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Looking forward in mid January

January 13, 2013

In mid January I am looking for change. Having ushered the new year in, I always feel it is time to look for those hints that Spring is not so far away. Last weekend the majestic wind blown song from an Oxnead Mistle Thrush sufficed.

Yesterday, the resonant drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a Brampton Hall Oak echoed along the Bure. It is a sound that I always connect with the emergence of Daffodils and the stirring of Primroses. Indeed, in the churchyard, the first leaves of some of the wild stock daffodils are inching above the sward. Even in that state they manage to lift away that winter feeling. As I walk out of the copse a Muntjac Deer loses it’s nerve and springs out of the thicket ahead of me. The beehive is hidden in a small glade, quite spartan now and surrounded by the skeletal form of young trees.

I nervously take a look at the beehives. Nervously, because they had a tough year in 2012 and there must always be question marks over the quality and quantity of their food reserves. I am encouraged that the clusters of each the colonies seem to be making the right noise as I tidy up around the hives. But there is a long way to go yet and the losses are often later in the winter or into the early spring, so we have sugar solution ready in reserve for that point in time.

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