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January - We'll See What's Going on in Nature.

January is the month of rest for plants and trees in parks and gardens. Therefore, green areas at this time require little care, and birds need to be fed. This is time when the lowest temperature of the year and the most abundant snowfall are recorded.

This year, however, was different for me. The temperature outside was much higher than usual, sometimes even hovering around 11 degrees Celsius. I don't remember such a warm winter. This is weather more typically seen in early spring or late autumn.

When we think of January we think of snow and frost, needing to wear a scarf and a hat, and the hibernation period of plants, trees and animals.

It is worth remembering that the January aura can sometimes surprise like it has this year with the long-lasting mild temperatures outside. But not all nature is dormant this time of year. Some plants are just getting ready to bloom.

When going to the park or looking at a garden, we will notice that some plants are starting their growing season and a few species are even blooming.

Typical January flowering plants in temperate climates include heath (Erica), colchicum, witch hazel, hazel or Daphne mezereum.

Heather (Erica) is a small shrub with evergreen leaves that often blooms as early as December.

Of the early flowering trees, Hazel is the one that blooms in January. You can often find this tree blooming in colors from green to yellow and there are even varieties with purple flowers. They are most often seen in parks or around small lakes.

  1. Colchicum 2. Heath (Erica) 3.Hazel tree male flowers (Corylus Avellana) 4. Hazel men flowers yellow catkins

We usually think of the first blooming flowers as those blooming in the spring, such as snowdrops or crocuses, but various species of flowers and perennials are already blooming a few months before then. They bloom suddenly, sometimes appear above the white snow and at the same time smell beautifully, which only intensifies pleasant feelings during walks in parks and gardens.

Bulb flowers - crocuses, snowdrops and Rhododendron - January 2023

One of these is the hellebore (Helleborus). Depending on the species, the first flowers of hellebores appear before Christmas. That is why this flower is commonly called the Christmas rose. The flowers have five petals and are star-shaped. They are mostly white in color but can also be pink and dark red.

Dogwood, willow, candytuft and snowdrops are also blooming at the same time. The latter is the easiest to see and is perhaps the most characteristic of this month.

Camellia is a shrub that blooms in January and winter. I think they look even more beautiful than roses.

Right here on my trips to Quarry Bank Cheshire National Trust I came across flowers with a fantastic pink color.

In January, trees and shrubs are bare of leaves. Most plants overwinter in the form of seeds, rhizomes, tubers and bulbs. Coniferous trees (spruce and fir) and evergreens (ivy, juniper and periwinkle) remain green.

Evergreen Ivy climbing on the  Pine tree bark - at Alexandra Park Oldham - January 2023
Evergreen Ivy climbing on the Pine tree bark - at Alexandra Park Oldham - January 2023

Most of the birds have migrated to warmer areas but you can often see those that winter here such as ravens, tits, jays and blackbirds.

Raven landing on the field with food in beak - Alexandra Park Oldham - January 2023
Raven landing on the field with food in beak - Alexandra Park Oldham - January 2023

Many people associate January with gray and cold and with shorter days. This type of weather and surroundings can often make us feel down and melancholy. Our energy and motivation drops dramatically from lack of vitamin D from the sun's rays.

Can you improve your mood in January?

For me, the best therapy to combat the winter blues is spending more time outdoors, listening to the sounds and watching nature, whether in the park or garden, or sometimes looking out the window.

The relaxing singing of birds has a positive, soothing and relaxing effect on our health and mood.

I love watching birds at any time of the year, but especially in January when there are no flowers and green trees around. That's why I plan to go birdwatching between January 27 and 29, when there is a so-called winter bird count organized by RBS.

January's Big Garden Birdwatch is free and simple and anyone can take part. You can go outside or stay at home and look out your window for about an hour and count the birds. You don't need a garden to participate. You can also watch and count birds from your balcony or in your local park. This can help monitor bird travel and abundance in the wild as well as in relation to the climate emergency.

Attracting birds

January is definitely the month for feeding birds, because it is a particularly difficult month for them to find food. Our feathered guests have less opportunities to search for food and additionally they need more energy for their search. If we want to attract a bird to our garden, let's not neglect them in January when they need the food the most. Let's make sure that there is a portion of food every day either in the feeder or on the birds tables.

Birds that get used to such "canteens", of course, will come back every year. It is also worth planting trees and shrubs for birds in the fall, so they have more sources of food in the winter.

You don't have a garden? No problem, because even a small window feeder will encourage birds to come to you.

Let`s de-stress and listening to calming, relaxing birds chirping and singing. To enjoy streaming the beautiful sound of bird song, just click on the button below.


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