13 January 2013


Sleet falls lazily outside the window, sporadic. It's 2C out there. Birds are busy feeding as quickly and effectively as they can, the bird feeder needs topping up again and I've just thrown some more halved windfalls into the garden. A thrush works it way through fallen leaves under the Eleagnus and honeysuckle, turning them over and searching for tasty and protein-rich morsels; dunnocks, finches and now a blackbird hen peck around under the birdfeeder, dwarfed by the rather self-satisfied looking wood pigeon that does the same. Coal tits flit busily from branch to feeder, blue tits too. Sparrows join in of course, when they leave off from their wasteful (surely?) chitter-chattering in the hedges.

The winter-drab garden would be a very poor and lifeless-looking place without them all.

Mind you, the garden would be a little less drab if I were a bit more organised: I found this gorgeous azure-blue iris today, pushing out from underneath a sack of horticultural sand that I'd left on top of a large pot (I'd forgotten there were treasures within). I comfort myself with the notion that a lack of organisation can mean that even a small garden holds surprises.

Iris reticulata finds a way
I'm feeling a bit winter-drab myself today so this is a short one. Forays into the woods have provided some respite so I'll leave the pictures speak for themselves.

Elf Caps bring tiny spots of colour to the winter woods

Wild garlic coming through the forest floor already
(and spot the Elf Cap in this photo to see how small they are)
Sessile oak (Quercus petraea) in a wood in the Dublin foothills
(and spot the schnauzer to get an idea of how large the tree is)
Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) in the same wood
Have a good week all.

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