Tag Archives: Robins

Wildflower drives and robins

A wet and cold May has been followed by a dry and cool spell here in Ireland. Unusually we are having stiff cool breezes which have been keeping temperatures in the low teens (degrees Celsius) and also drying out the soil. You would think that would be a good thing but it is hard for seeds to germinate when the top surface of the soil is being blown dry.

One of the advantages of the wet May is that our gravel drive is looking particularly colourful with wildflowers as they are probably benefiting from the extra moisture. I thought this photo would work well for the street theme of last week’s day two of the photo101 course. You can see clover (red and white), daisies, buttercups, but there are also wild strawberries and ox-eyed daisies not in view.

Wildflower 'street'

Wildflower ‘street’

Meanwhile, in the vegetable plot, I have made a little friend. He seems to have a particular fondness of leatherjackets (larva of the cranefly/daddy-long-legs) and for the last ten days has come whenever I go into the garden and start digging. There is nothing like getting close to wild animals and both the kids have also enjoyed the experience of him coming within a foot of them. For kids and adults alike connecting with nature is in my opinion vital for our own well being and that of mother earth (Day six theme photo101-Connect)

Robin

Robin

 

Is Spring Coming?

As we enter the final week of January, it does seem that spring is on the way. In the polytunnel some self-seeded rocket has already germinated. I cleared away the weeds, in the hope it will continue to grow. Rocket is one my my favorite salad crops. Meanwhile the broad-bean seeds that my daughter and I had planted in pots a week or so ago had disappeared (well, all but one). I suspect a mouse is to blame. So we replanted and this time popped a piece of glass over the top of the pots!

Then yesterday, out for a walk at Turlough near the Country Life Museum we spotted some daffodils in flower!

Daffodil

Daffodil

Our own daffodil leaves are only just appearing above the grass, so the above is definitely early. A lady out walking her dog pointed out a lovely bunch of snowdrops – she called them ‘Bridget Flowers’, which she said was a local name for them. I haven’t heard them called this before but Saint Bridget’s day is the first of February, so can see the connection.

In the garden, we cut back the autumn raspberry canes. I watched two robins busy searching for tasty titbits, among the fallen raspberries leaves. It seems that they have paired up and started their courtship already. According the the RSPB website this is not usual for Robins in a mild winter, though breeding will not start till March (http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/r/robin/nesting.aspx).

Robin

Robin

So is Spring on its way?