There is a bleak icy wind blowing from the north, the sun shines palely in an arctic sky. On the lawn five magpies dance on the freshly cut grass seeking whatever lurks below the soil that might provide them with a tasty tidbit. They turn their head sideways, listen intently and then pounce.
Two Robins, one pair of the six that live locally, have an argument on the lawn in front of the dining room window. Territorial as ever, with the cutback of grisellinia hedge and a couple of bushes territorial nesting sites are at a premium and those fancy new nest box things, one from Arklow and one from Somerset have to be examined and decided upon yet. Upwardly mobile has a different meaning in Robin-speak.
Two coal tits have decided that their favourite film is The Blue Max; they perform aerial battle around the cherry tree to decide which one of them will land and feast on the peanuts in the holder. As battle continues, one of the Magpies dangles precariously from a branch and plucks peanuts out. Velociraptors of old would admire their cunning. They look like something out of a Dinosaur film as they calculate their mode of acquisition. Funny how it looks like they calculate while other birds consider.
Last night as I closed the curtains a fox jumped up on the garden wall, totally at ease in her surroundings. She paused a moment and caught sight of me in the moonlight that was shining through the window. Her head lifted, her nose sought my scent, but behind the glass window, I was no worry to her.
The Badger snuffled his way through a flowerbed outside the study window on Friday night. He is attracted by the intermittent treats of left over chicken carcases that I leave out for him, and it is a bad night for him when the fox gets there first. He must content himself with a trawl through the flowers for morsels of slug, and whatever has fallen from the bird table.
Winter has shown her nose this morning; the icy wind felt as if it were cutting me in half as I stood at the clothesline. On the bramble bushes black berries have hardened, no longer the sweet and juicy attractive berry plucked in September to add to a dish of ice cream, make up into jam or add to apples for a tasty fruit pie. The mix of unripened fruit in greens and reds on the bush with the hardened black berries makes an attractive picture in the autumnal sunshine.
Overhead the Merlin hovers, her eyes firmly fixed upon a prey that may, or may not be aware of the danger above. She halts her hover and moves away over the fields to once again hover and swoop, this time successfully - something small like a vole has run out of luck.
In the wintry sunshine fuchsias, remind me of summer. Not that we had much of a summer this year. Like the global recession, global weather was on a major downturn. Yesterday, Saturday was a golden autumn day, today is more like that which we see in January. The forecast for the weekend is promising; hopefully it will be a golden week. We could do with the balm which such days bring to our spirits.
copyright belongs to Irih Eyes.