Tuesday, 7 December 2010

the birds of the air

This is Airthrey Loch at the university, almost completely frozen on Sunday, and I imagine it will be even worse today. Wwe had six inches of snow yesterday morning and it froze solid last night as the temperature went down to -12 and it hasn't reached 0 yet, in spite of bright sunshine. No-one is going anywhere today, and we are busily feeding birds.

So far today we have seen
blue tits, coal tits and great tits
hedge sparrows and house sparrows
blackbirds and starlings
chaffinches and goldfinches
town pigeons and woodpigeons, who have flattened the snow where they have walked all over it, making it easier for small birds to find the seed
and three reed buntings, shy birds who only come into the garden in very cold weather.

The forecast is for another really cold night and another very cold day tomorrow before the thaw arrives. Last time we had this much snow and a fast thaw, there was a flood, as it coincided with the spring tides, but by the time the snow melts this will be over and done.

Other than that I have been reading Thoreau's Walden for the first time - a rather shameful admission I'd have thought - and, though he was an inspiration to many writers I admire very much, I'm actually finding him a bit of a grumpy old man (though he was, I believe, rather young for the position at the time) and a thumping literary and spiritual snob. It's a struggle.

But I do like the comment: "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."

I have added a lot more to the Resources pages on the main web-site, mostly blogs, but also three new poetry books. Two of them were published this year but the other one just took me a while to discover - enjoy.

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