Today it's about plus three degrees.........with snow again falling, albeit not threateningly. There is also a cold, stiff Westerly wind to add to the chill factor and drive the snow along. Charlie and Rocky went out about 09:00 and have not been seen since, save for an episode when J saw the pair of them playing on a tree in the garden. Even rattling a can of food failed to bring them over to the house, so intent were they on their game of rough and tree-tumble. I've called and checked the usual haunts, including one of Håkan's little used barns to no avail. The barn did, however, provide an interesting diversion, piled with the usual farmery detritus and junk that just might, possibly, remotely prove useful at some unspecified time in the future:
A huge, old hot water tank, barrel-construction from wood and metal bands:
An old Caleche/Trappy thing:
And another, slightly grander, Caleche/Trap:
Last night Rocky thought it was time he investigated a few cupboards. What is it with cats and inaccessible, cramped spaces/places?:
Each day seems to bring new species of migratory birdlife to the village, preparing for the summer break. A couple of Starlings arrived about a week ago. These always nest in our neighbour, Kjell's place, just below the eaves of his house. A few days ago they were followed by a pair of Gulsparvs(yellow sparrows)/Yellowhammers and today a solitary female Chaffinch turned up. We have both heard, but not yet seen, the Trana - Common Cranes nearby. They make an incredible racket, unmistakeable - once heard, never forgotten, I'd say. I expect to see Lapwings, Golden Plover and Curlews fairly soon, though the Storlom/Black Throated Divers won't be here until the ice has gone from the lake surfaces. A few years back we had a pair of Slavonian Grebes on one of the nearby lakes.
I was saddened to learn of the death of the great North Carolinian Banjo player, Earl Scruggs, yesterday. He was the man behind a style of playing that is now virtually sybomonous with the instrument and probably best known for the theme music to the old, sixties TV programme 'The Beverly Hillbillies' and the chase sequences in the film, 'Bonnie & Clyde'. He was a mountain of a man in musical terms. Immensely important to banjo playing worldwide. We had the good fortune to see him play live many times in the USA at music festivals in his old home state. He will be sadly missed by many, I'm sure. Not least, by the great NC guitarist, Doc Watson, an old friend of Earl's, whom we met at his home in Deep Gap, NC, a few years ago: