The satisfying 'shloop' of carrots being pulled from soft, wet soil. I felt quite proud as I held them aloft, a startling orange against the ice blue sky, ideal noses for snowmen, I thought.
And there's enough left for Christmas Day.
Four starlings came clicking and whistling as soon as I hung out suet balls. They seem to appear as soon as suet or cheese is on the menu, they must be watching the feeders from somewhere near.
A wren sang its ear piercing song as I collected leaves for compost. Sorry but I winced, involuntarily. It's just that a second before the only sound had been the quiet rustle of leaves.
I think it's the turned up tail that gives the tiny bird that feisty, don't-mess-with-me-if-you-know-what's-good-for-you air.
If you have nest boxes up around your garden, don't assume that they are empty at this time of the year. Birds may use them to roost in on frosty nights. Tiny wrens especially need somewhere to keep warm. Although they are mostly seen alone in the garden, they roost together, squatting in layers 2 or 3 deep with their heads facing inwards and their tails towards the entrance or sides. I read that 60 birds have been seen huddling together in one box. And they squabble a lot too, before they finally settle, some are chased away, definately not allowed in. You can just see that can't you, that bird at the entrance, tail cocked, lungs bursting, ejecting other birds who aren't part of its gang.
I always thought that the collective noun for wrens didn't fit but after learning more about them, a 'herd' of wrens seems appropriate for the little bullies.
'I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out 'til sundown, for going out, I found was really going in.' John Muir
I've seen the top of Everest (from a long way off), smelled the breath of a whale (from way too close) and lived on a boat in Greece (for a few years), but I continue to experience some of my most precious moments right outside my backdoor.
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