So yesterday was Candlemas, not actually something celebrated any longer, but to some extent made famous by the film Groundhog Day, which tells the story of this day in America. The day was ritually thought of as the day when our ancestors could discover if spring was on it’s way or not. Farmers strove to ensure half the fodder for their beasts was still left on this day. And yes there is a rhyme about the signs of winter losing it’s grip or still holding fast.

If Candlemas Day be dry and fair

The half o’ Winter’s to come and mair

If Candlemas Day be wet and foul

The half o’Winter’s gane at Yule

We had a very beautiful winter’s day yesterday, so it would seem we may be in for more wintry weather, if the rather Scottish rhyme is anything to go by.

I love the long low shadows and the fact that where the sun has yet to reach the frost is till on the ground.

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On Saturday I went out to pick some Candlemas bells, Snowdrops to you and me. For the first time in months I went out without my camera. I rarely leave the house without it because there is precious little to write about in the garden this time of the year, and what did I see? I saw an otter on the far bank of the stream on my route to the Walled Garden. It slithered out of the stream dark and wet, the colour of the stones in the photo below, holding an eel in it’s teeth. The eel was wriggling so he didn’t see me at first. He was too busy holding on to his pray. But as soon as I made a slight movement,  he slipped back in the water and disappeared. DSC_0010 rs


Here you can see that there are signs of burrowing in the bank.

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Much to the dog’s disgust, I go out without her regularly around the time I saw the otter, just to see if I can have another experience like it. Next time I’ll hopefully have my camera with me so I can share the experience.

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