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Monday, December 27, 2010

Cold Christmas

Christmas now over and recovery in progress, temperatures rising again over 5 degrees C after what seemed like an eternity of freezing conditions. Snow melting away quite quickly today and the grass showing in the fields. The photos were taken yesterday.
Last week watched a small flock of Redwings in our front garden where the pyracanthus berries are rapidly disappearing. It appears that Redwings  are keeping the Blackbirds away whilst they strip the bushes. Tough on the Blackbirds who have had it all their own way for several weeks now. Interesting to compare the tactics of both birds. Where as the Blackbirds more or less act alone and even chase away other Blackbirds the Redwings work together and strip the bushes in a day or so.
The Blackbirds were sitting around in a tree looking quite fed up and cold.

If you're interested in the question about whether this cold spell is part of global climate change then you might like to read the reports and comment on the Blog:  "Real Climate", ( link here) which I personally find very informative on any aspect of climate change and very topical.

I was surprised to get as a present, a new book by Prince Charles,  called Harmony. I haven't read it yet so I can only note that its chapters cover a very wide range of subjects all of which are relevant to how we should live in harmony with one another if we are to conserve a world fit to live in. I will post comments in due course. He starts with a quotation from Shakespeare. The  lines underlined are quoted in the book  and are part of a longer speech which shows more of the context in the play:

As You Like It
Act II. Scene I.
The Forest of Arden.
Enter DUKE Senior, AMIENS, and other Lords, like Foresters.

Duke S. Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference; as, the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

I would not change it.