There’s always a lot of talk when it snows in the UK, about why we don’t cope, why we’re not better prepared, like Canada or Sweden. Well, the simple answer is we just don’t get the kind of weather they do with anything like the same frequency so it isn’t worth having the infrastructure in place in the same way as it is for them. My husband works with a fairly international team and one of his Polish colleagues said “We put our snow tyres on at the start of winter and leave them on till spring,” which is fine if you regularly get heavy snow all through the winter, but we don’t. We can get a whole winter with barely a flake of snow, so we can’t justify preparing for it.
This week we’ve been experiencing The Beast from the East – an unusual weather pattern bringing far colder air than is normal for the time of year. Hence why the snow has lain for longer – and of course it’s been windy as well, which creates drifts.
Here in the Midlands we haven’t been seeing the worst of it by any means. The main roads are largely clear, and the shops haven’t run out of milk. One of my colleagues who lives in a village in Bedfordshire has reported that the village shops are out of milk, bread and most fresh produce. Having said that, we aren’t going anywhere by car as our little side road doesn’t see a lot of traffic and it wouldn’t be much fun trying to drive just now. It’s only a short way to the main road but a lot can go wrong in a short distance!
“But this is a garden blog,” I hear you cry. “When are you going to talk about the garden?”
Here you go – 9 o’clock this morning:
I know it looks like one of my weekly photos – I wanted to get a picture today in case it’s all gone by tomorrow and there’d be no record of it. The temperature is meant to be rising a little today so you never know!
My main concern with the weather is for the garden birds. By this time of year they’ve already eaten all the berries available and would normally be starting on early insects and worms but there’s not a lot about. Yesterday they were guzzling mealworms as fast as I could put them out. Today we have already seen Mr Blackbird, who seems to have appointed himself Garden Security and keeps chasing off a song thrush (doesn’t stop the thrush trying to get in, but Mr B is very vigilant). There was a flurry of activity when I didn’t have my camera, of course – the pair of robins, and several goldfinches (thanks for showing up, guys – where were you when I was doing the Big Birdwatch, eh?).
I got a good pic of Mr B surveying his domain from the top of the feeder:
Then he moved to the fence
and a few smaller birds came in for a feed. The only photos I got were of a blue tit and Mr & Mrs Sparrow, but I caught a glimpse of a great tit, and also saw something hopping about in the shrubs under the feeder. It might have been another blue tit, but I couldn’t see it clearly enough to be sure.
Keep feeding the birds if you can, folks.