The undergrowth was alive with tiny snowy footprints of rabbit and squirrel. Migrant Fieldfares and Redwings had left during the bad weather, not to return until next year.
In the water meadows Chaffinch and Skylark were singing in the warmth of a watery sun.
Then the artic winds set in.......it was even too cold to go shopping.
Every morning in pyjamas before breakfast I was out breaking ice, clearing snow and spreading food for the garden regulars, in hope rather than conviction I could make any difference as I hardly saw anything the whole week. When it was all over there they were back as usual, the pair of Dunnocks, the nesting Blue tits, the loud Robin and Blackbird living under the pyrocanthus. So you can make a difference. I am sure many creatures died during the intense cold, but at least it is a quiet way to go, whilst the tougher ones live to pass on their genes in the coming season.
Will this late start to Spring hold everything back or will nature catch up? It will be interesting to observe.