The Christmas card is now on my bradwan homepage.

It rained heavily this morning, so the snow has gone or is compacted, and the ice started to melt.

I did two heavy shops today. I shop with a large rucksack and either carry it all the way back or use a bus for most of the way.

The first shop was local, one collection of drugs for each parent, with a chat to the manager of the chemist about the mad world of Watkins. I also got birdseed, flowers for dad (to give to mum), his daily fix of bad news and outrage, and liquids.

The second trip was to town. I cannot walk along ice and snow covered pavements without trying to clear a way for those that follow, and if there is melt water that just adds to the joy of the challenge. It is tiring though.

I bought fruit and more liquid, I was going to get a bus, but saw a very wet queen bumble bee crawling across the pavement outside a hamburger joint. I left her crawl on my finger and tried to give her some glucose tablet melted with snow (human spit is poisonous to insects). I cannot be sure she took any, She cleaned itself very clumsily.

She crawled around my hands a few times and tried to go up my sleeve (I could feel the hooks in the end of her legs). A few people stopped to watch and ask questions as it was moving, and I then had the issue of what to do next. It had obviously been woken from hibernation, perhaps by melting snow wash out or dislodging its resting place. I thought about putting it in a hole in a post or building, but any such hole is likely to have a spider. I finally decided to carry it to dad’s disused shed, on my hand.

She spent most of the journey with her head in the space between the bottom of two fingers. Near home she started to move about much more freely. I took her up to an ivy covered oak tree and she flew off before I could try and place her.

If it does not freeze tonight she has a slim chance of surviving, but a fatter one than she had before I saw her on the pavement (btw. queen bees have no sting).