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Okay - I know I'm a bit late but this is my first opportunity to say Happy New Year. I hope it has got off to a terrific start for you and your friends and family. This is a great time of year to look forward and enjoy the prospects ahead, and I can definitely say I'm feeling inspired by all that nature has to offer all around me.

The first month of 2017 has seen me really busy, working my way through a list of commissioned artwork, from horse portraits to house names. I specialise in Scottish animals and wildlife, so this big fella was definitely out of my usual comfort zone - good thing I love tackling new subjects!

I'm really excited to get out and about and start photographing local wildlife for new projects on the horizon.

It's a good thing I don't need to hibernate through the winter, as my sleep pattern is being broken by nature. Tawny Owls are busy calling to one another, sorting out who's pairing up with who - and I often hear the distinctive cry of foxes long into the night.

An arctic blast paid us a swift visit earlier in the month, giving us enough time for a spot of sledging

- and making me feel as though I was living inside a snow globe -

The Witch Hazel in my garden is a welcome explosion of colour on dark dismal days, just a shame it doesn't stay in flower for longer.

This is also the earliest I've ever seen Primroses. Normally they're a sign of Spring, but a small cluster of yellow primroses has already opened in full flower on an exposed position in my garden. I have also spotted Snowdrops too.


* Snowdrops

* Witch Hazel

* Take a walk on a dry calm evening and listen out for those owls and foxes.


* Provide plenty of nuts/seeds/fruit/fatballs for all those hungry wee birds;

* Check the birds have water too

* Check any wee animal homes you have previously made. From time to time they may need a little 'vamp-up' if the weather has been rough.

Join me again next month to see what February has to offer. Till then ...


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