Sunday, March 31, 2013

glad to be out!

not only the magpies are frisky today

Easter primroses

these primroses, in a small patch on the road into our village, are an unusually rich buttery yellow (compared with the normal pale yellow see post below)

four for a boy

In addition to all the other birds a group of magpies have started hanging around. I am not quite sure what they are up to, (courting?),  but usually it is trouble.

Friday, March 29, 2013

at the Venterdon motorway service station

It has been a hectic Good Friday get away at the bird feeders this afternoon. I don't know whether there is a specific collective noun for green finches but a gang of them (holiday makers, I suspect) descended on the garden and proceeded to harass the locals. There is definitely something in the air today (snow?) that is exciting our avian visitors.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


                                         Upon this Primrose hill,
                                         Where, if Heav'n would distil
                                         A shower of rain, each several drop might go
                                         To his own primrose, and grow manna so;
                                         And where their form and their infinity
                                         Make a terrestrial Galaxy,
                                         As the small stars do in the sky:

from a poem by John Donne

worm hunting

One of the pair of mistle thrushes that has decided to nest in our garden. They hunt like blackbirds, occasionally cocking an ear to the ground to listen for grubs or worms. They have a very easy to recognise alarm call that sounds like a loud rattle .... brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr which sums up the weather as well.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

late opening

well, something is trying to get out and pretend it's Spring. And what about this for an amazing discovery in the parish (link to Old School News, Stoke Climsland, April 2013). Can't get enough of old bones myself.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

picked clean

this is the skull and upper jaw of a female fallow deer. The teeth are incredibly sharp, just right for chewing bark off trees. Harriet found this trophy and then demolished it.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring clean

Female blackbird taking a bath. Blackbirds seem to be particularly keen on washing their feathers.

Friday, March 15, 2013

light in the lanes

Storm clouds ahead on a sunny evening. We are lingering somewhere between Winter and Spring. When Spring finally comes it is going to be short and very energetic and everything will be out at the same time, more like North America than our usual languid season.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

squeezed out

One indignant goldfinch unable to get to the nyger seed feeder because of a pair of hungry bullfinches. This may be the same pair who bred successfully somewhere in the garden last year

Saturday, March 09, 2013

camellia time

much later than some years but about the same time as last year the camellia is a welcome sign that the plants are stirring.

Friday, March 08, 2013

des res Cornwall part 2

I am not sure what is going on with our house sparrows but they seem to be jostling for squatters' rights.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

on a happier note

hellebore (green I think rather than stinking which is supposed to have a crimson border to the flower, but it looks more yellow than green (!)) brightening up the junction by the duckpond.When I last photographed this plant in 2008 (see link) I thought it was the stinking variety. It shows how variable plants can be in their appearance.

Monday, March 04, 2013

a waste of Spring

Sadly, flowers are not the only things to be found growing in the lanes. These waste tips have appeared by the side of Rowden lane, a bridle path. It is not easy to access this area and it must take some effort to get a trailer loaded with rubbish here and dump it, why not use that effort to get rid of the waste legally? I have made this point  before several times (to no avail of course); it is so sad to see the countryside abused and violated in this way.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Cornish daffodils

The recent cold dull weather has brought Spring to a grinding halt, but here and there are signs of the slow emergence of the first of our native harbingers of Spring. In the river valleys locally these slender and very beautiful little native daffodils are just starting to flower. Plus common dog.