On the whole, February was a damp, grey and windy month. Although I did manage to go on my usual walks, I’ve been struggling quite badly with my mental health so far this year, so haven’t felt as enthusiastic and motivated as I normally would when out and about. I’m hoping that the monotonous, joyless fog of depression is beginning to lift a little and at least today, I have managed to sit down and write something. But it isn’t easy battling with yourself like this on an ongoing basis.
Early in the month, plenty of snowdrops were in bloom, growing along the banks of the country lanes. My neighbour’s garden was home to a bright display of aconites circling their old apple tree, which was definitely a cheering sight. By and large, the trees and hedgerows remained bare throughout the month except for the hazel trees and their powdery yellow catkins swaying in the wind. Towards end of the month though, I did see red dead nettle, common speedwell and vivid yellow celandines flowering in the fields.
Activity in the copse rookery is on the increase, accompanied by the constant bickering and general racket associated with rooks. The rooks seem to be busy building or repairing their nests high up in the tree tops. Mid February, I saw and heard the first skylark of the season, soaring up high, singing his heart out above the quieter fields. And in late February, the first yellowhammer of the year sitting on top of the hedgerow with his “a little bit of bread and no cheese” song.
The bird feeders in the garden have remained very busy with a constant flow of visitors, which I love to see. I have 2 pairs of chaffinches in the garden for the first time, such beautiful little birds. The volume of visitors also means that we are visited quite regularly by the neighbourhood sparrowhawks, although I haven’t yet seem them leave the garden with any prey.
In the garden, the hellebores are still in bloom and a few primroses have appeared dotted about in various places too – it’s nice to see some colour out there at long last. I managed to do some garden preparation for the upcoming planting season in the garden and am looking forward to getting started next month.