Monday, March 29, 2010

mass hatch

despite the long cold period, there has been a mass hatch of frog spawn in the last few days. These tadpoles are mostly still in clumps, I guess because they are feeding off the last remnants of the protein in their egg sacs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

catkin cascade

making up for lost time, the wood anenomes are coming out with the water dogs and daffodils

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

there at last

well, that didn't take long.

almost there

a bit more warmth and our native daffodils will be out, meanwhile Spot and Harriet are practising a concept quite new to them, cooperation.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

even more browner things

Has Spring failed? Not quite. In fact when we looked back over Spot's private archives going back to 2000, several Springs have been like this, although never so dry. And if you are wondering how long a sparrow might stay on a feeder full of peanuts larger than the mesh, I know a man who has an answer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the great escape

"don't worry lambkin it is only a car full of dogs".

No one knows to whom these runaways belong. It looked very like the morning school run.

Monday, March 15, 2010

crossing the Zambesi and other boaring stories

the pack bravely crossing the mighty Inny. On the other side there were some unusual signs of much grubbing around, including areas of grass stripped off. These look suspiciously like the activities of escaped pigs or even possibly wild boars, which were released from a farm not far from us a few years ago. On the other side of the bank we found this large pawprint, definitely not a horse, and big for the small deer that live in the woods locally ... but not obviously with dew claws like a boar (see this link for an interesting guide to field signs of wild boar).

the road up to our village

the daffodils on the hill up to the village have been out since December (because of the mixture of early and late varieties). In the distance to the right the Temple is visible (see earlier photo) watched over by the large dairy herd.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

walk 3 ...

more evidence of how our world has turned brown including one solitary celandine peeping through the fallen leaves.

walk 2 ...and the butterbur

the butterbur is late this year. This is giant butterbur, rather than our native butterbur which is much pinker

walk 1 ...and so it was

somewhat earlier than usual, but there nevertheless as anticipated, the gruesome purple toothwort. Not a speck of green, although some celandine is growing up through the bed of toothwort

Saturday, March 13, 2010

orange things

last night's fiery sunset, and some fresh scarlet elf cups from this morning's walk. People are saying that this Spring will be very exuberant because the cold has delayed most plants and everything will come into flower at once. Elf cups appear in late winter and early Spring. Tomorrow we might go in search of the purple toothwort

Thursday, March 11, 2010

a brown time

one of the stranger consequences of this long cold dry period is that everything has turned a light brown. Normally at this time of year (and all year) Cornwall is a rich vivid green. But no grass is growing yet, and the landscape looks as if Nature has taken to painting in watercolours. The sun is still quite low in the sky and in the morning and evening the world around us has taken on a novel hue.

For the last couple of weeks a pair of jackdaws have taken to sitting in a fir tree overlooking our garden. One of them is making a sound like a creaking branch or a very rough purr. I can't find any reference to this call but I assume it is a love poem. They are very interesting birds.

the road to Down House

the little lane down to Down House is once again full of colour, and the first Spring daffodils are coming into flower with the snowdrops and crocuses

please take me for a walk

Some creatures have started their work for the year. Some are just lounging about looking pathetic

Monday, March 08, 2010

a thicket of thorns

the male wrens are chirping away very vigorously, and are often very hard to see in the hedges and thickets. As the link says they have very loud voices for such diminutive birds. I also like the idea (probably due to my lack of classical education) that they are the cave dwellers' cave dweller.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


it has been a very sunny but chilly day. For a change we went for a walk at Seaton. There was not much to see just yet but it is a very pretty wooded valley and a popular place to walk the dogs on a Sunday morning. And every one was happy and smiling.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

the first one of the year

ladybird looking a bit drowsy, still trying to hibernate, one of the markers of Spring which we are meant to record

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Monday, March 01, 2010

St David's day

not our native daffodils, but a celebration of St David's day anyway at the entrance to Khyl Cober, a little housing estate on the way into the village