Looking out over the landscape this morning, stretching out before me is a veritable Winter wonderland, where, as if by the magic of a fairy’s wand, the frost has created a crystalised garden, complete with glassy ponds through which I can see floating lily leaves suspended in time.
Nestling under the trees beside the outhouse is a carpet of sturdy snowdrops and beyond them, barely showing, the tips of yellow and purple crocuses, future promises to come.
Hungry sparrows, finches and titmice squabble over the nut and seed-feeders hanging from the filigree branches of the silver birch trees growing alongside the stone-dyke wall.
Behind them on the horizon, just visible to the naked eye because of their amazing camouflage are three plump partridges, their red beaks pecking at the stubble in the barley field, searching for leftover grain.
What a privilege to experience first-hand the wonders of nature in all its glory, each one a survivor in the battle against the ravages of the freezing temperatures of Winter, each one a promise of the Spring to come.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
10 months ago