Each year now we suffer from gales of wind in the summer, a thing not thought of thirty years ago. Now, the autumn gales seem not to materialise. It is after the New Year gets a month old that the gales roar in bringing what rain we are likely to get. ‘February Fill Dyke’ was a thing to be relied on but now I would not place money on it.
The other day, at nine thirty, my attention was drawn to the sky where a flock of rooks were passing over the house. The reason I took note was their calls, those of the spring not the winter type expected. Then to my astonishment one of the birds actually had a stick in its beak! Later I saw an old friend in Rye and told him how mild it was and how I had just witnessed a rook flying over with a stick. That’s nothing; the rooks are building down the end of Rope Walk. A blackbird made a nest in October and laid four eggs. They hatched and on the twentieth of November three of the chicks flew the nest. Collared doves are still nesting and presumably having a success.
The winters are definitely getting less severe. Now as the days lengthen, the cold should strengthen, so the old saying goes. Well let’s see shall we.
This winter is the first time I have never filled the shed with logs and we are not going short. It’s just that we don’t need so much heat in the house. The daytime sun warms the rooms. Is it global warming or climate change? Does it really matter for man cannot do anything about global change? The earth has gone through many in its history but global warming, we are told, is being helped on its path by man and by what the spokesman for the USA said the other day, “They, the States,” had no intention of changing their ways and that from the largest producers of noxious gasses. His reasoning was that the people up north in Canada would welcome a bit of heat. Nothing was said about the poor folk in the south sweating to death with no water.
Since writing this a chap everyone knows in Ryeand who was once upon a time Mayor of the town, told me he had just seen a butterfly in no hurry to seek shelter. Such is the winter we are experiencing.
From “Rye’s Own “ January 2005
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