With a single suggestion, JohnG in his comment below brought a jangling deep in the brain to the forefont: the situation fits Hardy's wonderful poem 'The Darkling Thrush' to perfection. Like Hardy, I had my epiphany, on New Year's Eve when even the walled garden of Fulham Palace seemed bare of interest in the grey and cold; only a few sprouts remained to be taken off their stalks.
Anticipation of 11pm, last midnight for Britain as far as continental Europe was concerned, intensified a plunge in mood, probably the most intense I've felt for a long while.
Then, against the irritation of the parakeets' shrieking, I head a more liquid tone. Two films, too big to upload here, apparently, start with two of those green cheekies high up, though the prolonged singing is worth it. Eventually, I found the songster, and filmed it directly, even if only for 21 seconds.
The river scene could hardly have been more different from Christmas Day, when I made a quick bike trip near sunset. Thus the 31st
and below, the 25th - what looks like 'seven swans a-swimming', fitting for the 31st, is in fact seven Canada geese in convoy. I used to berate these populous birds with their nasty poo messing up the lawns at Kew, but I love to see them gliding and flying up and down the Thames.
Xmas evening also gave us a very clear moon.
which somehow I still find more fascinating than the close conjunction of Saturn and Neptune - momentous because of the fact, but not in itself spectacular, two stars close together in the sky. With a telescope that would let you see Saturn's rings, sure.
Meanwhile there was an avian wonder to get excited about in a more recent stroll through Margravine Cemetery, very bird- and tree-rich. This bird, part of a flock flitting from tree to tree, I thought was a mistle thrush, as opposed to the song variety in Fulham Palace Gardens, but my ornithological friend Freddie says it's a redwing, like the ones we saw (but not so close) in the (now closed) London Wetland Centre the other week. In a couple of months, they'll fly back to Scandinavia or Iceland.
Old Brompton Cemetery is more spectacular to wander in than its Margravine counterpart, but less rich in diverse fauna. I did make a conscious effort to search for the first snowdrops, and found some where I always see them, to the left of the main avenue.
I even came across a solitary clump of daffodils; here's the sun lighting up one of them.
But I get ahead of myself, in more ways than one; my autumn photojournals are still not yet done, and I shan't give up. We need hope of more light at the moment, our darkest time in terms of another lockdown that's going to be the grimmest, even though there's more long-term hope. And I'm acutely aware of friends who are on their own. If you need a call and happen to be reading this, let me know.