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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

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Frosty hips and heaps!

Date posted: Thursday 1st December 2016

Frosty hips and heaps!

A heavy frost over the last two nights followed by bright sun all day yesterday! I went up early yesterday morning to feed the birds – as I walked my bike past a large holly bush a robin flew down and landed on my handlebars briefly, before darting off to my plot to wait for the first offerings! I love the way that, as soon as it’s had a quick meal, you get a melodious little song:

It has been so cold, unusually lower temperatures in the south of the country.. everything etched with thick hoar frost looking stunning in the morning sun:

Looking festive, but hard for all the wildlife that needs to keep feeding through this extreme cold snap.. pond’s frozen over and there’s increased bird activity round the feeders, with dunnocks, chaffinches and a couple of unknowns making a brief appearance from over the park wall, as well as the usual blue and great tits and the robins.. coal tits even bolder than usual:

As I was walking back to my shed I realised I had a visitor snacking on the robin food (containing dried mealworms etc) and this unperturbed chap strolled down the path towards me, completely unfazed by my presence a few metres away – healthy looking and not obviously sick or injured so I assume it was just diffident!

After the shock of that close encounter I was looking up at my old apple tree and I noticed another two small mistletoe seedlings that had previously escaped my notice – pleased that my propagation skills are bearing fruit!

Two days of extreme cold, heavy morning frosts, settled and bright sunny days – leaf raking, tidying up, gooseberry pruning and shed sweeping as the ground’s now hard as stone.. for some this is a dark time of year, but I love it..