I sit here listening to a blackbird sing, joyful notes that remind me of long summer days; watching the sunlight fade and the dew settle, glimmering on all surfaces. Bumble bees are fumbling along from flower to flower and butterflies are visiting the delicate stamens of early flowering crocuses. The frogs are croaking loudly as they spawn in the garden pond in a mass of wriggling jelly. The thermometer got to 18C again today and I struggle to remind myself it’s only February. Once night falls all goes quiet and winter is here again with a hard frost.

Frost on grass stems early morning (Photo by Gethin Elias)

While out on the reserve this week the birds are almost in full song but the trees are bare; a chorus amongst naked ents. Blackbirds, song thrushes, coal tits, great tits, nuthatches, chaffinches and much more sing; this is the local choir before the migrants return. The raptors dance above, goshawks and buzzards are displaying and the peregrine screams its applause from the cliffs.

The hazels wear a shimmer of gold when seen from afar; the birch stands out in its elegance of purple. Oak branches hanging with moss gaze over the green valleys below. Ash trees as grey as the remains of the camp fire from the night before, stand still and proud. Tight blackthorn buds ready to burst into white confetti are arranged in bouquets along the tips of twigs. Early green leaves of hawthorns are looking for spring.

Mossy oak Llanuwchllyn (Photo by Gethin Elias)

The lake has been living in its own mirror image as if a parallel dimension lies below the dark.

It has been a glorious few days but there is a part of me that feels this is not right. If winter comes back with a vengeance now we will lose some of the precious things in nature that we cannot afford to lose any more.

Gethin Elias, Assistant Warden

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