Monday, 23 February 2015

Sunshine and Showers

What a difference a week makes! I am pleased to report that there has been a subtle but definite shift from winter to spring right across The Oak By The Rife patch. There is a noticeable warmth in the sunshine now, when it gets chance to break through the dark rain laden clouds that build on the horizon to come scudding in on the westerly winds. The green spikes of bluebell leaves are showing through the soil on the sunny bank near the gateway to the Holmbush Industrial Estate, and celandines and crocuses are in flower. 

I went for a walk into town today via South Pond. It was quiet on the pond this morning, after the heavy rain downpours of the last few days, all the ducks, geese and gulls were enjoying being able to snooze with their heads under their wings in the peace of the sunshine. 
Along Jubilee Path however there was no snoozing happening - instead plenty of small birds: chaffinch, robin, dunnocks, and blackbirds were foraging on the ground, whilst goldfinches and blue tits fed in the higher branches, and nuthatches could be heard calling. Wrens are numerous in the woodland and brambles along the path; despite being our second smallest bird their song is surprisingly loud and explosive!

I never fail to smile when confronted by a wren, their larger-than-life attitude belies their small stature and they have a tendency to remind me of clockwork toys with the way they vibrate and jitter to-and-fro. 
Older readers may remember the former British coin, the Farthing, which featured a wren on its reverse side between 1936 and the final minting in 1956. Another useful pub-quiz-fact is that our native wren’s scientific name is Trogladytis Trogladytis, a Latin word derived from the meaning ‘cave dweller’ in reference to this tiny bird’s liking for crevices and hidden corners.
You may be getting the feeling that I am rather fond of wrens, I try not to have favourites but who could resist their feisty character and hilarious rotund and often grumpy appearance? 

Another rain shower has just passed and the sun is heading towards the distant hills in a wide splash of magnesium yellow light.  Sunset is getting later and later every day, I look forward to the approaching long evenings, and the blackbird song at dusk.

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Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis