So where did April go then?

When March eases into April we know that some people start looking for signs of Spring. We however keep our eyes turned down knowing that mud, wind, frost and rain will be our just deserts. Now, as the month comes to an end, in our peripheral vision we glimpse greening tree buds and other signs that things may be afoot.

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As May is the most perfect of months we enter it with trepidation because we need everything to slow down so each hour is as a day.

Through the rectangular window…

Seen while at the kitchen sink today:

A pair of Great Tits visit the feeder together – presumably she is not yet sitting, maybe laying somewhere?
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We think we have five pairs of Blackbirds on our plot – their territories must be quite small.
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As far as we can tell. the Nuthatch is still mate-less. He tries to keep his pecker up.
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The Vole checks the coast is clear before visiting the feeder.
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The Shrew likes to move fast
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The Chaffinch tends to see off all comers
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It is always a pleasure to see the Dunnock – a bird that keeps itself to itself
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House Sparrows were once two a penny but are now a valued presence
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The Wood Mouse, with its Disney eyes, is always compelling
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Meanwhile, Bert dreams of… who knows what
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April (snow) showers

We wake up to a sprinkling of snow on the hills
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and some small offerings a bit closer
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But despite the brisk northerly breeze, the sun is never far off
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making the wallflowers glow
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and highlighting meadow flowers
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We are working to catch more of the sun down here
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Simply a matter of moving a pile of surplus top soil
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to build up a south facing bank behind The Lake
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Keeping things flowing

As things hot up

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We make some tweaks to the Green House irrigation.

We inherited some wooden benches and this year, as an experiment, added a low rim, lined with plastic, and then with capillary matting
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Added leaky hose round the edges
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controlled from a manifold
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a short burst through the hose keeps the matting wet and then, as long as the potting medium starts off damp, capillary action means the pots and modules never dry out. If the bench accidentally gets a bit too watery then a bit of capillary matting hung over the side quickly drains the excess into a bucket
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But… the slatted nature of the original benches
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meant there was not guaranteed contact between pots and matting. So today we lay hardboard under the matting
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to create a billiard table smoothness. (Obviously in the next version the hardboard will be under the plastic.

One advantage of this system is that every inch of bench space can be easily utilised
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Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

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The Bees and the Birds

Sunny days
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but when the sun goes down
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chilly nights roll in
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Dinah and family, after spending time looking at greener grass
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make up a cosy bed
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We make preparations to increase our livestock by about 50,000
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There are queues at the bird feeders
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with a lot of nesting activity underway
One wren has a home tucked into the side of the house
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and the nuthatch gets excited as a mate might have been spotted
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Work continues to build up a bank behind the lake
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while life in the water continues to multiply
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Indoor growing space slowly increases
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and we get hints of luscious harvests ahead
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Our experiment with growing some tomatoes from seed extracted from bought fruit has resulted in germination
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and the greenhouse fills up with seedlings awaiting planting out
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Beetroot already braves the outdoors
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We are determined to keep track of tomato varieties this year so we know what we like
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The compost toilet gets a springclean
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Pethan eraill yn y tyddyn heddiw:

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