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Is February the new March?

The second used to be my least favourite month – the fun and family of Christmas long gone; the new possibilities con of January well tarnished and the bleak grandeur of winter turned to soggy leaves and mud. But, in a Climate Changed world, February is now full of wonders!

It’s warm and the bird song has changed over the last two weeks. A cherry sapling is in full blossom as I pass Nanteos lodge on my way back up the drive under the shade of the trees. I'm starting to see frogs squashed on the tarmac. A pair, dull yellow, are locked flat in a last embrace. The female (I presume, the one on the bottom) has a large crimson tongue. Hope it wasn’t my car earlier. Reaching the lake, I can hear the growl of frogs and see pairs and singletons on the wet concrete of the draining weir. A heron lifts off from a big tree on the island – maybe they’re nesting? A wren hunts down the vertical wall of the weir which is only a trickle today, her gait jerky and mechanical.

Everywhere is a din of birds, the air thick with it. I walk up the drive past the generous field of sheep. A buzzard on the ground stares at me, his feathered legs tailored like breeches. A farm buggy approaches, passes. The man is singing at the top of his voice, “D’ni yma o hyd” – no, without a word of a lie – I swear it! He comes back the other way, still singing the Dafydd Iwan anthem. I reach the front door of my beloved Nanteos; it’s a rare day that I don't want to step back through that door!

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