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The last day of the first month of the year.  There are plenty of signs of spring about.

IMG_3925Snowdrops (640x480)

Snowdrops in the garden

IMG_3922Hazel catkins (640x480)

Hazel catkins

 

IMG_3868Gorse at Minsmere (640x480)

Gorse at Minsmere. Though gorse is in flower through most of the year!

 

 

But there were signs of spring about in the autumn too.

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Cowslip in the garden at the end of August.  We had a strange summer!

 

We have had rain and hail and sleet and even snow this month.  High winds, fog, thunder and lightening and even some sunshine!

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Snowfall on Thursday afternoon.

IMG_3919Snowfall (472x640)

It was quite heavy while it lasted!

 

The snow hasn’t lingered.  By lunchtime on Friday it had all gone again.  Despite the frosts, the ground is still fairly warm; especially the roads and paths.  We had a wet year last year and a very mild autumn and early winter.  The grass continues to grow and grow and we have no opportunity for cutting it.  The garden is very, very untidy.  The best days for gardening are the days we cannot get out there.  Such is life!

We have had some glorious sunsets.

IMG_3883Sunset (640x480)

A fiery furnace!

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Reflected glory!

We have had some exceptional sunrises too.

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I admired the colour scheme here.

When I have been able to get outside there has been plenty to see, though the light has not often been good enough for photography.

IMG_3921Ice on pond (640x480)

Reflections (and the remnants of the ice) on the big pond

IMG_3923Thistle (640x480)

The whorl of a new thistle.

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Reflection of the moon and trees in the corner pond.

I woke to snow fall this morning and we got a dusting that settled everywhere as the frost had been hard last night.  The ponds were all covered in ice and snow.  By the time Elinor came downstairs (at midday!) it had all (except the pond ice) gone.  It is snowing again now as I type this.

Elinor has not had a very good week as she has been very anxious again.  She was unable to go into college on Tuesday and Friday.  She has produced some good art work though.

Richard is in Manchester this weekend visiting his mother in her nursing home and staying with his brother.  He took his brother a gift of a barrel of local Adnam’s beer which last night, so I heard, was being left to settle in my brother-in-law’s cellar.  I doubt whether it will be left to settle long!

I must now go outside quickly to top up the bird-feeders before it gets dark.  The snow has changed to sleet unfortunately.  I dislike sleet very much.