Monday, January 11, 2010

Flora and Fauna of Regency England ~ January

by Ann Lethbridge

Weather

The weather has a huge impact on Flora an Fauna, naturally. Duh, you might say. but since we all live in vastly different climates I thought a bit of weather information might be of interest during this discussion.

In January 1814 the coldest temperature each day ranged from 3 degrees Fahrenheit (-16C) to 21.5 degrees F (-6C) Remembering that it will warm up during daylight hours - what there are of them. This was an exceedingly cold winter for England. Quite often it is warm enough to walk outside with a sweater, other times you need to be well bundled up.

Flora and Fauna

Not much going on at this time of year you might say. And to be honest many of the creatures I have posted about before appear in the winter too. Our Naturist has, among other things, this to say:

Linnets (fringilla linota) congregate; and rooks (corvus frugilegus) resort to their nest trees. The house-sparrow (fringilla domestica) chirps; the bat (vespertilio) appears; spiders shoot out their webs; the blackbird (turdus merula) whistles; and the skylark sings. The titmouse (parus) pulls straw out of the thatch in search of insects. This bird is also very active in climbing and running about the trees for the same purpose, and the redbreasts search about the holes of walls for snails.


In other words he says there is a great deal of spring-like activity happening already.

As you can see, I picked one of my favorite birds, called the titmouse in the diary, it is also commonly known as the blue tit these days. It is very acrobatic.

The naturist also tells us that marauders such as the fox and the polecat invade farms when there is little to eat in the wild. Our Regency farmers would not be happy about them. Polecats are interesting creatures. They are mainly nocturnal and are found in woodlands, farmlands and wetlands. They often make dens in stream banks or under tree roots and feed l on small mammals such as voles and rat and also on frogs.

Until next time, happy rambles.