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Mild Morning

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Thursday, 18th December 2008


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Black cat
Groundsel seedling
Seated figure

IT’S BEEN the coldest start to winter in Britain since 1976 but there’s no frost on the grass this morning and the pond appears to be more liquid than solid.


You don’t realise what big eyes cats have until you see them in half light. When I open the curtains of the patio windows I find a black cat sitting just outside. I expect it to look startled and to run away but it just stares at me as if I was more of a curiosity than a threat.

On Monday the days will start getting longer again. There are signs of growth even now; groundsel seedlings are springing up from cracks in the pavement and in the centre of Ossett there are a few rose bushes more or less devoid of leaves but covered in white blooms.

A crow seems bigger and blacker than normal against the grey cloud as it flies to rest on a rooftop aerial.

Figures drawn at the Wakefield Naturalists’ talk last week which - happily for a midwinter talk - was about tropical Costa Rica. It was given by John R Mather whose new updated version of Where to Watch Birds in Yorkshire has just been published.