I love winter, and I’m not afraid to say it. But, as the shooting season comes to a climatic-beaters’-day close I can’t help but feel like the end of the season also marks the end of the winter I love. It also feels a bit like the morning clean up after a really good party.
Today the food has been reduced to a container and a bucket for scooping by hand, the feeders are being piled up like a multicoloured plastic mountain and, like pathetic fallacy at its finest, the rain is beating down upon us. There is definitely a feeling of finality in the air. The birds are like the last party goers, with a few bedraggled hangers-on, lonely and deflated, showing their faces to see what the fuss is about before quickly darting back out of sight back to whatever comfort they can find. Where there once were hundreds, loud and rollicking, there is now but a few.
We go around and clear up the debris and bits and bobs now redundant and no longer needed, discarded like empty bottles of booze and stashed away like party games and shot glasses.
It’s all a bit lethargic and disheartening. This is when I start looking forward to spring: dark evenings have lost their novelty, log supplies are dwindling so we become more frugal with our fires, my stomach just can’t handle many more mug-fulls of hot chocolate, whipped cream and marshmallows and my waterproofs are crying out for a rest and even hibernation. Don’t even get me started on picth black early morning Mondays.
I’m happy to keep my knitwear and my boots, but my skin is desperately seeking some vitamin D and I’d like to not have to carry an umbrella everywhere ‘just in case’. Just a little more sunshine please?!
I also can’t help but indulge in some reflection of the season passed… having a laugh on the beaters’ wagon, tumblers of port, the satisfaction of firing shots (be it at bird or clay) and that feeling of being part of the best community there is.
So let’s hear it for a change in the season, blowing off those cobwebs, springtime walks, get togethers in pub gardens, reminiscing and most importantly, making plans for next season.