One of the things that makes me really happy is the coming of spring.
A sure sign of spring is the arrival of frogs in the garden pond. They usually arrive around St Valentine’s Day and sure enough that is when the first ones appeared. Yesterday’s count was about 100!
At this point we also have the first spawn.
Thirdly this week are the crocuses. Despite all the rain they are coming through.
Flowers are just such bundles of joy. Here mini daffodils also coming out.
Even the first leaves are emerging – here some native honeysuckle and a great tit. The bird song is another sure sign of spring.
It is very wet though. We have had constant rain and everything is muddy. Garden jobs are well behind as it is just to wet too work the soil.
Spring is my favourite time of year. Everything is returning to life. Daffodils bring sunshine to the garden.
As do dandelions and with them come the bees, bringing back the buzz of insects.
There are leaves starting to come on the trees and the birds are thinking of nesting and bringing with them songs.
The frogs return to the pond, and their chorus adds to the sounds of spring .
And my favourite wild flowers – primroses, bringing with them their delicate scent.
Spring brings so much to our lives and above all is hope and renewal.
In these times of lockdown the simple pleasures of a walk (no more than 2km of your home if you are in Ireland), still the mind.
It allows us time to refocus, time away from the chore of working from home.
It allows us time away from the constant noise of children at home. So you can enjoy the bird song and buzz of the bees by yourself.
It allows us time to connect to Mother Nature, to enjoy her beauty.
It allows us time to fill our lungs with fresh air and to enjoy the smell of spring.
The simplicity of a walk in nature, bring us peace.
And thank you to Eliza for reminding me – we have reached the spring equinox. Thankfully nothing will stop the spring….
With spring comes hope.
In Ireland, some people optimistically consider the 1st of February the start of spring. It is also Saint Brigit’s day. The garden does certainly show signs of spring – so let’s be optimistic.
I have two – one white which is already fully open and this lovely red version which is nearly there.
2. Yellow crocus these are planting in grass under a birch tree and are usually the first crocus to appear each year.
3. Similarly these miniature daffodils are usually the first to appear. I have a couple of larger one that are also just opening too.
4. Snowdrops have been up for a couple of weeks – this pot was given to me by a friend a couple of years ago. (Sorry not best photo – always find them hard to photograph).
5. I am happy to report that the Japanese onions I set in the polytunnel a few weeks ago (late) are doing quite nicely.
6. And the replacement for the Victoria plum I lost last autumn is in, finders crossed it will be bountiful in years to come.
We also managed to clean the very dirty windows of the greenhouse and tomorrow I may even plant some seeds!
Many thanks to The Propagator for hosting six on Saturday
Gaiainaction has inspired me to write a post on spring and sense of place. All around spring is in full flow. Fruit blossom burst forth not just on the trees in the garden but also along the hedgerows that line our roads and divide the fields around us.
On the hedge banks primroses, my favourite spring flower, release their delicate scent.
In the trees, blackbirds and pigeons are building nests. Robins are finding the highest branches to sing and proclaim their territories. In the sunshine of the afternoon, sleepy butterflies, recently woken from their winter hibernation drink thirstily from the nectaries of flowers.
As I walk up the road there is a spring in my step. The grey, dark days of winter are finally over us. Each walk brings new highlights. The first bumblebees, the first violets. Whatever it is. These little gems cannot be seen from the inside of a car, so it is important to get out and walk. Experience nature. Immerse yourself in the sounds, scents and joys of it all. Go outside. See if you can find something different, something you have never noticed before.
It is unnaturally warm. Some parts of Ireland it was 17 degrees Celsius today, here in the west only 15, a temperature we would be happy with in May.
The mild weather has brought out the bumblebees. Queen bumblebees hibernate over the winter. In usual years we would see the first queens emerge in mid-March.
The first bees were spotted by my children on Sunday, and over the last couple of days we have seen some more. This was the first one I managed to get close up to photograph.
The spring flowering heather is a new addition to the garden planted to provide early food for the queens. They need both nectar and pollen after there long winter sleep. Heather, crocus , hellebore, dandelion and willow are all good early food sources.
With Climate Change resulting in much less predictable weather patterns, bumblebees are vulnerable. If the weather turns cold again the queens can only survive a couple of days without food.
We know when spring is coming when the frogs arrive back in the garden pond. Last year they were late (early March), but this year they are already back in force – first ones arrive earlier in the week.
There appears to be a little fewer than last year – about 100, compared to around 120 last year. They are not easy to count though so it is just an estimate!