It is the Winter Solstice today 21st December 2014 and right now is the shortest day of the whole year. That is the shortest hours of daylight for the year. After today we very gradually gain a little more daylight every day and nature responds.
Where I live the worst of the weather is potentially still to come. I has been quite a mild start to winter really this year. The garden is still and quiet to our eyes but is getting ready to steel itself through the winter and burst forth in Spring.
Many of our creatures like the hedgehog are still in hibernation. Sometimes I think they have the right idea! They will have found a cosy spot in the gardens or maybe even in our garage for the winter.
If you do see a hedgehog outside in winter and it looks underweight or sick do contact your local hedgehog rescue or wildlife team for advice. You can read more here Caring For A Sick Or Injured Hedgehog
Others like the Robin are a regular feature in our garden now. He is so
used to us he is not afraid though he does seem to miss our digging
activities! Now our heavy clay earth is hard as a rock so no digging for
us until it warms up a bit.
Still our Robin hops up close whenever I am in the garden and I often watch him through the window as, mainly now at dusk, I see him looking for his dinner. His eyes are sharp and able to see at this time, when the competition is much less, as other birds retreat.
We have a big bag of wild bird seed and
filling up feeders so the little birds so do not suffer for when it
gets very cold. I often wonder how any do survive a winter and they need all the help they can get.
Our bird bath is regularly refilled. The birds of all sizes still visit often to drink and to bathe so its important to keep it clean and fresh. I still think its vital to provide water as well as food all throughout the winter.
Amazingly and probably due to our very warm autumn and mild start to winter our snapdragons are still out blooming! Admittedly there is only one left now and it is looking a little sorry for itself but it is still there shining yellow.
So my thoughts now turn to the next year of gardening with wildlife in mind and it wont be long before I am looking at those seed catalogs and dreaming of a beautiful Spring and Summer in the garden. Like most gardeners I try each year to improve upon the last and make the garden a better place for us and our wildlife.
So I will soon be taking a little time off for a few days. Then as it will be very quiet in the garden in January that is when I intend to reflect back on the year and share some highlights with you for inspiration and to cheer us up in the deep winter.
For now I wish you a Very Happy Christmas if you celebrate it and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year for all and of course Happy Gardening !! :)
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