Andy (m31andy) wrote in urbandiary,
Andy
m31andy
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February

Better late than never, here is February’s write-up. I’m busy formatting and typing up March as I post so I won’t be as late with March’s. Hopefully.

February derives its name from the word “februare”, to purify or from Februa, the Roman festival of expiation which was celebrated through the latter part of this month.

In ordinary years there are 28 days in February, but in leap-year, 29.

Feast Days etc.Feb 2.Candlemas Day
Feb 14. Saint Valentines Day
Feb 24. Saint Matthias


February
Feb.1 Dull day with slight drizzle of rain in the morning but bright and mild in the afternoon.
2 Candlemas Day, wild and stormy.
3 It says in todays Chronicle that at Dover a Blackbirds nest with two eggs has been found, at Edenbridge a Hedge-sparrow’s with four eggs and at Elmsford, a robin’s nest with five eggs.
7 Picked some Dog’s Mercury in flower; This is the first to blossom of all the wild herbaceous plants, Daisies and Groundsel excepted.
8 There was a thunderstorm today, with showers of rain, hail and sleet.
9 Snow-storm in the night, this morning we looked out on a white landscape, this is the first deep snow we have had this winter. I swept a space free on the lawn and strewed it with bread and rice. Crowds of birds came. I counted eight Tits at one time on the cocoa-nut and the tripod of sticks supporting it. There were some terrible battles among the Tits this morning. One tiny Blue-cap took possession of the cocoa-nut, sitting down in the middle of it and bidding defiance to all the others. It was very funny to see him squatting in the shell, sparring and hissing at a Great Tit who came at him with open wings and beak. There was a partial eclipse of the moon visible this morning at 5:57am. At 8 o’clock in the evening there was a beautiful rainbow-coloured halo round the moon, unusually bright and distinct.
10 Rain and wind from the South-west, rapid thaw.
12 I visited the violet wood again today, the Lords and Ladies are quite above the ground now, and the Violet roots are sending up little green trumpets of new leaves. The ground in the wood is covered with tiny seedlings of the Moschatel.
I gathered some Gorse blossom on my way home.
The Elm trees are just breaking into blossom and the Willows are showing their downy white catkins, very small as yet.
13 Snowing all day.
14 Saint Valentines Day. Sharp frost and bright sunshine.
Feb. 15 Walking home from Solihull this afternoon I noticed a number of Gnats dancing in the bright sunshine and I saw two little Shrew-Mice in different places on the bank, who darted quickly into their holes directly they saw me.
16 Hear the Lark singing for the first time this year.
17 Cycled to Packwood through Solihull and Bentleyheath. I passed a rookery on the way, the Rooks were all very busy building up their old nests and a great deal of chatter they made over it.
I saw a little Robin gathering materials for its nest at one place on the bank and further on, a Thrush with a beakful of long straws. Everywhere the branches of the Willow bushes were tipped with downy white balls and the Alder-catkins were shewing very red. In the garden of Packwood Hall adjoining the churchyard the borders were full of large clumps of single snowdrops. I brought away a great bunch. The farmer living there brought out a little lamb to show me, one of a family of three born that morning. I held it in my arms and it seemed quite fearless, poking its little black head up into my face.
Rode home seven miles, in a storm of sleet and snow.
27 Shrove Tuesday.
28 Ash Wednesday. We have had more winter weather this February than any other month this winter.


January’s Write-Up
Tags: country diary, holden, observations
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