Spring is in the air.
The clocks have gone forward for British Summer Time, which will unsettle the dog for a few weeks.
We are seeing signs of Spring here. Yellow is the colour, not only the sun, but the glorious displays of daffodils and our first sighting of a brimstone butterfly as it fluttered by on its way in search of a mate.
On a less than welcome note, the dandelion ‘satellite’ heads are starting to show in our back lawn.
With warmer temperatures today, we both managed our afternoon walk with no coats or cardigans. The various greens in the forest are bright and cheerful now compared to a week or so ago when they were grey and sluggish. This wooded wonderland is coming to life after the cold of winter.
Last night on our walk up the lane, there was movement on the road, and torchlight showed that the frogs are off a-wooing. This particular single track is renowned for the multitudes of these amphibians and we are very careful where we tread.
The first time Maggie came across one, she squeaked in surprise as it hopped over her nose, but she has never made any effort to chase or pester them. We have no pond in our garden, but we will see tiny frogs in the grass before too long. We will also disturb them when we move our wheelie bins as they tend to lurk underneath, I suppose out of the way of predators or the heat of a summer’s day.
We get toads too. They’re not nearly as cute as frogs, but they have a certain charm if you are into pond life. We unintentionally evicted two rather large brutes from alongside our garage when we were addressing our ‘non-soakaway’ problems a few years ago. They were not very pleased but ambled off into the undergrowth. Whereas frogs hop, toads creep one limb at a time. Our headlights catch several on summer nights in the road, creatures in no hurry as they continue on their way.
Evidence in the garden suggests the hedgehogs are coming out of hibernation. They hold their own fascination for us, and if you intend to put food out, please, NOT milk and bread as their digestive systems can’t handle it.
Ducks on the river are protective of their babies, tiny fluffballs frantically paddling in the water to keep up with the adults. Most are brown and gold, but occasionally there is an all yellow duckling, which is a reminder that Easter is not that far away.
Already the chorus of birds in the buddlia bush, which will later be a haven for butterflies, and our hedge is almost deafening as they welcome the warm rays of the sun and the buds of spring in the trees. As the months progress, the first broods of new chicks will be chirping for their dinner.
Two robins were having a turf war, the dividing line being the bird table which is open to all. They parted, slightly ruffled, each to his own side of the garden, pride, feathers and bodies intact.
I am hoping the song thrushes will be back this year. We had a family of 5 visit our garden the year before last, but only a solitary pair last summer.