I have just seen that I began last week’s post with a photo of one of our garden birds. I am doing so again today as I am pleased to present to you a picture of Captain Featherpeg. Let me explain…. near our bird feeders there is a remnant of hedgerow, rather overgrown at around six feet high, that is the safe haven for a large extended family of noisy, quarrelsome, and immensely entertaining sparrows. They spend hours bustling among its branches, chattering among themselves, occasionally breaking off to visit our feeders or bird bath, or make a mass raiding expedition into the neighbouring field. We have grown rather fond of them and have christened them the Featherpeg family. Their leader is, of course, the fine feathered specimen pictured above, Captain Featherpeg. (Yes, I know, I probably have an over-active imagination!)
Sparrows were once as common as, well, sparrows, but their population has declined over the years, and so it’s lovely to be able to help our local tribe through the hard winter months. Recently however a new threat has arrived as a pair of sparrow hawks have moved into the locality and have been observed studying the bird feeders and sparrow tribe with great interest. Sparrow hawks are specialists in hunting small birds (the clue is in the name) and I’m really hoping they don’t take too many of the Featherpeg family from our garden.
Thinking of the garden, work has all but stopped outside at present as the ground is completely frozen again during this current cold spell. This means that there’s been a lot of snuggling (Alfie) and sewing (me) as I have been finishing off the projects for the February Magazine that’s published on Thursday….
This month brings Valentine’s Day of course, and there are two patterns that celebrate this occasion. We also look at two other notable February days (it’s positively stuffed with festivals!), Shrove Tuesday and Candlemas. Did you know that Candlemas Day, 2 February, marks the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox? And that, in times gone by, it was the date for taking down your Christmas decorations?
I’ve also taken the plunge and (finally) stitched the nursery alphabet that I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. There’s also a pair of bunnies – I’m not sure if we’re early for Easter or late for Chinese New Year(!) – but they’d make great pocket toys for children or grandchildren, or you could add a loop and hang them to your Easter tree. We also look at natural dyes, discover the history of Nottingham lace, and begin to prepare for the arrival of spring (hopefully not too long to wait now!).
If you’re a subscriber then the February Magazine will arrive in your inbox on Thursday. If you’re not a subscriber and would like to learn more then please just CLICK HERE to find out more.