Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Jewellery box.

One day last week I thought that there were hints of Spring in the air. Following a stunning sunset the previous night, the heavy frost on the lawn gave way to sparkling dew drops reflecting the bright sunshine. The days are starting to lengthen noticeably and the birds are developing their spring plumage. They stand out like jewels against the backdrop of the tired countryside.
An unusual flicker of yellow in the garden caught my eye.
I think it's a female yellowhammer but despite looking it up in a variety of reference books/on-line sites I'm still not certain. I'm more persuaded by the fact that after seeing this solitary one in the garden a few times P and I were delighted to see a flock of maybe 20-30 of them in the back field, flitting amongst the muddy stubble. Multiple flashes of bright yellow in the drab field.They reminded me of the metallic glints of shoals of fish that I've watched while snorkeling in warm seas of holidays past. I say snorkeling but I really mean floating around on the surface with a mask and snorkel so that I can see if Jaws is approaching. My theory is that this would enable me to make a record breaking olympic speed doggy paddle back to dry land. Anyway, lets go back to those warm seas and elusive glints. Where that brief flare catches your attention and makes you pause and look closer. And you see something lovely that you could so easily have missed.
Being so tiny, distant and fast the yellowhammer flock proved to be well beyond my photography abilities and I now have a nice selection of pictures that consist of large expanses of muddy grassland with no sign of yellow jewels. Back at my usual pace, whilst pottering around the garden in the sunshine I spotted a large coppery toad (I think it's a toad - maybe it's a frog?) before it disappeared back into the camouflage of the rusty coloured remnants of last year's iris' and lillies.
Once there he was completely invisible so I was lucky that he popped out for a while when I was about.

Since then we've returned to grey wet weather, dull skies and sleet and a lazy wind.

Ah well. Back to hibernation for a little while then. But it's coming. The jewels in the garden tell us so.


  1. Hey ! Where ya bin`! Nice shots, like thw Goldfinches. I think your right about the Yellowhammer.

  2. Had a little mishap Cheyenne. It involved a dodgy leg and a fall that was cushioned by landing on poor old Tess. Not sure who came off worse. We've both recovered now so onward and upward! Possibly not quite so enthusiastically though.

  3. Sorry to hear that! But glad your on the mend.:-)