Winter is a quiet time: the trees are bare and most herbs have withered. Many animals are hibernating, others have left the country and some, as is the case for many insects, died when winter came. But then they had laid eggs to ensure that the next generation was secured.
On the other hand, visitors have arrived from the north: In Udkæret it is not rare to see exciting migratory guests, such as sea eagles and red kites.
Some years, large numbers of bramble finches pay a visit. It is called invasions. These arise when the birds' food supply fails in the north where they come from. Then they migrate south to look for food. Bramble finches prefer to eat beech mast, i.e. the fruit of the beech tree, and when there is no more of their favourite food left in the woods, they migrate further south.
If there is snow, the deer scrape away the snow to look for beech mast. However, with the passing of time, the animals are increasingly often seen on the wintergreen fields in and around the forest. If winter really closes in, however, the animals are helped by the forest workers who organize their cutting of trees so that the deer are offered a supplement to their diet in the form of fresh shoots on branches of ash and oak.
The time of Candlemas, at the beginning of February, is the coldest time of year. During severe winters, many deer die of hunger and cold. This also applies to birds, especially the small ones. But this is the natural order of things and it is usually the old and weak individuals that are lost. However, this means that come spring, the new generation has more space and easier access to food.
Already in the cold of February, however, the first signs of spring appear: the hares begin their mating games, and the raven lays eggs. The hazel bushes develop catkins and, soon, the first green shoots of stinging nettles and ramson appear.