Nowhere Wood on December 23rd was silent and still. The wood was in midwinter, at its furthest point from the Sun on its journey through the seasons. At only 7 hours and 49 minutes, this was the shortest day and darkness ruled the wood. From now onwards the days will get longer by about two minutes each day until midsummer’s day in July.
The air was was misty and damp. No birds sang. The only movements were from ten or more baby squirrels running up and down trees, looking for food. The plentiful acorns in the autumn gave their parents the nutrients the needed to produce a special autumn litter.
Even by January, the wood had moved onwards and the days were drawing out. Robins sang from high branches of trees, marking out the wood into their territories, preparing for the coming spring.
Jackdaws and magpies fought for the right to control the high airspaces and the food that the neighbouring houses throw away. The wood was bustling with movement and sound.
Today is February 1st, the day that the Celtic peoples call Imbolc, the first day of spring. The flowers are opening and the frogs will soon return to our ponds to breed. Look upwards to the sky.
Spring is coming!
- Think about the acorns that filled the floor of Nowhere Wood in September. How have they led to the birth of the new squirrels?
- What changes have you seen in your neighbourhood in the last few weeks since January?