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It is a new year and resolutions abound! You cannot get away from it at all. Bill boards offer special deals at local gyms and televisions scream at you to try their ‘fat reducing products.’ A few weeks ago they were encouraging us to partake of all the festive goodies now they are trying to get us to shed the excess. That’s marketing for you! It is obviously effective, as I have heard from a reliable source that you cannot move in our local ‘sweat room.’  It is crammed with ‘do gooders’ and the regulars wait for the rush to wear off…….as it usually does.

Our resident red squirrel

Our resident red squirrel

As the grey days of January chill us to the bone, it is refreshing to experience the spirit of hope and renewal. A few animals have begun to venture out again having been snowed in for weeks. I have moved my writing table to the front room where I watch the comings and goings in my front garden. My resident red squirrel has a skip in his gait. He enthusiastically scurries about collecting up his stashed summer loot. He has taken to sitting at the front door on one of my chairs……utterly at home. He peers in the windows and has noticed my new position. He cheekily makes eye contact and flicks his tail my way. Maybe he has noticed the red fox that has been lurking around. Apparently they are partial to a bit of squirrel meat!

Our red fox

Our red fox

But the little creature that enchanted me the most is our resident ladybird. She has set up home in the kitchen on our window sill. I first noticed her in October last year before it became cold. She came inside and stayed! I did try to coax her out through the window but she was having nothing of it. I say ‘she’ as I like to think that a female has joined me in this all male household! Apparently she is an exotic and is known as the Multicoloured Asian Ladybug. They were brought into the US and released in Washington in the 1920’s to control the aphid population. They made their way up the coast and many have set themselves up here in Ontario. What a resourceful and resilient creature. She disappears for weeks at a time and then pops up to renew her acquaintance with the household. The French champagne brought her out last time. This lady has taste!

Lydia the ladybug

Lydia the ladybug

So we navigate through another new year with resolutions, renewed enthusiasm and the anticipation of the year ahead. A holly branch from our garden surprised me the other day. I had picked the stem 2 weeks before Christmas and it stood in water in the kitchen over the festive season.Well, it is covered in tiny white flowers…..and it has no roots either! Surely this burst of new growth is indicative of the exciting times that lie ahead!

They appeared out of nowhere.....tiny white flowers.

They appeared out of nowhere…..tiny white flowers.

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