Thursday, 6 February 2014

A time of great dampness

This year has been a very mild winter.  The weather has been continually wet and our garden is completely soggy.  The water table is high and the soak away that I built into the garden path by the pond is standing in water.  Last year at this time we had sub zero temperatures and snow.
The unseasonal warmth has meant that the grass on the lawn is growing, but it cannot be cut as the soil is so wet, the mower would chew up the lawn in these conditions.
It is about this time of year that I normally prepare the greenhouse for plants.  This year it is just a glorified dumping shed and the rain has been discouraging me from doing anything about it.  I think that this year I will buy in plants in April to stock the greenhouse.
On the bright side, the wild animals and birds have had a good winter.  This robin was quite happily singing in the holly hedge.  We have a flock (tribe) of about 50 sparrows living around the hedges and feeders, more than we have ever recorded at this time of year.
Whilst walking around the lake at Trentham we saw the Cayuga duck and the Mallard/Indian Runner cross.  These two ducks are so distinctive and they have been pals for at least two years.  They are always seen together.  They both stand out in a flock of Mallards.
Another bird that is always around but seldom photographed is the Carrion Crow.  These birds, with their raucous call are always flying around the lakes, fields and forests.  They are black and need good lighting conditions to give a good photographic image.

Thankfully, though our house is on clay soil,  we are at the top of a hill on high ground.  We have not experienced any of the flooding that has occurred elsewhere in the UK this year.

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