You can’t get too much winter in the winter

Robert Frost


Winters here are usually fairly benign. Midweek we were promised bitter winter snows; the snow came, the snow left, the bitter wind continued. Beneath the clouds, Arran blanketed in snow, sparkles in the early dawn before disappearing under the clouds.

Welcome snowdropsSnowdrops are spilling out over the garden as the daffodils push through the cold, hard earth. The girls have been busy, scratching in the leaf-litter under the trees and and tidying the “orchard”, cleaning up over-wintering bugs. With the lengthening days they are still busy until dusk. Recent gales and snow have disturbed their laying but four, warm brown eggs were gifted this morning.

NuthatchThe inclement weather has brought new visitors to the garden; usually I hear a new song before finding the owner. As Oscar and I watched the hungry birds; blackbirds eating an apple, a variety of tits and finches dropping feed for the dunnocks; there was something new. Black eye stripe, blue back, huge beak, hanging upside down on the feeder – a nuthatch! Suddenly I see him everywhere, under the beech trees foraging for beech nuts, flitting from the feeder to the cabbage palm and back again. I have never seen a nuthatch before today…

ReflectionBetween the showers and snow, wrapped up warmly, escorted by the chickens, we inspect the plants. Chooks looking hopefully as I empty my pockets; looking wisely as I check the fruit trees. Do you think they will remember how good the raspberries and strawberries tasted, or how to harvest the peas? You bet! There is nothing bird-brained about these ladies!

Whatever the weather – enjoy your day