Nature Diaries – February

thebristolbotanist
Published on February 18th 2019
9

Resolution still going strong

I have found the exercise of noticing and recording small moments in nature to be very mindful; it has also encouraged me to paint and sketch more often. Creativity and nature seem to help my brain to unwind, and keep my stress at a more manageable level.
So far, I believe that keeping a nature diary is positively impacting my quest for a peaceful mind, and I look forward to seeing how this develops over the rest of the year.
I have seen some brilliant flora and fauna in February; it was almost impossible to choose what to include here, but I’ve done my best to give a roundup of my favourites.

Surprise surprise, we’re starting with snow!

We started off the month with a rather impressive snowfall here in Bristol, and the city was transformed into somewhat of a winter wonderland. My walk to work was stunning, and my first diary entry for this month reads ‘SNOW! Beautiful snow covered branches on North Road and by the Suspension Bridge.’ The pictures speak for themselves, February was off to a flying start!

From snow to snowdrops

Who doesn’t love snowdrops? They are delicate and effortlessly pretty, and add interest to a month in which few flowers dare to peep through. Whether it be a small clump at the side of a road, or swathes of them, I always stop to have a look.

Winter skies

Leaving the house at 7:30 every morning may not seem appealing, but many of my entries this month have been related to incredible sunrises. Bare tree branches against a winter sky is truly one of my favourite things about this time of year.

Birds

At the end of last month I started a new job working in a garden centre. So far it has provided me with lots of wonderful nature memories, including being a particularly good place for bird spotting!
There are several resident robins, each with their own territory; I love listening to them sing whilst working outside. I also spotted a goldcrest, a song thrush, and two jays in the space of a week, which made for brilliant diary entries, and watercolour subjects.

A weasel in the potting shed

My absolute highlight this month was also something that I encountered at work.
There are plenty of little mammals living around the grounds, and on several occasions voles have scurried away when I have opened the potting shed door, which in itself I find rather charming. But on this encounter I spotted something a little larger, and it was rather startled to see me!
Although at risk of sounding like I’m living in the pages of a Beatrix Potter book, I spotted a weasel in the potting shed. It was a fleeting encounter, but a brilliant one, and as I didn’t manage to capture it on camera I have painted it instead.

That’s all for my February highlights! Share yours with me by tagging @thebristolbotanist or use #naturediaries.

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