10.45 a.m., 48ºF, 9ºc, overcast, cool; Hemlock water dropwort grows on a silty, gravelly inside bend of the stream by the sawn-off bough of a crack willow. Its luxuriant, fresh-looking rosettes spring up along the banks and even in a few places from the stream bed itself. It’s not surprising that none of the leaves has been nibbled because every part of this plant is extremely toxic.
The harsh chatter of magpies contrasts with the restful rhythmic babbling of the brook. That’s a cliche but babbling is the only way to describe it this morning.
A grey squirrel has been leaning over to reach our solid-looking ‘squirrel proof’ sunflower heart feeder. As it hangs upside down from the pole, it rotates the feeder with its front legs, always in a clockwise direction. Eventually this unscrews the feeder from its hook and the lid comes off as it crashes to the ground. I pick up what seed I can and replace the feeder. Blackbird, robin, goldfinch and pheasant appreciate the bonus of spilt seed but it’s the wood pigeon that steadily gets through it.