Thursday, 22 March 2012

Spring Is In The Air.....

Well, we managed to catch the Aurora a few nights ago; nothing great or spectacular really but still extraordinary. It's a bit odd after over a year away. The green and brilliant colours generally associated with the dancers comes not from a natural naked-eye view but from the camera lens. I've no idea why this is so. (Maybe some of the Lewis photo peeps have some idea?) In reality, they're generally a rather milky white-to-pale greenish amorphous cloud that moves very fast, constantly changing shape and pattern, swirling one way and another, making us rub our eyes in disbelief.

I tried to photograph it but our small digi-camera is not up to the job which needs a long exposure, tripod etc. Maybe another time with a better camera.

Rocky has taken to following Charlie out into the snow and up trees and under outbuildings in search of who knows what......mice, lemmings, voles etc., etc. Soon, no doubt, he'll be after the smaller birds too. These have returned to the feeders: it's amazing just how quickly they pick up on a free meal and mob the things!

Today, we have about ten degrees - plus temps - and yesterday it was about the same. The gauge on the outside of the kitchen window is actually registering 15 degrees, but there is a strong, gusty wind, so the temp is more likely to be around the ten mark, I'd say. The snow is fast melting and what was ice when we arrived is already slushy mush underfoot. As we don't have winter tyres, with studs etc, on the car, we are keeping our trips out to a minimum. No bad thing economically! And environmentally.

This is the path to the house that J cleared on our arrival on Saturday when the snow was knee-high plus:

And this is the road outside, which was pretty hairy on arrival:

Charlie has cottoned-on to where he is again very fast. Each morning he's at the door with Jack and races out into the snow for a few hours before returning for a quick snack before heading out again. The same routine he had when here before. He is a Swedish cat, after all, so must feel at home. He certainly seems very content once more. Jack has settled into his normal routine, in his preferred spot:

Our neighbour Hakan spent much of yesterday pressure washing a ground drain he'd made a few years ago. When the melt is under way it simply freezes overnight leaving him with a frozen drain and a huge pond in front of his workshop come day again. This, in turn, freezes again overnight, creating a real hazard. After much huffing and puffing with his Kerchery-thingy he seems to have achieved a degree of success.

We had a very lazy afternoon and evening yesterday, watching telly: not something we often do. But we have some of the Swedish Wallander series on DVD, so watched those; it's amazing just how much of the lingo we now understand, though hearing it being spoken again by neighbours etc., no doubt helps.

To date we've only seen Great and Blue Tits at the feeders, plus a few opportunistic Sparrows, but this morning a pair of Bullfinches are evident too. Rocky is out, hiding under our old workshop and refusing to surface. Not even the rattle of fork on food tin is making him return right now. He looked a bit spooked when I went over and found him cowering in a corner of the workshop itself, but slipped past me and back below the building. No doubt, he'll appear when hunger grips him again; which in his case is generally pretty regularly. His normal position mid-afternoon since arriving here is this:

It seems that Spring is coming early this year, though there is a possibility of some more snow this weekend apparently. And it can still be pretty nippy out at times.

One of our neighbouring fields, ice and snow catching the sun:

J dragged her Sparka (kick sled) out of hibernation, they're great for getting around on ice but at the rate the snow's melting it looks doubtful that it'll get much use this year:

And in the sitting room, our books are taking over - soon (NOW!!) we'll need more bookshelving:

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