Tag Archives: winter

Even the bees.

croci.15.2.19.png

Even the bees are feeling the spring in mid-February.

I hope it warms you too, even if another beast from the East appears next month. And there were worms and centipedes in the compost heap that Abel and I were harvesting. A day to be out of doors!

Advertisements

A winter’s sky.

arc en ciel fk..small

One morning a couple of years ago a group of people awaited the arrival of the substitute librarian at Wood Avenue branch library in Folkestone.

I looked up and saw this skyscape. The black line at the top is the top of the library wall. Standing in the shadow allowed me to capture the two faint spectra in the grey sky created by the cold and the neighbouring English Channel. Re-organising files allowed me to share the picture!

The Folkestone libraries were very welcoming to my students and me; lets hope that can continue for my colleagues despite the financial constraints.

6 January: Traveller’s Joy

travellers joy3sm

It’s the feast of the Epiphany, the visit of the wise men who travelled from the East to Baby Jesus, so why not celebrate with Traveller’s Joy!

This is a wild clematis that is happy climbing around hedgerows and wasteland, with pale green-tinged flowers in late summer, and in winter seed heads that look white or grey according to the light. Old Man’s Beard it gets called at this stage.

Alongside the railway towards Dover it has spread itself. I arrived at just the right moment this week to catch the few minutes’ sunshine through the beard. Right beside it is the Victorian footbridge, recently decorated by community artists with – Traveller’s Joy!

1 January: Singing in the New Year.

hazel.jan2

It was a great pleasure that the first bird I heard this year was a song thrush from a bush in a neighbour’s garden, closely followed by blackbird, starlings, pigeons, jackdaws … suburban Canterbury on wings.

I gave greater pleasure to Mrs Turnstone when she heard that in the course of tidying the woodstore, separating the kindling from the logs that had been hastily laid on top of them, I had seen a woodmouse scurrying to safety. She had not liked laying down poison for the rats that had infested the other end of the garden, fearing for the colony of mice that has been here longer than the family Turnstone. This year’s Mrs Tittlemouse is made of stern stuff.

A grace note to the story: the kindling was 18 month old apricot. Clattering the sticks together released the scent of the fruit, just as the leaves did. See ‘Two unexpected autumn gifts’, November 24th 2018.

Along Oare Creek.

IMG_20181228_134818

An after-Christmas walk along Oare Creek, near Faversham in Kent. It was a windless afternoon and still, so the reflection of these cottages stood out.

IMG_20181228_135048

We were glad to be wearing wellington boots.

IMG_20181228_141228

Kent is criss-crossed by power lines, with current from Belgium, France and off-shore wind farms.

IMG_20181228_141240

Wrecked barges beside the creek.

IMG_20181228_142312

Looking out to sea.

IMG_20181228_142333IMG_20181228_144753

The sun came out as we left the path to walk back along the road.

IMG_20181228_144929

Kent’s Big Sky Country! There were lots of water birds but no telephoto lens to capture them.

A Christmas Rose

rose.mermaid.small

On Christmas morning there were a few blooms on the Mermaid rose by the front door, so one was brought inside to open fully in front of Mrs Turnstone’s place.

The winter so far has not given more than two frosts, neither sharp enough to kill Mermaid’s flowers, nor those of Thomas Becket. One of them can come inside on Saturday, the day he was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.

And, as our parish priest would insist, it’s not too late to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Along the river path again

 

This bridge carries the railway over the River Stour and the cycle path from Canterbury to Ashford. It also serves as a picture frame.

When I turned around the other day, I could hardly help contrasting the view with what I had seen in December.

The difference is Spring! And the time of day is earlier, so that the tree, in stark winter shadow in the first picture, is now radiant in gold-green leaf. Spring!