snowdropsblackbird43ºF, 8ºC, 10.15 a.m.: In the back garden a robin is singing; a pair of magpies call raucously; a blackbird splutters in alarm and house sparrows chirp continuously from the hedges.

A fragment of shrivelled crab apple drops on my sketchbook, then another. There’s a male blackbird seven feet above my head in the branches of the golden hornet. Blackbirds and thrushes prefer the fruit after the first frosts of winter, when it has started turning brown.

bluebottleIt’s warm enough for me to spot a bluebottle investigating the snowdrops which are now in flower in foamy strands along by the hedge in the meadow area and here by the raised bed behind the pond.

I’ve been reading up on botany recently: the petals and sepals of the snowdrop appear identical so, as in other monocots, they are called tepals.  The leaves don’t appear to grow from a stem but there is a short squat stem which lies hidden in the bulb. 

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