Wednesday, 4 March 2015


It may not feel like spring, and officially it isn't, in fact it's been hailing and snowing for most of the  week, but daffodils are flowering in my garden and I always associate daffodils with spring. By the law of Higgins the year is divided into four equal monthly parts. June, July and August constitute summer. September, October, and November, autumn, December, January, and February, are definitely the winter months, so consequently March, April, and May, must logically be labelled as spring.

Birds will be nesting soon, so it will be time to stop feeding peanuts, so that parents will have to search for more suitable food to feed their chicks. I stopped feeding peanuts a while ago because squirrels were coming into my garden from the trees across the road, balancing on my larch lap fencing, like tightrope walkers, and making their way to the bird table around the back of the house. Now I have no problem with that except that two of them have been run over,  and to discourage them from crossing the road I've discontinued feeding peanuts. 

Last week I had a flock of long tailed tits in my garden. I only see them once or twice a year. They arrive in huge flocks, which can take fifteen or twenty minutes to pass through  as they hop from tree to tree, bush to bush, and branch to branch, searching for food. They arrive suddenly and just as suddenly they disappear again for another year.

When I was at school we visited the Ribble Valley  to see the Roman museum at Ribchester. On that trip I was more intrigued by the colourful snails, which I had never seen before, than the Romans, although the full face helmet, discovered in the River Ribble is something to behold. Now that I live in the Ribble Valley the snails are less of an attraction and I am intent on eradicating them from my garden. During my post winter tidy up I've discovered hundreds of them overwintering on fences, walls, my greenhouse and even beneath the soil. It looks like it will be war again this year.

Across the street we often have a visitor, a tawny owl which  sits on a street lamp and hoots incessantly throughout the night. You might think that the sound of an owl at night is a little eery, and unnerving, but I've become accustomed to its nighttime calling and barely notice it at all. If it's intention is to rid my garden of the many field mice which inhabit it then it's failing miserably in its duty.

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