Happy solstice. The mother of all new years The father of Christmas The reboot of the mud Resurrection promise for the undead
Barbara looks for the lowest sunrise, which barely crests the privet bosom.
The gargoyles languish in interminable gloom. The lower hazel still has leaves, the lake lies unfrozen, the paths treacherous with winter leafsweat. The strawberries have sunk in the raised bed. Mabel and Henry Wood are in a bully-off with a couple of feral townies that are muscling in on the scene.
Sciurus and Carolinensis, the grey invasive acrobats, over-fed, over-bred, over here, ply their double-jointed ankles in circus skills to make the birds go nutless. Last winter there were two, maybe three, robins, this time maybe one, or more.
The endemic corvids infect the needle-bare trees away to the west, and their clinical croaks keep us mindful of the mortuary. Sometimes they descend like composting cherubim. Carrion crows strutting on the lawn; nature’s undertakers living off the profits of doom.
Where there is work there are signs of life.
The secret gardener is relaying the boundary edge on the east of the quad. She's looking forwards to a full year, and remembering an emptier one. The malus domestica were tight barkers. The cooker and the eater both held back on the fruit, unlike the previous autumn when there was so much that we gave sack-loads to the foodbank. The cherry granted almost no cherries, the filberts almost no nuts, unless the acrobats juggled them all away before breakfast.
There were bonuses.
Dragonflies came and dipped uterine tails to waterline tops. In the late summer, batman and his batman returned for the first time since the last time we went to the cinema, many searchlights ago.
Similarly, we saw two hedgehogs, the first was the first such visitor for eight years. The second, or it might have been the first again, had Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. We are not making this up, and suspect the hog did not do so either. We dug up what is known. The cause is not, the consequences are. The prognosis is poor. That hog won't be back this year. Catch and kill. That was how she made her living and was the death of her. Mother nature is a benevolent bitch. Happy new year says the garden. Enjoy it while you can.
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