The 'quiet spell' around this time of year(s) has also been an opportunity to reflect on an increasingly evident issue: climate change. So, in a very 'micro-way', this Post observes signs of this: the weather has been very mild .... in mid-November we went for a walk around our 'local' lake, only to find that we could have been witnessing a 'summer scene':
Throughout the Autumn, the weather has been mild; and while we have had some usual Autumn weather, with mists and damp, there have been only a couple of light frosts, not those biting air frosts that, for us at 500 metres, sweep across and leave a trail of icy white at about one metre's height, often severely damaging shrubs and bushes. Going outside in the early morning we have seen just the merest hint that temperatures may have briefly hovered around zero:
There have been a variety of other signs that temperatures are abnormally high for November/December: every year on the big pond the lilies have disappeared beneath the water by the end of November - but they are still floating on the surface as we approach mid-January. The leaves on the Virginia creeper that surrounds the house are always down by early November, but this year they were only tumbling down, in strong winds, in mid-December and on some other trees the leaves are simply remaining in place:
There are many little signs of the higher temperatures that are easily ignored: parsley is still growing in the raised beds; spring bulbs are poking their heads above the earth; and the birds, while happy enough to gnash the meal worms and seeds from the bird-feeders quite clearly have enough food still in other places:
Of course, there will always be people who say that they have bulbs coming up pre-Christmas or shrubs in flower in December ..... but, we are observing what is 'normal' for us and this year 'normal' it is not!
It makes deciding 'Winter-work' in the garden quite tricky - so, there have been the usual clearing and pruning jobs and, because the mild conditions are encouraging weeds to grow particularly strongly (oh good ...!), we are weeding the veggie beds, putting down cardboard strips and then covering that with well-rotted mulch:
And we had a quick trip over to the UK, to see family and to enjoy the company of some of our grandchildren, and seeing how they are acquiring story-telling and drawing skills that very soon will challenge our attempts - what a very good prospect!
So, as ever, the Pig surveys the life before him and we wish you the very best, safest and joyful New Year.