Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year!

Just a very quick post to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. We have had snow again overnight and my garden was looking rather better under its blanket of snow than it does when the snow isn't there! I have a lot of work to do out there once Spring appears. Even now there are tiny signs, in spite of the bitter cold (20F overnight) there are snowdrops and crocus tommasinianus already peeping through. I am feeding the birds even more than I usually do and yesterday, in addition to the regular goldfinches, blackcap, long-tailed tits and other regulars, we had three bullfinches on the feeders - two females and a spectacularly handsome male. I hope they will stay around. As well as seeds, nyger seeds(the reason for all the goldfinches!)and fat blocks I'm also putting out dried fruit, grated cheese and meal worms. Wild creatures suffer badly in these freezing conditions and need all the help we can give them. My reward in the summer is that I have a pretty pest free garden.

When I took Bilbo Baggins out this morning the waning moon was just setting and made a lovely picture through the branches.

This is looking to the west and you will probably need to click on the photo to see the reflection of the rising sun turning the snow covered moors a faint pink.

Another small touch of colour amongst all the black and white, the acid yellow of lichens on this tree.

I'm hoping to be back to posting and commenting more regularly after next weekend, my son and his family leave for South Africa on Wednesday and my younger son and his family will be up here from Friday until Sunday and then life should become a little quieter during the cold winter months.


PAT said...

Beautiful photos!

We have Finch feed out, but no Finches, yet. Lots of Cardinals and Juncos, though.

It's 10 degrees F, at 12:12PM, in Northeast Missouri, USA.:-)

Happy New Year!

Bovey Belle said...

Good to see you back. I just feed plain bird seed mix and peanuts, but am having dozens of visitors to the nets and underneath. I've been putting wrinkled apples (saved from our trees) for the thrushes and blackbirds too, but even the tits have been sampling them. We're snowed in here . . . being on a hill.

Janet said...

Brrr! Beautiful photos but it does look cold. I'm sure the birds in your area have put out the word that there is good food in your yard!

Sal said...

I often wonder how these feathered friends cope in such bitterly cold conditions.
We feed the birds too..and get so much pleasure from watching them.

Tea with Willow said...

Yes, so important to feed the birds in this icy weather, isn't it - and they reward us with their visits to the bird feeder, so we can get a closer look!

Lovely wintry photos - I've decided my garden looks quite alot tidier in the snow too!

Willow x

MoominMamma said...

A very happy new year to you!

Lovely photographs, especially the shot of the 'pink' moors.


Fairysteps said...

Happy new year!
The images are breathtaking, a winter wonderland!!
Ren x

Piecefulafternoon said...

Just lovely - and happy new year to you too!

Morning's Minion said...

Winter everywhere! It is good to view photos of winters elsewhere in the world as our winter already seems to have gone on too long.
We are concerned that our usual birds have disappeared. I hope they've found a warmer place or food offerings more to their liking. We miss their presence.
It will be many a month here before such a thing as a crocus can poke its head from the frozen ground.

Morgaine said...

Happy New Year, I love your photographs!

Anonymous said...

We are also enjoying the goldfinches.. and juncos and downy woodpeckers and cardinals... on the other side of the pond where it is very very cold, but alas, no snow. I envy you all that whiteness!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Rowan.
Lovely snowy garden.

Rosie said...

We put up a new bird feeding station in our garden today - with seeds and nuts, robin food,mealworms,fat balls and fat in coconuts. I wondered if the birds would like it as much as our old table but I needn't have worried it was soon busy with great & blue tits, robins, blackbirds and starlings.

Jenny said...

It's been an unusually cold and snowy winter here in Oklahoma too. We must have had 100 goldfinches swarming our feeders this afternoon! Lovely pictures of your garden. :o)

Wanda said...

That's a beautiful photo of the moon through the branches Rowan and your garden, with the bird feeders in the trees, is lovely covered in snow. All of our snow has melted!

FireLight said...

Thank you for all the snow scenes! It is freezing cold here...but very sunny! I too managed to catch the morning moon on Saturday! It has been really spectacular in the winter sky!

Derrick said...

Hello Rowan,

Happy New Year! I have enjoyed reading your poetry post and see all the snowy photographs; not that we are short of such views ourselves!

I hope your son and his family have a safe journey to SA. How wonderful to be close to the Kruger. It is a favourite place for me too. I shall look forward to seeing news of your visits there and to all your country lore during 2010.

Cat said...

We have house finches and golden finches too, I set up a bird feeder so that I can watch them with my morning tea. Stay warm and enjoy your company!

Hollace said...

Your winter garden is beautiful! The header photo is stunning. I wish I could see your birds. It's been pouring buckets here; I wish it would snow enough to keep me from working for a few days.
happy New Year to you, too.

joanne May said...

Happy New Year Rowan!:)
Your photos look fantastic. I especially like the first one of the beautiful snowy scene.
Blessings and magic for 2010.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photos. We still have some snow and its bitterly cold. The birds are eating all I put out. I do feel for them when its like this.

Shirl x

Kerri said...

Beautiful pics! Happy New Year!

Ragged Roses said...

Happy New Year to you and your family Rowan. Beautiful photos. Our garden is cloaked in snow today and I have just been watching the birds feeding from the bird seed in our trees, the poor things!

~Sheila~ said...

We are having a mild winter by our usual standards,and it looks like the UK has been hammered..!
I do envy you your snowdrops and crocus..!
Despite our (relatively) mild winter weather, it will be months before anything blooms here.
On the up side, the wallflower seeds Granny Knott sent to me are still doing well and showing green healthy growth through the little snow we have had.

Von said...

Think I'll fly over and be a bird in your garden!Lovely moon photos.

Anonymous said...

We had a feeder near our house but only sparrows and titmice were coming there to be feeded. I wonder whether it was caused by the type of feed we gave there or whether no other birds were either present or interested in it. I see quite special feeders in some blogs that are intended for various species and probably filled with different types of seeds. I'll have to make some inquiry about that...
PS Is it your garden in the first picture? It looks beautiful covered in the snow (and according to those hidden shapes I guess that it looks wonderful without it too...).

Rowan said...

Hello Petra, yes the garden in the first photo is mine - and the snow definitely improves its appearance:)

Marilyn in NM said...

What beautiful photographs. You are able to capture a feeling, not just a picture. I especially love the lichens on the tree and the color peaking through the snow. Beautiful!

Marilyn in NM

Granny Sue said...

Lovely, Rowan! I enjoy seeing pictures of your part of the world very much. Funny that we're all having so much snow this year.

Val said...

Happy New Year Rowan. I am trying not to give way to seige mentality, but I do feel a bit trapped by icy roads. Lovely when the sun shines though.

Diane said...

Your photos are really lovely Rowan - very atmospheric. I bet you are well and truly "holed in" in your neck of the woods at the moment - with no sign of a let up either!! We spotted a huge owl hovering around a neighbors garden 2 days ago - I dont think that they can find any food in the wild. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Happy new year. I hope you're doing ok in the cold ??
It's cold here too, but not as cold as it is in England.
I hope you'll have a wonderful weekend.

Mary said...

Lovely pics of your surrounding countryside Rowan. Yes, snow seems to cleanse the landscape. Despite the cold and difficulty getting about, it really is beautiful. The birds show up so well in snow - a big thanks from me for feeding them so well. We do the same here and feel so rewarded by their presence in our garden year round.

Stay safe - hope your family have a comfy passage to South Africa - know you'll miss them.

Happy New Year dear.

Tina said...

Happy New Year to you, too. Lovely pictures! SNow as well over here and the crocus are peeking out from under it. Helleborus buds are waiting to get out of the ground. Only sparrows on my bird feeder so far. And a dove. And a rat. But I love my garden and am excited what year 2 of gardening will bring me. Can't wait to start my bell-pepper, chili and tomato seedlings on the window sill.