SPRING, it must surely be around the corner, isn’t it?
The earth is apparently heating up, but I don’t know about you but to me it feels like the inception of the next ice age! Weather forecasters have predicted that we may not see a rise to normal temperatures until the end of April, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to grin and bear it.
To be honest, the wintry conditions don’t bother me too much, but it does have serious consequences for some folk who have been particularly badly hit.
The images this week of farmers pulling dead sheep and lambs from snow drifts were particularly sad. The harrowing pictures of the poor sheep, along with the dejection etched across the farmers’ faces, left me filled with sympathy for their plight. The manner in which the sheep had died was awful, as was the realisation that this was people’s livelihoods at stake. One farmer lamented: “I’ve worked hard all year and in 24 hours I’ve lost everything.” It reminded me that there is no force quite like Mother Nature, which can be the cruellest of beasts.
What’s more I began to realise the impact the wintry conditions will be having on some of our wildlife. Hedgehogs, or hog-hogs as I called them as
a child, are decreasing in numbers. What will the effects of this weather be having on them? Heck, even the smokers at the front doors of pubs are dwindling badly. Now there’s an accurate cold weather barometer if ever there was one!
But joking aside, and getting back to our spiky friends. Of course, they hibernate, but will the poor creatures have conserved enough energy to see them through a prolonged winter period? Will buzzards, kestrels, owls and other feathery predators be able to find prey in the snow-covered countryside?
All that said, it’s not quite Antarctica, so I’m hopeful most of our wildlife will have evolved enough to adapt to the freezing temperatures. There is no doubt, though, that a large proportion of mammals and birds will be finding it difficult at the moment. Aren’t we humans lucky that we survive relatively easily without really trying, when certain creatures are stretched to their limits?
It also makes me feel a little ashamed that I’ve complained about this “unseasonably cold weather” so many times.
I know who to blame for the big-freeze anyway . . . the government. Okay, I’m clutching at straws here but I needed someone to blame.
Happy Easter folks!