Sunday, 28 April 2013

a daily walk and the first cuckoo

We have one car in the family now, a change which has required some adjustment to our routines as we make sure it is in the right place at the right time depending which one of us needs it. On a weekday I drive my husband to the railway station (we are lucky to live in a village with a station) first thing in the morning and then I have use of the car during the day. In late afternoon I drive the car to the station and leave it in the car park ready for him when he returns and I walk the couple of miles home.

At this time of year it is a lovely walk - here a few photographs from last week.

The hawthorn hedges near the railway station are sprouting more fresh green leaves each day, no flowers yet but the buds are formed and growing.

The blackthorn is perfect, frothy white blossom along the footpath.

At the bottom of the hill the ground has been flooded for extended periods during this long wet winter. The fields have dried out now but in many areas nothing has grown. A cereal crop (probably wheat) has been planted but there will be a much reduced yield for the farmer from this field.

We have had a few April showers but not too much rain and the stream is more or less back to its normal level.

Piles of logs are piled beside the lane waiting to be taken away.

Looking across the field I can see that the little woodland on the far side has been thinned out considerably.

I looked back through my photographs to find a before picture for comparison - below is the same shot in february 2012.

The trees in the photograph below are oak on the left and ash on the right.

"When the oak comes before the ash,
Then be ready for a splash.
When the ash before the oak,
Then be ready for a soak."

This year the ash seems to be more forward than the oak - maybe a wet summer.

I took these pictures last Wednesday, the 24th April and nearing the end of my walk home I heard the cuckoo for the first time this year. Cuckoos are declining in the UK so I am always pleased to hear the familiar call.

The cuckoo comes in April,
Sings her song in May,
In June she sings another tune,
In July she flies away.

A little record of my daily walk, perhaps I will post again later in the year and notice the changes along the way.

Friday, 19 April 2013

gentle spring

The temperature is rising, there are fewer clouds and more blue in the sky

and slowly, gently spring is appearing. From the blackthorn blossom reaching skyward

to the delicate wood anemone on the woodland floor, spring is spreading softly through the countryside.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

a day in my life

Yesterday was the 13th, the date I am posting my "day in my life" posts this year. I didn't take many photographs because it was dull and raining most of the day.

I took the photograph of the trees just outside our garden when I went out first thing to hang out the washing (a very bad idea since we were out all day and it rained for most of it - the whole lot was absolutely sodden when I returned). The trees look much the same as in the previous three months, I'm looking forward to seeing some green leaves soon.

I took these photographs of the garden which is looking quite pretty at the moment.

Then we were out all day taking younger son back to university. We stopped for coffee, did a supermarket shop and had lunch. During this time it poured with rain so we left him early and made our way home. This is a short term for him, a couple of weeks of lectures, then exams and before we know it he will be home for the summer holidays.

Back at home I spent some time spinning. I can't remember what tthis is, possibly bluefaced leicester. I have about 100g and I think it will become a scarf or cowl.

So that was my day, a short post and few photographs but in the future, it will remind me of the times when we packed up the car taking the boys to or from university at the beginning and end of each term.

Thursday, 11 April 2013


Today I returned home to find frogspawn in our little pond. There is much talk about how late spring is this year, apparently up to three to four weeks later than last year.

I have posted photographs of the first frogspawn before

in 2007 - 27th February

in 2008 - 26th February

in 2010 - 21st March

and then this year  - 11th April.

A range of several weeks, but looking back at the photographs, the plants around the pond look to be at similar stages each year. This would make sense, there would be no point in the frogspawn being produced unless the rest of the food web that the tadpoles will depend on is also at the right stage.

It is interesting to look back and note the differences between the years.

Friday, 5 April 2013

spring at last

It has been a quiet Easter holiday and I don't have much in the way of photographs and news. The weather is still unseasonably cold but spring flowers are appearing and I am tired of seeing the snowy and grey pictures in my last posts.

Pastel coloured flowers and fresh pale green leaves and buds are a welcome change and reassure me that spring is on its way in my garden.