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January Grass is Greener

January is nearly over and February brings optimism and less aches and pains.  The days are getting longer at both ends even allowing for endless grey, wet and cold days.  There was a stunning deep vermilion sunset this week and the moon was particularly bright lighting up a rippled sandy beach cloud formation.  There is a positive charge of energy  emanating  from all of nature and the grass is definitely looking greener.

Cowslips
It was with considerable amazement that in a recent survey in the 'WilderNess' at Ness Gardens over 33 wildflowers are already in flower, including :


 
Dandelion
 

















Birds are starting to sit around in the branches in pairs as the daylight hours start to lengthen. Lone Wagtails have acquired partners as they quarter the shopping walk ways.  Blackbirds despite wild weather are practicing their new songs for the year, and have started singing in the mornings now.  Spring has definitely sprung.



Red Campion

Although the mild winter has been beneficial for gathering food, the extreme flooding has destroyed many small mammal populations that could not escape the rising water.  Many burrows and nests were swept away. Although wonderful nature can be cruel.


In the gales this week many flocks of birds such as Lapwings and Dunlins could be seen hunkering down on the marshes at Parkgate.  Mind you getting on and off the bus was very difficult and umbrellas regularly flew solo past the coffee shop window.

Little Egret