Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘general wittering’ Category

20190218_150556

We have been waiting anxiously for frogspawn this year, as this year is different.  My son decided to build a pond in his part of the garden,with a view to encouraging wildlife.  And the day after we filled the newly dug pond, wildlife came – first came the skaters, then the waterboat men.  The beetles scuttled about on the bottom of the pond, and damselflies flew around the top.  Twice I watched huge dragonflies lay eggs under the new lily pads.  But the ultimate five star rating is whether the frogs think it makes a good nursery.

His timing was perfect as the old pond is not doing so well – a lot due to my neglect – it needs clearing out but also it just isn’t holding water as well as it did – it is a raised pond and frankly I would like to dismantle it, but it did seem hard on the frog, toad and newt population. However, with  a new, more naturally designed, easier to get into pond in place, maybe I can.

I have been told by so many people that frogs will only go back to the same pond they were a tadpole in – and I believe this is essentially true – but thinking about that  time of year that the garden suddenly becomes completely stuffed with frogs – go out with a torch at night and all you see are eyes looking at you… you have to walk a shuffley walk to avoid frogicide….   I figured that any exhausted self respecting frog making his way up the garden – because, contrary to popular opinion, frogs don’t actually live in the pond they just mate there – and as he or she is hopping along they see an expanse of water, with a lovely easy beach instead of that stupid wall, and all in all .. they would think ‘that’ll do nicely’ and begin their love-in.

And I figured right, today was the day.  We have frogspawn. My son is delighted

So, although not technically the same pond, very close, and I shall add to my recordings.  I really will do a graph one day…

2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 02/2
2017 01/02
2018 03/02
2019 18/02

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

frogspawn

The frogs have decided it is spring, or at least two  of them have – and we have frog futures.  I spotted the first lot on Saturday.

It certainly has felt a bit spring like lately – driving me out of hibernation and back working in the garden,  but I guess frogs don’t watch the weather forecast as we have a week of very cold from the East – and I suspect the frogs will have to love again..

but to continue my observations re climate change according to the local frogs in a local pond:

2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 02/2
2017 01/02
2018 03/02

Just about on schedule then.

Read Full Post »

frogspawn 2017

The frog love in has been successful once more. This is the earliest to date, in the same pond, although only by one day:

2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 02/2
2017 01/02

I really should do a graph some time..

Read Full Post »

frogspawn

Looking through the years of recording, this is the earliest yet – which makes sense since it has been such a mild (and wet) winter. I hope they haven’t leapt in (see what I did there? ) too soon.

The records:
2007 14/2
2008 8/2
2009 13/3
2010 21/3
2011 26/2
2012 25/2
2013 9/3
2014 18/2
2015 20/2
2016 2/2

Read Full Post »

small blue
Today, I spent a fair bit of time sat in the shade of the big umbrella, needlefelting hedgehog pincushions, as you do. It’s bizarrely warm for April, I mean.. sitting outside.. in the shade! We’ve been barbecueing and walking in the evenings too. Far too nice a day to craft inside, in fact the house was colder than outside.
I brought my camera too, as I had a lot of company:
swallow
The swallows are very chatty, and sit on the telephone wire above my head telling it all. Behind me on the rosemary the bees carefully worked each tiny flower
honeybee and rosemary

pear

hellebores2
butterflies taunted me, an orangetip scooted by several times without stopping, and it took a lot of leaping up with the camera before I snapped a picture of the small blue. She seemed to like the marsh marigold, as did the bees
marsh marigold and bee

The flowering currant was covered in all types of bees, this, I think, is a tree bumblebee
tree bumble bee and flowering currant

Not a bad place to work

Read Full Post »

Knightshayes
Today I met up again with the lovely Rosie and her boys.
I know Rosie from the blogosphere, and her blog Eco-Gites of Lenault It’s nice to interact with someone going through the same sorts of experiences, re smallholding etc, albeit in a different country.

We met at Knightshayes, lunched and partook of cake, before touring the house, which is really interesting, and all the guide people were friendly and helpful

Untitled

We walked the grounds
Untitled
I really liked the fox and hounds topiary hedge
fox and hounds hedge

and am always jealous of the large walled kitchen garden. And perhaps the team of gardeners. They sure do grow a lot of rhubarb there..
Untitled

Obviously, that was all very tiring, so we were obliged to eat cake yet again – well it is Rosie’s cake holiday – it would be rude not to.

Read Full Post »

tawny owl

tawny owl
As well as working hard and eating too much over Easter we also had the tawny owl event.  This starts with Mr CIG waking me up to tell me he has let the hens out, put out food and water, the sheep are ok and by the way we have a tawny owl in the shed now. And with that he climbed back into bed.

A little while later I came to enough to question whether I had dreamt the bit about the owl.  You see, I am a bit of a  ‘night owl’ myself.. I’m not at my best in the mornings, but this did filter through. Yes, when he let the birds out, he found the poor little owl caught in the netting covering the run – we have to protect our flock and their eggs from jackdaws, crows and buzzards, all of which we have plenty, but owls work in our favour, hunting at night and killing vermin.  Once he had disentangled it, he set the owl down but it just sat there.  He was able to pick it up, so popped it in  a hutch in the dark and quiet, with some water.

We contacted the local owl rescue – they even have an owl emergency line, and we were told we had done everything right that the owl was unlikely to take flight in the day time and to try again at dusk.

So we left him alone, resisted the temptation to show him to family and friends and waited it out.  My son kept coming by to ask if it was dusk yet, as owls are one of his favourite things.
relaunch2
And when it was just getting dimpsy, we took the owl out – and he was far more alert now, all big eyes and trying his wings.  We balanced him on a post and waited and he took a moment to get his bearings, then eventually he took flight and took to the tall trees.  For once I was glad of those trees that shade our garden.
We often hear owls here, and we have seen them in the distance, but it was special, if unfortunate for the owl, for us to see one up close. I’m pretty sure he was unharmed and as we released him where he was found only a short while later, fairly sure he will do well.

This morning Mr Cig woke me to say he had done the early morning animal check, let the birds out, and everyone was ok. As he climbed back into bed, he added ‘and no extra owls’.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »