THE bird bath in our garden seems to collect any dead leaves that blow around in the wind so I cleaned it out and filled it with clean water.
As we all know, it is important to give wild birds access to water as well as food all the year round.
The bath is made of glass and the birds seem to like it but we have to place it in the tool shed when we expect frost.
Anyway, we were watching some bluetits feeding on fat balls – they love them – when a wood pigeon flew down and pitched in the clean water.
The bird took a bath then stood up and shook itself dry.
Then, as usual, it used the bath as a toilet before flying away. I shouted my thanks but it took no notice.
There was a beautiful Lesser celandine flower beside the gate to the village cemetery, completely on its own.
However, soon there will be hundreds of them decorating the hedge creeps around the parish and, as most readers will be aware, this flower was the favourite bloom of the famous poet William Wordsworth about which he wrote three poems.
I came across a small group of purple-coloured mushrooms over by the Quethiock sign to the west of the village.
The largest was a good four inches (10cm) wide and they were growing right in the hedge creep where they have been very lucky not to be flattened by traffic.
As their gills were also purple, I assumed that they were Wood blewits, but I have never found them in January before.
In a field gateway there was an early thistle showing a rosette of leaves.
These thistles grow both sides of this gateway every year and I think they are Carlines that were once used as an antiseptic. Named, it appears, for King Charlemagne, king of the Franks during the 700s, who used the roots of the plant – supposedly on the advice of an angel – to cure his sick army of the plague.
When walking around the lanes it is easy to spot what I call ‘fox runs’ on the hedges.
These are narrow paths of trodden vegetation down the hedge with a similar one on the opposite hedge.
So when the fox is on its evening patrol it can leave one field via the path, cross the road and go up the hedge to another field.
One of these fox runs, however, is quite wide and I think it is used by roe deer, although I have not seen them near the village for some time.