Tadpoles! We have tadpoles in our wee wildlife pond! I think there’s a newt and many minibeasts we’ve yet to name.
Watching the birds visiting the pond has helped us enormously in this life of lockdown.
I’d have never believed how useful the steps of the pond are. They’ve had the tiny feet of bluetits, robins and blackbirds stepping down them like the owl hopped down the books in Bagpuss. Two dunnocks tailed each other along the pond edge darting back and forth.
As I write a pigeon is emerging from the long grass beside the pond, waddling about, ducking its head watching, watching before dipping in.
And we try to count the tadpoles; twelve, thirteen? Who knows?
One visitor to the garden I’m afraid I don’t welcome quite so much are snails. I’ve supplied them with too many tasty dinners! That doesn’t stop me admiring their beautiful shells or their ability to travel and sneak into my little polytunnel and greenhouse.
I’ve just finished reading the book ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr. It opened my eyes to the scientific beauty of snails but still …
” COME ! ” said Old Shellover.
” What?” says Creep.
” The horny old Gardener’s fast asleep;
The fat cock Thrush
To his nest has gone;
And the dew shines bright
In the rising Moon;
Old Sallie Worm from her hole doth peep:
Come!” said Old Shellover.
” Ay!” said Creep.
Nothing is so beautiful as spring – Gerard Manley Hopkins
Birds are singing. Landing on the fencepost they pause, check all is clear, dart to the feeder and back to the post in the blink of an eye. A robin, blue tits, chaffinches. Magpies launch themselves at the fat ball holder, blackbirds peck at fallen seeds. Two pigeons, one fat, one thin, drink from the pond.
Flowers are opening, welcoming the sun. Crocuses, hellebores, cowslip, primroses. The tulips are appearing, still wrapped up tightly.
Glossy green leaves of the Laurel gleam in the shining sunlight.
The first giant bumblebee of the year buzzes past my ear.
Frog spawn wobbles in the pond and we stop to watch two woodpeckers on our walk.
Spring is here. The seasons roll on.
Wishing you all good health and peace.
I am reading ‘The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland’ by Catherine M.Valentine
I never think of myself as a non-fiction reader and yet here I am, having recently finished reading Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and one of my favourite summer reads this year was ‘Robbing The Bees’ by Holley Bishop. It’s a mixture of fact and fiction (faction, narrative non-fiction?) published in 2005 and hugely enjoyable.
The thing is though, it only heightened my wish to have bee hives. I’m like a child who wants a pet and is not thinking at all about the practicalities.
One of the things I love about going to farmshops and summer fairs is the chance to buy local honey and after reading Bishop’s book I’ve been left thinking that I should eat more honey, with all its health benefits. In fact I think I’m going to try to have a spoonful of honey every day. What a lovely thought!
I went away on holiday for two weeks. This must be every gardener’s dilemma, do I go on holiday just when the garden is looking good, when so much growth is happening, so many raspberries to pick, tomatoes to water? I’ve read as much as I can about looking after plants when I go away, I try my best then just have to hope.
Inevitably I return and spend happy moments with my head in the flowerbeds examining the growth and appreciating the lushness of Nature laid out before me. Yes, some fruit has gone over but there are ripe juicy raspberry bubbles left to pick and savour on my meanderings. There are potatoes to dig up, bursting up through the tongs of my fork from their hiding place in the dark, crumbling soil.
Not everything is rosy, my Kilmarnock willow looks distinctly sad, the wildflower patch didn’t take off as well as last year but I’m learning. It’s worth giving it a go, plant the seeds, they might grow.
Stunning cornflowers, starfaced borage, blousy lilies welcome me home and I have returned, inspired, fresh faced and with enthusiasm.
Cornflowers (grown from seed I collected last year- I’m so pleased about that!) and Borage.
I bought cornflower seeds in the spring, planted them, was truly amazed when they grew so well and then continued to flower for weeks and weeks.
Now I know what they mean when authors write ‘eyes of cornflower blue’.
They reminded my Mum of when she was a child.
I took photos, lots of them.
Bees, butterflies, hoverflies all visited my little wildflower garden.
Finally I collected the seeds. Tiny little shaving brushes. I’d remembered what the seeds looked like from when I sowed them. Quite different to anything I’d seen before.
So all in all a real success. I’m very glad I bought that one little packet of seeds. It was quite relaxing, sitting at the kitchen table sorting them out. Now they’re carefully stored and I’m looking forward to planting them next year.
Yet the borage, geraniums and cornflowers are still blooming. They’re not giving in yet!
Many times over the past month I’ve walked into a room thinking I’ve left a light on only to find it’s the warm, golden sun streaming through the windows.
It may be starting to get colder but the beauty of the autumnal light and the bright burning colours of the leaves are a real gift.
Mother Nature is teaching us again. Who else reminds us day by day, minute by minute to appreciate what we have before it is gone? Always with the reassurance that bright days will return.
For the cherry blossoms bursting forth are fleeting, the bright gaudy summer blooms will fade, the burnt reds and oranges of autumn leaves will fly away and the frost sketchings on our window panes will melt.
It’s in the name, seasons. Only there for a short time. Enjoy, revel, take time, notice, appreciate.
Do you have a favourite season and, if so, is it the one you were born in?