19 Feb 2018

19th February 2018: Misty vistas.

Monday 19th 32F, 0C, misty but calm with half an inch of new, overnight snowfall. A longer walk in a loop past the marsh. I am very lucky to have such opportunities for different routes so close to home.I have to pay for it in using the roads to reach my exit points. Despite the frosty appearance I was quite comfortable trudging through the snow. 

A large flock of rosy chested birds were having a feeding frenzy on the marsh alders. Redpolls perhaps, numbering some 500 individuals at a guess, they were rather nondescript apart from their blushing pink breasts. With a smattering of Great tits amongst them they flew wildly between trees in a miniature air display more reminiscent of starlings. 

No ride today because I drove to collect some non-existent wood briquettes for the stove. No stock in three local outlets! What are we supposed to use instead? One supermarket was blaming bad weather in Sweden. Not sure how that works because their stock is always clearly labelled in Polish or some similar language. This has happened before and is damned poor management of a vital resource for those who use them. Buying "oven ready" split beech logs from the nearest timber yard is a damp farce. It is so wet it won't even burn! This has been going on for years and they are still getting away with it!

Tuesday 20th 32-35F, 0-2C, light breeze, cloud clearing to sunshine and a soggy thaw.  My walk provided the first Skylark song of the year. Then I collected some wood briquettes from another source to keep us going.

Wednesday 21st 32-38F, O-3C, light winds, brightening to misty sunshine. I hab a bad kowd. <sniff> No walk or ride today. <sniff>

Thursday 22nd 35F, 2C, very light winds with a heavy overcast.  Rumours of my demise due to a man cold may have been exaggerated. I may last another day but there is now a world shortage of tissues. Not well enough for a walk or a ride despite bright sunshine.

Friday 23rd 24-36F, -4+2C, calm and sunny. Still short of breath, coughing, stuffy nose and feeling tired and achy. I'll try a short walk today if only to get some fresh air. My walk started off my coughing but it eventually subsided. I used a signpost to steady my binoculars while I watched a dozen Redwings wander about in short dashes on a field. A rather large gull, which seemed to be supervising, shifted from one foot to another as it endlessly pondered its escape. It was still there and still looking uncomfortable as I lost sight of them all in the distance. No ride today but I'm definitely on the mend.

Saturday 24th 30-32F, -1-0C, slight breeze, cloud clearing to sunny periods. As the ground was hard frozen I followed the tractor tracks up to the woods and back another way. Saw a single deer. Which waited just long enough for me to retrieve and point my camera before bouncing off. I'm getting my wind back and my nose is no longer depleting, already diminishing, global, tissue paper stocks. I worked outdoors for my exercise today and now I'm completely knackered. I was stripped down to my fleece jacket while working for hours outdoors.

Sunday 25th 25F, -4C, breezy and brightening. The Winter Olympics is over. I lost interest right at the start. When it was announced that there was to be tiddlywinks on ice, but no hill climb tricycling, in deep snow, by professional drug addicts.

My walk was brief and 'orribly cold. Only a couple of degrees lower than yesterday but the stronger wind made all the difference. The forest quickly disappeared behind a white fog. Which soon proved to be dense snowfall coming our way. So much for the 'dry' forecast. It was so cold that no flake of snow could melt and when cars passed, clouds of dry white dust were raised and chased after the retreating vehicle. My eyes were watering copiously inside my wrap around, protective glasses and the wind was finding all the weaknesses in my clothing. Usually, I am slightly too warm and walk with my jacket open, but not today. Walking on rough grass was hard work too thanks to it being deep frozen.

I worked outside in driven snow for most of the morning. Now the sun has come out and the snow stopped. A shopping ride is indicated after lunch. It never happened. The snow showers continued into the afternoon by which time there was a couple of inches lying. The wind made it feel so bitterly cold I returned indoors.

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