From Ice to Isha

The evening sun on the neighbouring hillside. A regular occurrence during the cold spell, although I was often hunkered down in the warmth of the house and missed it on more than one occasion. Hunkering down is becoming a habit and is just as useful for storms as freezing temperatures. Storm Isha is no exception.

The white Chaenomeles during a rare sunny moment. It has been tougher than I and is flowering despite the weather.

The Arctic weather has had an unusual effect on the camellias. This Bushfield Yellow usually turns an ugly brown in temperatures just above freezing. Its reaction to minus six is very surprising and attractive.

I have not had much opportunity to try and improve my photography skills as it has either been too wet and windy or too cold and windy to remain motionless in the garden for even a moment. The birds have been out in force and this is just one of small flock of chaffinches that seem to live in the garden.

Another Camellia showing an unusual response to the freezing weather. I really like these subtle shades on the petals and almost prefer them to the usual bright pink.

The small tree in the foreground has been fascinating me for ages. It is an old spindle tree completely covered in berries. As mine have been stripped by the birds months ago why are the birds of Ballydehob ignoring these especially during this unusually harsh winter?

Most of my hydrangeas are now looking dreadful with drooping black or brown leaves. However, this particular one has been almost totally encircled by a hedgerow and is happily producing new flowers since Christmas.

Another surprise in the garden. This French lavender seems impervious to the cold and makes a nice contrast with the silver grey stone wall.

There are still a few plants with berries in the garden but the Skimmea have been stripped in the last few weeks. The myrtle is now in the firing line and I suspect that it is being eaten by the blackbirds who are also visiting the nearby bird table on a regular basis. Their purple droppings make a nice colourful splash in the garden.

I was trying to get a photograph of these two rooks as they kept an eye on one of the bird tables but was having problems with the one on the left only to discover that it was two birds.

Apparently, Rook pairs bond closely and I would imagine that these two are a ‘pair’. They seemed very companionable and content in each other’s company. It almost makes their colossal consumption of bird food worth the expense.


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