Yesterday afternoon was so sunny and mild that I spent an hour or so out in the garden. First I stuck some sticks in the lawn to mark out a projected new bed (currently referred to as "the orchard", as we plan to plant two dwarf apple trees). There may be some adjustment before digging starts.
Then I weeded all the borders, finding the usual willowherb, masses of shepherd's purse, and even 2 nettles. After 4 and a half years of cultivation, and plants crammed closely together, the weeds are now reduced.
All the bird feeders have now been moved to the pergola, where they hang from hooks and from branches of the rose tree.
This morning the birdbaths were frozen again, so I went out and broke the ice for the pair of blackbirds who like to drink and bathe.
There has been a pair of robins coming in to feed for a few days; to begin with, I wasn't sure there were two, but yesterday evening I saw the pair together. It seems too early for them to be pairing up.
And our regular dunnock has been in the border when the robin has been taking food from one of the hanging feeders, and is now copying, flitting briefly onto the feeder perch and snatching a seed or two. Dunnocks are ground-feeding birds, so perhaps there is not enough to eat on the ground. There have been slug/snail trails on the paving, and there was a dozy fly in the conservatory one day, but it seems too cold still for most insects. The casts on the lawn show that we have a healthy population of worms, though.
And the hellebores are out, and bulbs are putting up shoots, and it's all quite spring-like, and we haven't had winter yet.
P.S. The emergency mittens are finished, and have been fulled. As soon as they are dry, they will be posted off.