Having survived the Ides of March without major mishap and, although we can still see snow,
we feel that with the new moon
we can start early Equinox celebrations.
The bees have sucked dry the crocus flowers
But being in Wales we are or course surrounded by daffodils
they are everywhere
More exciting are the fritillary buds
and the signs that hedges are waking up
Trees are more reserved but signs can be seen
and profiles are changing
The birds are busy
gathering nesting material
They are also noisy, in the case of this Song Thrush in a good way
We were pleased to receive a Brambling visit
and are always happy to have the modest Dunnock around
The Woodpecker combines defiant colours with modest behaviour – always using the back of the feeders
So, as the sun shines
illuminating the buzzards overhead
and even making sheep look glamourous
we prepare the chair on the porch
pretending we will have some time to sit down during the next six months.
Seeds are very small. You can get a lot in a couple of boxes
So, with great enthusiasm, we start sowing them
Pop them in a nice warm place
where they happily germinate
Then they say they want bigger pots
so we have to oblige
These Broad Beans should be going outside but while they wait for a bed they need even bigger pots
and before you know it the greenhouse is full.
While we bring most things on in a protected environment it is nice to make some sowings direct into the soil
even if it is in the tunnel.
It was a bit early in the year to ask this salad to live up to its name
but we will have it on our plate before too long
and according to the Met Office the pressure drop seems to be sucking in a purple dragon ready to consume Wales
This is what it is forecast to bring us by tomorrow evening
The daffodils are just raising their heads, do they know?
The frogs have been busy, do they know?
James has weathered many a storm, he doesn’t need to know
Some of the elderly Cayuga ducks are past knowing
while the handsome young drake thinks he knows it all
The bumble bee is still busy, she knows what she needs to know
We know. And that is why we have spent today adding more meadow mix and wild flower seed to the orchard, ready to be watered in.
Autumn is usually the season for seed propagation but down at the Lake today
last year’s bulrush seems to have been biding its time
Its neighbour is a bit further on
spreading its seed
which will be able to float away… a couple of metres
We can’t wait to see the sprouting from our propagation efforts
trees here and also new hedging
where the Beech is starting to wake up
We know frogs are not very clever or maybe we should be thankful that
not all their spawn has results.
The first we spotted this year was in our woodland pond, which was sensible
But the second batch we saw was here
just waiting for a bit of rain to take it down here
So it was a bucket case
to move it to our big pond
where it might be safer
if you refer back to this entry, that might not be the case.
We have known frogs to deposit spawn in any furrow or damp depression. Bert just sees it as added protein if contributed to his damp depression
“Well, now, my bumblebee, go on a spree…
catch up with the ship on the sea,
go down secretly, get deep into a crack.”
It scans better in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian and not really sure why the bee wants to catch up with a ship.
As reported previously, the luscious crocus blooms
have been an irresistible snack for our bees
But over the last couple of days they have been joined by a visitor
The Queen Buff-tail Bumblebee… (just look at that lovely buff bum)…
hibernates and then emerges now as temperatures rise. She goes foraging to replenish her energy reserves, used up over winter.
She is carrying some mites
But unlike the disease spreading Varroa mites infecting honey bees that can give us cause for concern these mites that are found on bumblebees are different and generally completely harmless. They are detritivores that live in the bumblebee nests, eating old wax and general bee generated rubbish; when the nests are abandoned over winter this causes a problem for the mites, so they hitch a ride on queen bumblebees to get to the next active nest.
So, as she clambers from bloom to bloom
We wish her, and her hitchhikers, well
The sun is shining
seeds are sprouting
and it is time
to stock up on calories
and sing your heart out
and with any luck…
Word has got around that red can be attractive. Sometimes it sort of works
and sometimes it is more a matter of taste
Today the sun shone and the temperature soared to a dizzying 11 degrees.
Time for a bath
and a good flap
Down at the hives things are on the move
Word has got around of a feast to be had
Arriving to take a look
These anthers can be a bit bendy
but the pollen is certainly getting transported
Full load and setting off for home
This snowdrop clump was bouncing and vibrating with all the bee activity
and a contented buzzing was rising up
We are five days off the full “Snow Moon”
We, and the bees, hope it does not live up to its name.
As you can see here, from an early age Houdini lived up to her name (or rather she was named to fit her behaviour)
Today she persuaded Cagney, her (foster) mother, to fly over their fence, walk across our field and then fly into the field next door
where the grass was not greener.
They had to be walked
down to the bottom gate
round the corner, through our gate
up through the meadow
past the reception committee
and back inside
to be checked out by their favourite drake
and a little wing clip
Elsewhere, signs of life are increasing
As temperatures soar into balmy double figures
there are just a few remnants of the last week’s permafrost
Life comes bouncing back
Time to relax…
or to scrub the greenhouse roof
because the first inhabitants have poked up their shoots
The Camellia buds will now benefit from the warmer weather
The hens are pleased to be able to peck and scratch without bending their beaks and toes
while the Woodpecker still opts for the lazy option
So we welcome the new moon for a new start to what soon will become Spring