Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A few Garden Birds

My neighbour Michael has taken the opportunities presented by our recent snowfall to take yet more amazing photographs.

This time he has compiled a set of the most amazing pictures of our garden birds.

Please enjoy them, and, once again, a big thank you to Michael, for making them available to me for our enjoyment

In this very cold weather, please remember to put out a little food  and water for your local birds.    I believe that they will reward you many times over during the coming year.

Verdier 107
Rouge Gorge 102 Pinson 101
Pie 100 Pic Epeiche 102
Geai 103 Corneille 101

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cotton wool??

My bedroom has a pair of French Windows hat exit directly out into the garden.  Most mornings, I leap out of bed and spring to the French windows and, throw them open to allow me access to the closed shutters, in order to both let in the morning sun, as well as to survey the latest changes in my garden.  Well, this may be a slight enhancement of reality,In fact, more often than not, I fall out of bed, stumble across the bedroom and try to focus enough to unlock the catches holding the windows closed!

IMG_0927This morning however, I looked out to find that overnight someone, or possibly something, had chosen to paint the IMG_0928whole of my garden white.  Dazzlingly white!

It was so bright it shocked my senses awake and I realised that there was about 6 inches (150mm) of snow lying on the floor.  The sun was up enough to be making the whole thing far too bright but, I resisted my urge to close the shutters again and return to a more sombre life, and picked up my camera.

Now, I know that to many of you 6” of snow is not even worth commenting on.  Indeed, before I came here I regularly coped with much greater levels of snow, including one year when I actually couldn’t get my car down our lane as the snow was so deep it had completely covered the bridge carrying the railway over the lane.

But since I moved here to France, snow has not been a big feature of my life.   Ignoring my winter holidays in New England, I’ve probably only seen snow on three of four days in the past seven years.  So, as you can imagine, 6 inches of the stuff is notable

IMG_0929The snow got me to thinking.

One of the things I try and do is keep a note of the temperatures and rainfall here.  I log a maximum and minimum temperature every day and I also log the rainfall each week.

On looking back, I see that exactly the same date, but last year, we had temperatures of 17 C (63F) high and –2 C (28F) low.  The snow had arrived following a day when the high reached a staggering  -3C (27F) and the low sagged down to –12C (10F).

I must say that my little collection of potted herbs, that live just outside the back door, are looking particularly forlorn.

Roll on Spring, it’s just around the corner I believe!