Spring is in the air. Well, it is still –10°C outside, and there is still half a metre of snow in the garden… but the sun is up well before me, and the birds are chirping and twittering much more actively.

Other creatures are, apparently, also getting that spring feeling. Here’s the sight that met us behind our house yesterday morning, where the snow had lain more or less untouched the previous night:


Hare tracks everywhere! Must be that March madness coming on.

I’ve never actually seen the hares visit our garden – just their tracks and some droppings underneath the bird feeder. (I guess they won’t say no to some seeds when they’re desperate.) Eric’s spotted them lurking in the lilac hedge at times.

The bird feeder has also attracted the interest of a couple of roe deer. (Look at how deep that snow is around the doe’s leg! I expect we’ll be reminiscing about the Great Winter of ’09 for many years to come.)

As with the hares, they’ll take peanuts and sunflower seeds when that’s the only thing on offer. We have very deliberately not put out any more suitable feed for them: we don’t want them to think that this neighbourhood is a good place for them to hang out. They should really stay in the nature reserves well away from here. Here they risk getting run over, and of course they are rather unpopular with most homeowners since they tend to eat parts of the garden that people would rather keep. Tulips, I’m told, are a favourite food in spring.

We haven’t planted any tulips, but I am hoping to see a lot of snowdrops, crocuses, scillas and daffodils.