As a beautiful end to the year 2015, last night I noticed a kingfisher darting along the canal bank, swooping and skimming the surface of the water at great speed. The incredible flash of those saphire-blue feathers and that strange rust-coloured plumage on the undercarriage were unmistakable.
I went back this morning, but wasn't able to catch sight of it again on the canal or the watercourse running nearby, However, there were other things to draw attention.
Although the scenery did look rather sleepy in its wintery state, in the undergrowth and remaining foliage it seemed to be business as usual. The branches that seemed quite bare, albeit festooned in green-tinged Old Man's Beard, were in fact, active perches for numerous birds.
Back nearer the city, I came across a new intergenerational garden - for juniors and seniors alike - which is one of the latest steps in the improvement of this urban part of La Coulée Verte.
Although we are definately off-season at present, there was quite a lot of warm colour and 'busy' foliage! Marvellous marigolds, that just get hotter and hotter in colour...
This inspired me to go home in order to plant up my anemone bulbs - 50 in all - in the various pots on the balcony. I was thrilled to find that the bulbs that I had benevolently neglected since last Spring are starting to send out shoots - my best discovery being those on the Snakeshead fritillary. I just hope that there are no vine weevil larvae busily over-wintering in the soil too...
So, here's to a bright 2016. NewYear's Resolution? To get a new mud guard on my bike!