It’s hard to see, but one of our cats sleeps in front of our two oil filled radiators. He’s the biggest of our cats and has thick fur, but I think because he was abandoned and used to live outside, he’s taking advantage of the warmth he can get. It’s no problem to us as the heaters warm the whole room, and when he’s not there he’s usually outside in the cold. He really likes being out and about. One of the other two cats sleeps upstairs on a soft and fluffy bed or on the cat tree by the living room radiator, and the other one either sleeps on my chair, the sofa, or an igloo shaped bed in the living room. So basically they are all snug!
Sunlight reflecting off her fur, on the windowledge at the top of the stairs, she looks out to check on what’s going on in the garden. Not long now to the winter equinox when the days will slowly start to get longer again. She’s so soft and sweet.
Cats know how to keep warm. The heat rises up the stairs so she is happy up there. This afternoon she’s gone out for a little walk round the garden, I think she will be back in again soon. Then she will either go back upstairs or sit on the cat tree by the radiator in the living room.
He’s snug, warm, as a bug in a rug, he gets curled up in a ball and he’s happy, he snores, puts his paw over his nose, and might be in the warmest tog sleeping bag or under a heavy duvet. Cats have a luxury coat that we humans don’t. We still have hairs and hair follicles, but as we wear clothes we don’t need a fur pelt. I wonder what came first, clothes or bald patches?
Cats still find warm places to sleep though. Usually on our bed. When it gets really cold they sneak under the duvet and snuggle up. They make a fair hot water bottle. The best thing is how they can sense your mood, sometimes they seem to be mind readers!
Yesterday in a garden centre, at the end of October we found this passion flower still in bloom. Its amazing how warm it has been over the last few weeks in Britain. Lasr week it was about 23° Centigrade in London and 19°s where we live. About 5 or 7° higher than usual. In some ways that’s good because we haven’t needed to put the heating on much. But it is unnatural. Apparently every month this year has been hotter than previous ones. Animals are not getting ready to hibernate, will they have enough food or energy to survive if the winter gets very cold. Who knows, it’s worrying.
Sunlight through leaves, making patterns on the kitchen wall. It would be brighter but the wall is painted a pale apple green. When there was a partial eclipse a few years ago the light hitting the wall turned into increasing crescent moon shapes as the Moon passed in front of the Sun. This time of year, before the autumn sets in, there is a lot of shade from the trees in the garden. The pear tree is casting most of the shade on the wall, and a few pears have started to fall as the morning temperature reduces. I can almost feel a chill in the air this morning.
Soon it will be the vernal? Equinox, when the day and night time are in balance in the Northern (and also Southern) Hemispheres of the Earth. That is when both day and night are exactly 12 hours long. Soon the days here will shorten, whilst they grow longer in the south. I hope the nights are not too cold, I would like the leaves to stay on the trees as long as possible. I always feel sad when they become skeletal in the winter and the long wait till spring comes round again drags on. I miss my flowers as they wilt and fade, and I find it harder to motivate myself in the dark days of winter. But that is a while away yet, so I will enjoy what is left of the summer while I can.
When I was little we had a talk at school about snakes and reptiles. At the end the person giving the talk gave us a chance to hold a snake. A lot of the girls were scared, they thought they would be slimy and cold. I don’t think I was scared so I put my hand up and got called forward. I ended up with a snake wrapping itself round my arm. The scales were dry and shiny and beautifully patterned. It was so interesting that a few years later I was at a nature display and held a six or eight foot long python across my shoulders. I also went to an open day a few years ago and held this snake (well it wrapped itself round me). I’ve also found that I quite like tarantulas. I would not have either as a pet, but I do think taking a look at things like this isn’t as scary as it looks, as long as they are not venomous!
Not this years ones, they haven’t opened up yet. But they are starting to grow up. I just can’t wait. I’m used to waiting for spring but sometimes it seems to take an awful long time to get here. A couple of weeks ago the temperatures were in the high teens Celsius, last week they dropped to freezing or below, and there was a snow in a few places across the UK. We didn’t get more than a bit of hail and snow here. Meanwhile the daffodils and snowdrops are up. We haven’t had much rain though, so the buds on the trees are not fully open yet…
We went out for a short walk locally as the sun started to set. The sky was very grey but there was a little patch of light in the south west, so I hoped it would possibly turn into a sunset. As you can see it did! I took lots of photos so I decided to do a sort of abstract compilation of some of them. I might try and line them up better later. So yes, this was the last sunset of 2021 here in my bit of the UK. In some places in the world midnight will have already been and gone. In others it’s probably only the morning. May your new year be good and safe. X