Can’t think of many days when it was not raining, ravaging the UK with storm force gales and alternating rapidly between unseasonal warm temperatures and below freezing within hours. December was wild. It was last December, but we thought that was an exception. Think the Jet Stream may be permanently displaced and likely to cause havoc in the Northern Hemisphere for the years ahead.
I do have some peaceful days I recorded with my camera, but many days were so dark my camera was kept out of action. As it is the eve of yet another storm as I write this, I am attempting to load some photographs before the storm cuts off our satellite connection.
My old computer and Browser will no longer handle the uploading of photos it would seem, so these photos may arrive in this blog later in the month, as I must borrow another device to load them. It is Boxing Day as we await the storm. I hope to report how it went from our little cottage half way up a mountain in the Scottish Borders.
I am here to tell the tale. The wind was wicked but no damage in our glen. As we move toward New Year, December is set to end with wind and plenty of rain, causing more flooding.
The lichens and mosses have loved the wet conditions and have flourished.
The foxes have been chased and hunted by the rabid Boxing Day Hunt as expected.
The dippers have paired up and are mating and producing new offspring during these winter months. They are so lovely to watch as they flit along the burn.
The sky is mostly overcast, heavy with rain or with clouds low on the fell causing fog. Can be depressing if the greyness lasts for days on end.
Our local pair of crows defend their territory as ever, chasing off any other pair who fancy this location. They also mob the young buzzard who may attempt to hunt in their chosen patch.
The tups are now ‘shagged out’ and the pregnant ewes will stoically carry their lambs to April/May to termination.
We see the occasional stoats clad in their white winter coats intended for camouflage. No snow yet so they are easily spotted moving over the fells at amazing speeds to catch prey.
Rabbits and water voles hide in our cottage walls when the weather is bad. We only know which animal it is if they utter a sound, the rabbit being so talkative.
Mice and bats burrow into the roof insulation between the tiles and rafters when the cold wind bites.
The garden soil holds all the larvae of insects, snails and slugs, safe with frogs, bees, butterflies and moths in the warm ground until a rodent comes along and finds a meal there.
Nature is doing its thing….I respect that and merely observe the importance of winter as part of the life cycle.