The weather remains bitterly cold here in the north of the UK with the easterly wind continuing to drawn down cold breezes from the north of Europe and temperatures remain much below average for the time of the year. Having said that, in relative terms it has been dry and these last few days have seen a fair amount of sun. Behind a window or in the car, it's lovely and warm and the early morning sun defrosts the car for me before I have to go to work. The lakes of water on the land have more or less disappeared around here now although reading a blog by Weaver in North Yorkshire, there is still a lot of standing water around and in some parts, snow still causes problems.
I don't like the cold much although I love the seasons still.
I have taken a few days off like many others and tagged it onto the Easter Bank Holiday weekend thereby saving a day of holiday entitlement. I've cut the hedge which was admittedly a bit hairy and wild and the grass got its first cut for this year on Tuesday. The fish ponds have had a crude quick makeover without disturbing the fish too much and the protective nets are off. You shouldn't really feed them until the temperature is around 5 degrees and we have just about got to that but the night time frosts are keeping the water temperature down. I've tempted them with a little wheatgerm, but so far, they haven't touched it.
I apologise for the picture quality - taken on my mobile phone.
The birds are very active right now and there have been some subtle changes around here in respect of them. Firstly we have regular daily visits from long tailed tits, a very active funny little bird which hitherto we only got in sporadic visits, I hope they are nesting nearby, they are such fun to watch as they hyperactively and acrobatically flit from branch to branch. Wrens are supposed to be the most popular bird in the UK in so far as numbers are concerned, although we only see one now and then. There are now daily appearances of this delightful if somewhat shy little brown thing.
A bird I haven't seen for donkeys years appeared the other day - a pair of redwings. It looks like a light coloured blackbird but has a russet red patch just on the side of it under its wing. It doesn't nest here, but I'm not sure where they migrate to in the UK summer. A fieldfare, a kind of thrush has also been hopping about, another winter visitor, soon to depart these shores. It's been a delight to see these birds.
I watched the news this morning, something I'm trying to do less of and noted the tension in the Korean peninsular is increasing with this incredibly odd regime in North Korea now making serious public threats of attack on the United States of America. I am not debating the issues here which are complex, historic and cultural, but I am concerned for world peace once more. I ask everyone who reads this blog, whether spiritual or not, whether religious or not to spend a few minutes sending positive thoughts out for a peaceful resolution.
None of us need or want war, whether its on our doorstep or not.