It seems a long time since we planted the seed that led to tonight’s dinner
The salad we planted today should be ready a bit more quickly
We have some new arrivals
Hatched two days ago, ten chicks from fourteen eggs is a good brood. This one almost made it
struggling for over a day before it gave up.
A more mysterious fatality was this Red legged Partridge
which we found in one of the duck pools, where it may have been some time. This is not a species we have ever seen round here so whether it had been dropped from a great height or arrived by other means is a puzzle.
Another first today is visual evidence of possible nesting intentions – for the first time in this box which we have had up for several years
Some other glimpses of developing life
As the light fades this evening, a blackbird commands its territory
Its that time of year for everyone from ducks
to water boatmen (and boatwomen?)
Encouraging noises have been heard from the vicinity of the owl box
and the frogs’ heads start is showing progress
The potting shed has been fettled
soil is being prepared
and seeds are on the go
The poultry have been enjoying some chickweed
Some other Springings:
There may still be snow on the hills
but after an interminable time of rain and wind the skies are clearing
and light of an unfamiliar hue is allowed through
The lambs have to adjust, having previously thought they had been born to an aquatic species
As our eyes lift, no longer blurred by drips, we see new growth all around
The frogs have expanded their breeding ground into the polytunnel
and the Thrush is on territorial sentry duty
As the day ends this moon makes its first appearance
and we hope the imminent equinox will truly take us into Spring.
It has been very wet… and rather chilly…and a bit grey…
…time to zoom in a bit a look a little more closely.
The willow flowers are doing their silky thing
and then opening out into a mass of yellow anthers
Hazel catkins look a bit more spiky up close
Inside a hellebore
and who is living in this daffodil?
Only just noticed this blossom has started
Down in the Lake things are moving
heads are surfacing
limbs are stretched
and the chase is on
Once round the reeds
and down to business
Soon the shallows are filling up
But the next morning there is evidence of casualties in the night
These provide a good game of chase for the hens
and swallowing challenges for the ducks
We decide to use an infrared camera overnight to see who is attracted to this tender fare.
The frog eyes show up bright under the camera light
First visitor of the night:
Later, number two arrives
and then the third diner
Thankfully frogs seem to work on a theory of superabundance in their breeding so as to take their place in food chains seriously.
As Sara Coleridge observed:
March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.
Bit more than a breeze today
Birds needed to be quick to catch the feeders
Although the new “small bird” feeder, stuck firmly to the kitchen window, was well patronised
And as for the daffodils – not so much stirred as laid prostrate
Only at low levels could normal activity carry on