Sunday, 19 December 2010

Soft shoe shuffle . . .

I was awake at 4.30 a.m. this morning. It was too cold to get up, so I lay in bed, listening to the soft-shoe shuffle of the dozens of wrens who roost above our bedroom window - on the big wide board which forms the ceiling of the window aperture. I have mentioned them before. I counted something like 80 going in to roost there on winter evenings last year.

My husband and I walked up to the junction again yesterday, to check on the roads (it has been impossible to get our car out of the drive, let alone to the junction). Down by the bridge, there were signs that one of the otters had been across the rocks, nosying about. Claw marks, paw marks and tail marks . . .

After lining up a lift for D, G and J in a neighbour's Landrover TO work, I am hoping we can get out later today to pick everyone up (otherwise it disastrous, with them stuck in town and no bed for the night . . .) but the managers seem to think they are "making excuses" when they say they can't get to work.


  1. So different is it not, life in the town and in the country. I hope you manage to get out of the drive to collect the workers. Lovely snow pics. We, too, are snowed in, and or the moment, loving the quiet and the solitude. It seems as if the whole of northern Europe has been brought to a standstill with airports closed. Our village is emailing road-condition reports to those on the internet. Keep warm - I love the sound of those wrens.

  2. I was watching Johnny Kingdom and he counted 20 wrens, I think it was, going into a nesting box. I had no idea they huddled together like that, but I think your little gathering beats all.

  3. Kath - I think the record is something like 96, according to a letter in The Countryman a few years back. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw them coming and coming . . .

    WSC - we managed to get into town. Our friend with the 4x4 was worried about getting back DOWN her hill, which is steeper than ours with a precipitous bank on one side. We got the rest of the Christmas shopping whilst we were out. If we didn't have to keep ferrying our offspring about, we could relax . . . There is barely half the snow in town that we have here - they must have thought I was being funny when I phoned up yesterday and said the boys had set off for the main road with overnight rucksacks . . . In the event, no buses turned up and they had to walk the 3 1/2 miles back again . . .

  4. Snow has turned us all into hermits! LOL :)

  5. I remember you telling us about the wrens last winter BB. Good to know that they have come back to you for some warmth and safety.

    How frustrating that the boys could not get a bus after the effort of walking down to the main road.

  6. Otters are such a treat--and even the evidence of their tracks is something to see.
    I am amazed to read the many reports of life in the UK being so off-kilter by the snow and cold.
    J. opines that most cars there are smaller and rather low-slung, not equiped with "snow tires" with few of the sturdy 4 wheel drive trucks such as were common in Wyoming.
    That said, he delivered hay for the cow kept at the Amish neighbors and came home to say that the truck balked at the muddy side hill and turned sidewise. I'm glad I wasn't along!
    I hope there is a pro-longed January thaw in your immediate future.