It is cold as I walk to town today, that cold that clasps your face and tightens the corners of your eyes. It is grey too, the lingering barely-day grey of the shortest dates. On the river a pair of greylags crouches under swaying boughs of aspen, their waxy bills ectopic in the gloom.
On my return a blue tit sings - spring sings! - from the ribcage alders by the pond, and from a chimney pot a wind-up starling mimics night's tawny owl in his song. His winter song.