February 04, 2010

This week in wildlife

The city is like a stage between two acts. Everywhere the evidence of last year's life is stilled or rots down: gardens are sodden tangles, the grass in the city parks is tired and thick with mud and the London planes stand black against the sky, their round seed-pods dangling like sullen baubles. Yet life is only paused, poised to spring back, any day now. 'Dit-dit-dit!' shout wrens from every thicket; those who have survived the snow are busy compiling a register of who's left and staking out new territories for spring. It won't be early this year, like last, but it's coming.