It seems unnatural: sunshine on a bank holiday weekend.
There was a certain amount of complaining going on today. I grumped round the grass with a struggling mower for the third time in a week (that’s how bad it was) and grumped at the slugs that have had a go at the baby rudbeckia. There was also a fair bit of Flufferscussing as by some inspiration she managed to deposit in any doorway I was about to walk through. She did some cussing of her own as I refused to let her sit on the sofa.
By the pond I found this poor tiny relic. Surely not a victim of predation, as even its little paws are still attached; maybe caught out by the icy weather we had a few weeks ago, and freeze-dried on its way to the water?
I settled for half an hour on the paving, pretending to be a tree stump, and watching for little plips and swirls.
The more fortunate newts were fossicking about; always difficult to know how many, but I saw one with a pale spine sprinkled with freckles, two with yellow or cream stripes all down their backs, one olive brown with leopard spots, one plain olive with a fine dark dorsal stripe, and one almost black and nearly invisible, plus a couple of juveniles.
Newts don’t seem to have red-eye problem so much as golden eye problem when the light reflects.
This is not what newts are meant to do. Assuming it was another corpse, I scooped it out, upon which it leapt into action and squiggled off my palm. If not moribund, it must be one of Nature’s eccentrics.
I suppose one might want a giant supermarket one day … so I went to find it, just in case. (Click an image for the gallery)
mine tiptoed through the ice and slush, while I cursed my civil duty. In the event, it went off like a damp squib – in other words, scarcely at all. It was, however, interesting to see a dozen arbiters of justice shaking down socially.
I took the car to pick up a bag of coal and then on to stretch its legs. The roads were still dry but the sky was thickening steadily. Close observers will note that I clung to the car’s interior.
The land was bleached of its colour by the cold and darkened to dun by the flattened light.
“This season’s daffodil, she never hears …”
and it’s all been one too many even for the Christmas rose. As for the primroses, the images of their shrivelled and blighted flowers are just too sad.
Keeping water liquid for the birds required multiple visits with jugs of hot water. Seagulls came down in a mob on the breadcrumbs, and were so famished that they wouldn’t fly away until I was standing among them, able to physically touch them. Hitchcock, anyone?
The small garden birds did have time for a bite and a drink before dry hard snow began to sweep in, blown hissing down the road like sand, in vicious gusts. It was a relief to know all the nearestsanddearests were in their respective residences.
Currently working from my old laptop, as slow as treacle (and cold treacle at that). Buffeting and banging outside, and the sound of sleetiness; not sure what will be lying tomorrow, but it won’t be cosy.
Everything was wet and seeping… (Click thumbnail for the gallery)
It has finally come in useful.
The week’s events have been insufficiently minute to describe, so I went looking for some smaller ones. It’s not exactly the season for pond dipping and the water fleas aren’t as fat and frolicsome as summer ones, but still quite a good population. Looking for small dishes for the microscope platform, the egg poacher fell victim and was scissored into convenient modules. (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)
Once they had done their unwilling duty, I liberated the beasties back into their larger world.