Holly green and berries red,
cut and stacked up in the shed.
Soon it will be brought inside
to bring us joy this Yuletide.

(Continuing the slightly flippant theme!)


Holly with red berries
now cut and in the shed.
I got in quick before the birds,
they're welcome to the rest.
Soon I'll bring it in the house
and bedeck the hall,
begin the merry-making
and wish all a blessed Yule.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I am taking my usual Christmas break so this will be my last post until the New Year. I wish all my readers the happiest of celebrations over the coming weeks and hope you all stay safe and healthy. See you in January.



singing merrily
in holly tree,
hidden among the branches.


In my dream the snows have come,
dancing lightly, like fairies,
on the leaves of the holly.


Missed by the birds,
a few red berries
linger on the holly —
ruby surprise!


Earlier in the month I wrote about the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch. Although I didn’t take part this year I still watch the birds in my garden.  When I do take part it so often happens that I watch for the assigned hour and don’t seem to see many varieties of birds at all, then as soon as the time is over something less frequent than the sparrows, blackbirds, robins and blue-tits turns up, such as a nuthatch. It’s almost as if they do it on purpose, but by not being counted is the survey getting an accurate view of the birds in my area?


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A few days ago I was watching through my kitchen window whilst drinking my mid-morning coffee and I saw a Redwing. For those who don’t know, this is a variety of small thrush that winters in the UK, coming, I believe, from Scandinavia. They are recognisable by the flash of red below the wings. Now, I have seen Redwings in the Autumn in my garden at the front of the house where small flocks fly in and gorge on the berries of the cotoneaster hedge that lines our driveway and on the smooth leaved holly amongst the trees along our front boundary.

Some years they don’t appear at all but they did come last Autumn. However, I have never previously noticed any in the back garden and certainly not one on its own or at this time of the year. It hung around most of the day with no sign of a flock to be seen. I was so surprised I even got out the binoculars and my bird ID book to check what it was even though I was absolutely sure. I pointed it out to my son and hubby. Son Chris, not the most observant of nature watchers, didn’t think he’d ever seen one before so I read to him from my bird book:

“Small, sociable thrush. Often gathers in flocks in fields, scarcer in gardens.”

“That’ll be a Scarcer then,” he quipped.

Hubby quickly responded “Yes, it’s from Liverpool!”


A pair of fledgling sparrows
huddle together in the holly bush
sheltering from the rain,
while mum and dad flit
in and out with titbits.

Noble Oak

The noble Oak
holds on to his russet leaves,
staving off the time
when Holly will take his crown.


The house looks bare,
the tinsel’s gone,
the baubles packed away,

no holly swags
now deck the halls,
no berries bright and gay.

Our feasting’s done,
just echoes now,
no carols left to sing,

but all around
I see the signs;
soon it will be Spring.


Red berry gobblers have stripped the holly
almost overnight!
I have salvaged the few bits they missed,
for Christmas.

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