen (sadly, with no flowers - I have no idea why, either. Sigh).|
|I was overjoyed to discover shoots hiding in a corner - we weren't living in this house this time last year, so I have no idea what they are!|
|Finding tracks in the snow is always fun. We don't own a cat, either!|
|Planting some hydrangea cuttings - they're now covered with plastic bags and perched on our bedroom windowsill.|
|Enthralled. And cold.|
Although we live in Hampshire, our house isn't what I'd class as really rural, but it is overlooked by a whole load of trees - which means we get lots of birds flitting around. When Autumn came, we started putting out food for them; bread soaked in water (you have to make sure it's damp before they eat it), peanuts and fat balls, and before long we found we had some regulars. Two pigeons, two robins, several long tailed tits, two blue tits and a thrush (I think, I need a closer look!) all seem to spend most of their time perched on the tree at the bottom of our garden, snacking and just generally hopping about. I've become sort of addicted to watching them - I've never really seen the fascination with birds until now (I'm actually scared of them. True fact), but the more I watch them, the more interested I am. I spent half an hour one afternoon, camera in hand, fingers numb with cold, just waiting for them to appear - I haven't got a zoom lens yet, so I have to be really stealthy - and finally, my patience paid off, and I managed to capture them on film.
|Spot the robin.|
Once the thaw arrived, everything was grey, wet and miserable for a couple of days, but finally the sun reappeared. We made a thankful trip to the market (we had to get our veg from the supermarket the week before - I needed four red chillies, but they only came in packs of three. There was no option to buy them singly. Why, *insert supermarket name here*, why??), and I had some great luck in the Oxfam bookshop round the corner. The sun shone, the kiddos behaved, and all was well for the day.
I absolutely cannot wait to get into the garden this year - I'm ordering my seeds, looking for reclaimed wood and scrap bookshelves to make raised beds from, and covering tins to make planters like there's no tomorrow. I've got a definite idea of how I want things to work this year - plenty of food to last well into the Autumn, time spent foraging and fruit picking, really working with nature. Expect plenty of horticulture based posts coming up!