A springtime stroll

It was such beautiful weather in Cheshire at the weekend, it was decided that a stroll down the local country lanes was in order.

It’s amazing what can be seen while out for a little stroll.  There seemed to be quite a few butterflies fluttering about the wild verges.  Comma, tortoiseshell, orange tip and peacock butterflies danced about chasing each other.

Bees were also enjoying the sunshine buzzing, from one spring flower to the next.

A variety of birds tweeted merrily from the hedgerows.  Goldfinches, great tits and sparrows darted in and out of the hedges and trees.  Rooks and crows walked along freshly ploughed fields looking for worms and grubs: and 2 ducks sat in the water ditch along the side of the lane.

Walking down the lane I stopped to say hello to the remains of an old oak tree which stands on land that could have been subjected to fracking….what a horrific thought.

The area is so lucky to have locals, as well as lovely people at the fracking camp (that used to be on this land) and great crested newts that helped to protect the area.  I’m so glad that the field now has cows lazily grazing the lush green grass and it is a peaceful place to stand and ponder.

As I turned down the next lane I saw new buds on the chestnut trees, pussy willow bursting with catkins, and absolutely stunning blossom in the hedgerows.

I even saw animal trackways in the undergrowth, and I wondered what creatures use them at night.

Turning the next corner I could hear lambs bleating in the near-by field whilst the lion (from the zoo) roared loudly….I wonder what the local wildlife think of the roaring??

Homeward bound I stopped to watch the buzzard circling above and admire another beautiful oak tree.  This must be the earliest oak tree in the area as the others haven’t woken up yet.

It was a lovely walk and it is so nice to be out in nature admiring the beauty that springtime has to offer.

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Spring has sprung

At the beginning of March I wrote an article for the Cheshire Environmental Records Centre newsletter about the garden in springtime.  (You can read it here: Wildlife on your doorstep)

I can’t believe how much the garden has changed since then.  Drifts of snowdrops, crocuses and dwarf iris have faded away only to be replaced by stunning daffodil drifts, primroses and hellebores.

The garden looks lovely at the moment.  There are vibrant yellows, pastel purples, beautiful blues and pure whites.

Drifts of daffodils symbolise that spring has sprung and is now in full swing.  There are so many different varieties and every one of them is beautiful.

The primroses are also looking their best now adding vibrant colour under the trees whilst hellebores add pastel hues to the garden.  Hyacinths also look beautiful at the moment and their heady scent wafts down the garden.

If I had to choose my most favourite flower in the garden at the moment, I think I would choose….snakeshead fritillaria.  I think it’s such a delicate pretty flower.  The pastel shade of purple with chequered pattern is exquisite.

My favourite tree in the garden at the moment has to be the damson tree.  I absolutely love the the delicate pure white blossom and the hoverflies, bees and other insects adore it too.

It’s not just the plants that are taking centre stage in the garden though.  Wildlife is returning to the garden once more.  Those sleepy hedgehogs are waking up, frogs are relaxing under the hibernacula and newts are returning to the pond.

It’s lovely to see the hedgehogs waking up from their hibernation.  They have a big shake, a good old scratch and then waddle off to find food.  (You can see some hedgehog footage here)

The pond is absolutely teaming with life.  In the sunshine I can see caddisfly, flatworms, water daphne and waterlice.

I absolutely love sitting by the pond on a sunny spring day to watch the newts dancing about showing off to one another and laying their eggs on plant leaves.  (You can see some pondlife footage here though the newts are being shy)

 

Spring is such a lovely time of year, it really does lift your spirits.

The garden is bursting with life and colour now so get out there and enjoy it.