Wherever we live in the Northern Hemisphere it is Winter and certainly this side of the Mediterranean it is more likely to be on the chilly side than the warm side. Although compared with last Winter we are all enjoying a spell of warmish weather, it is also a very wet Winter and even the most optimistic of us knows that there is still February to get through before signs of Spring arrive.
Or is this so? I went for my after-lunch walk today with Tess and my camera and I was surprised how many signs of the coming of Spring that I saw.
The ground in the paddock is very wet and the grass is growing. When I went up into the bathroom the paddock was full of rooks. I knew that if I tried going outside to photograph them they would all fly away, so I took the snap through the window - and caught only a fraction of them - all searching in the damp grass of the field for the larva of the crane fly - their favourite Winter food.
The pyracantha is still heavy with little red beads of berries - the favourite food of the many blackbirds around at present - and the birds have no need to eat them . Come a cold spell and I am sure they will disappear in the blink of an eye, but meanwhile they do look cheerful don't they?
The primroses are coming out in the garden, the winter aconites are out and there is even a rose coming into flower in the tub on the step (Gloire de Dijon I think). Violas, winter jasmine and snowdrops complete the picture.
How can anyone feel anything but cheerful when the sun is shining and there is all this to see in just one garden?