WINTER

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I found myself in Canterbury during the brief flurry of snow we had last week, watching it fall from the window and wondering if my train journey back to Manchester would be delayed (and after crossing London on the way there during the tube strike, I really wasn’t in the mood for another ‘adventurous’ journey). It was all fine however, and staring out the window at the snowy Kentish countryside I was itching to get out into the frost with my camera. Alas, by the time I got to Manchester it had all but disappeared.

One of the upsides of spending a couple of months living in Chicago post-Masters was that snow was a more permanent fixture (-12°C anyone?), so when I was delving into one of my external hard drives this week I took the opportunity to glean a few pictures from a January day at the Botanic Gardens. Everything had been covered by a fresh blanket of snow and it was absolutely freezing- I could only take my hands out of my mittens for a couple of minutes tops in order to take pictures. But the cold had brought in American robins, redpolls, dark-eyed juncos and, to our astonishment, a red-tailed hawk (which I have previously written about here). It was also the first time I had ever seen waxwings (in this case Cedar waxwings, our Bohemian waxwing’s smaller American cousins), and I remember immediately falling for their punk crests, lemony bellies and trilling calls. This year’s hunt for waxwings has been spectacularly unsuccessful- despite them taking up a sizeable proportion of my twitter feed- so, until my luck turns, I’ll be enjoying them in pictorial form, and dreaming of crisp winter mornings like these.

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