The weather always keeps us guessing – who would be a farmer, with your living at the mercy of the fickle weather?
Lately, we’ve had lots of rain, but temperatures have, on the whole, remained above freezing: we’ve had few frosts.
As a result, buds are swelling, the hazel catkins are out, and birds are indulging in February-ish behaviour. They sing before dawn; they sing even when it’s raining; they’re taking baths in our pond – something they don’t usually begin until early spring; the blue-tits are busy in the nest box.
Compare this with last year: on the 17 January last year, we were covered in several inches of snow, as in this picture I took:
In 2012, we had floods:
Presently, although we’ve had rain, it’s been steady and the river has drained most of it away. There are patches of fields under water, but so far (touch wood!) not such large areas as were under water in 2012.
Personally, I don’t think the variations in the weather point to anything other than the unpredicatable chaos that is the British weather. Despite metereologists’ best efforts, the weather is still too complex for us to predict or control it. Which is precisely why I admire those brave people who rely on the weather for their livelihoods: the farmers.
And thank you to them – for without farmers, we would all starve.
In the meantime, all the water vapour in the atmosphere at the moment makes for lovely sunrises and sunsets – see more on my Twitter feed