January holds thirty-one precious days. In the Northern hemisphere these will be cold, cutting, icy, windy, bitter, rain-filled and interspersed with snowfall. The word January means door, doorway or gateway to the year. Its origins fall back in time to the Romans who worshipped amongst others, a god who was reputed to wear two faces and was known as Janus or Ianuarius. Ianua was a Latin word used for door.
The birds are struggling to find adequate pickings this month and there has been a steep decline in the magpie population. Previous milder winters has caused an explosion in the population of the crow family but this year there is noticeably less of them visiting the garden for food. There have been more blackbird and thrushes flying in and prepared to join each other at the dinner table which is most unusual. Blackbird, thrush and robin are very territorial and usually will fight off other members of the same family when their territory has been breached by another. The cold weather appears to have brought out a softer more tolerant side to their natures as they, for once, are prepared to share any offerings to stave of hunger or starvation.