The downside of the previous few weeks was obviously the treacherous conditions underfoot all but trapping me the wrong side of the doorstep and contributing unnecessarily to the lack of spare room in my walking trousers.
The upside was the birdlife. We fed them and they came. I was hoping for siskins but yellowhammers and a moorhen were a pleasant treat.
I knew that would come to an end, not just because of the thaw, but because this weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and however well fed they have been, they go on holiday this week every year so that I can only report two blackbirds and a robin. Very disappointing and unfair behaviour, I’ve always thought.
This year, we looked set for a repeat, but imagine my joy when I awoke this morning, peeked through the curtains (to judge what layers to apply) to see snow!
Ho, ho, ho, we have snow! So before I went for a brief trot over the marshes this morning, I plied the birds with premium seed. (It’s unusual stuff, there is a not unpleasant whiff of aniseed in the garage which appears to come from the premium birdseed. Lovely.) As I did the washing up on my return, there were loads of birds, mainly chaffinch and blackbirds admittedly, shovelling seed down their little feathery necks as fast as their beaks would let them. It’s got to snow till Sunday!
The downside of this snow is yet another cancelled girly walk, which is pants. There are already two snow and ice related injuries within the group, so it seems sensible if a little disappointing. It also means that, as I’ve been saving my mileage for the weekend (ahem) I’m not going to get beyond 11 miles this week, unless I force myself out for a coastal walk tomorrow. It’ll be a bit exposed and blustery, so we’ll see.
Today’s treat was catching a glimpse of a hare when I was on the marshes, purely by chance as I retraced my steps to identify some tracks I’d happened across. Fox I think, but I’ve had one of my blonde questions answered by this hare. I know that mountain hares are triggered by temperature to change to their winter fur, I wondered if lowland hares might revert to this behaviour if the weather was severe enough. I have seen a stoat in ermine on the marshes a few years ago, but it would appear the hares don’t don winter clothing. Interesting stuff.
Just to go back to the marmalade briefly, I baked a sticky date cake the other day that required ‘a heaped tablespoon of marmalade’. Made me chortle.