Monday, January 21, 2008


Yes.... I know, if like us, you're in the south of England - you've had miserable weather for the past five days or so, eh? A relentless drizzle, heavy skies, no real daylight, huh?

Spare a thought for the folks in north Wales (especially), the midlands, and now the north of England, who have had it a lot worse - relentless torrential rain for what seems like a week, and the probability of snow now, at least for north England and the borders.

Scotland has been chilly for the last week, but here in the south, we hit FIFTEEN DEGREES yesterday! In mid january?!

It always somewhat amuses me about this time of year to read reports in the press that:
"We're all DOOMED - the Daffs are out already!"
"I saw a lamb yesterday - WHYYYY?!"
"Was that a bumblebee that just flew by - at THIS time of year?"

There are many Daffodil varieties (especially American variants, and ones that people will see, planted in and around towns), that do flower in December or January - every year. and will continue to do so, long after the horrified onlooker has proclaimed the end of the world in the press, and joined those Daffodils as fertiliser.
Agreed, Lambing in January is early, but it happens sometimes, somewhere, every year. (There's a post on the "WAB site" (see links) about that phenomenon as I wite this).
Queen Bumblebees will often temporarily leave their winter nests if it gets a little warm.

I'll add to the hysteria then, this morning.

Our office courtyard Hedgehog (Russell, remember? The one that became arboreal during the floods) was pretty active last night and this morning. Crashing around his (her?) nest plot and courtyard flowerbed.
Again - not particularly unusual - hedgehogs will do this, if they get a little warm, during a brief peak in winter temperatures - and fifteen degrees is certainly very warm for January...

I've recently learned that January nesting (or even December sometimes) although rare in Great Crested Grebes, happens somewhere, most years - twice in this neck of the woods in the past two years - so I suppose thats the same thing too. (I guess I always knew waterbirds "march to a different drummers beat" to most birds!)

Anyway... I didn't get a photo of Russell this time.
I thought the hog would have been pretty urrm... grumpy after its slumber, so I left it alone...

We'll get a cold snap before too long, and he (she?) will be back in its hibernaculum before you can say "anthropogenically-enhanced Global Warming".


Jane said...

I know what you mean. I saw lambs yesterday... lots of them. Not unusual if the farmer has put the ewes with the ram early in order to get some high value spring lamb ready for Easter demand.

Haven't seen daffs yet, but we have snowdrops out in the garden and some camelias. They were out this time last year... so no big deal.

Occasionally see the odd butterfly out and bee... again, not unusual in a warm patch.

They will soon disappear again when it gets cold - as will the humans who are watching them!

Anonymous said...

Spare a thought for us in Chicago - it's recently been 0 degrees Fahrenheit, with a windchill of -24degrees F.

For the conversion - that's - 17C, with a wind chill of -31C.

Now THAT'S cold! Brrrr!!!