Saturday, 4 February 2012

The merganser and the mole

As I walked to town I was congratulating myself on doubling my usual quota of little grebes – two grebes! – and on seeing a pair of mute swans with a well-grown youngster, when what should fly past along the river but a red-breasted merganser? Not a year-tick but a patch-tick which is infinitely more satisfying. This skull-crushing cold must have hit the coast very hard for him to have flown so far inland (9.89 miles; thank you Google Earth).

In preparation for my two-month spell in South Asia, I spent much of today cleaning my house from top to bottom. It was overdue, but this has been a dark, soul-stalled winter and only now, as the snows come, am I beginning to thaw.

The Mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring-cleaning his little home. First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms.

Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows

1 comment:

  1. Our first snowdrops bloomed this week. I bring a few indoors to remind me that spring is just around the corner as I huddle under a throw in front of the stove! :)
    I was recently tweeted this picture as memorable of me... trouble is I was like that even before the boy arrived!