Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Winter Times

Unnoticed the year moves on apace.

We are into February and yet it seems so recently that we were celebrating Christmas and the New Year. And though many people in other parts of the country have not been as fortunate, my distraction here is that I still await the cold arrival of Winter with its accompanying frosts, snow and ice. Winter life has not been the same without it and at Warwick in the last three months we have been misled by the warm temperatures normally reserved for Autumn. Also in my vast experience of life, some Summers have been cooler even.

And yet in spite of this, Winter has been evident as usual. The bare sticks of the trees look cold and forlorn without their warm green Summer overcoats, as they swish feverishly in the stiff breeze and most wildlife has either emigrated or gone into hibernation.

Only the Robin throughout, has serenaded me so sweetly during these last months. He sings so enthusiastically, showing such an optimism in these short dark days of Winter, while the occasional Blackbird has clacked loudly at me as I pass by, letting me know in very certain terms of his discontent at the situation.

The Mallards as well have been reconciled just to huddle together quietly in little parties; no loud vociferous quacking there from the ladies as in the glorious Summertime. The whole group appears immoveable with their heads turned around and bills buried deep into the feathers of their backs.

Apart from the noise of the wind and the staccato rhythm of rain on the roof, Winter is certainly the quiet season of the year.

But things are on the change. This is evident from the Spring flowers bravely sticking their noses through the wet brown mulch of last year’s fallen leaves. In many places Snowdrops and Croci are already in bloom and turning their heads to seek warmth and strength from the rays of the low Sun. Furthermore the ‘bare sticks’ of Winter when inspected closely are festooned with rich buds just waiting for the moment to burst forth. They are filled with such latent energy.


Young Croci eager for the Sun


My travelling companion Janis returned home recently from her diving holiday in Egypt, stayed for just a couple of days and then shot off to Sri Lanka with friends to spend the rest of February there. She’s been emailing me with many photos of exotic beaches and mystical mountains; they are so beautiful and awaken long ago memories of places in the World that I was privileged to see as well. But I am content now to digest the beauties of this country even in Wintertime. There are so many that I haven’t seen yet as well as those to enjoy again.

That’ll keep me busy forever.

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