Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Gardeners delight

What a perfect spring day today. Just as well as I needed to finish off digging over my small vegetable patch in the garden. Usually the only veg I've bothered with planting is runner beans and tomatoes in the greenhouse. This year, my Mum gave me some early new potatoes (Anya) which has a really lovely flavour and also some red onion sets. So, I will plant them up and see what I get!

There is something really enjoyable about growing your own veg.

While I was digging, I had three different types of raptors fly over. First was a pair of Sparrowhawks, then I had three Buzzards, one of which was displaying. Lastly, I heard a comotion being made by two Lesser black backed Gulls and looked up to see a Peregrine zip right over the garden. It was also lovely to listen to the local Blackbird singing nearby. This is one of my favourite bird songs.

After the digging was done, I had a rest by the pond and managed to take this photo of one of our resident frogs. I also noticed that the male newts were starting to follow the females, then darting in front of them vigourously waggling their tails. Hopefully I'll be able to photograph the females laying eggs shortly.

It was such a sunny and warm day that I decided to go along to Rodden Nature Reserve which is just down the road from me to see if I could see and photograph any Orange Tip butterflies. There is alot of Ladies Smock in flower on the reserve at the moment which is a favourite food plant of Orange Tip caterpillars. After a short wait I managed to get a shot of a female. Hopefully in the days to come I shall manage to photograph a male too!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Portway pond springclean

It was a job that was well overdue, so I dragged Chris, my husband from his work to get it done while the sun was shining this morning.

The pond was completely clogged up with a mixture of blanket weed, airator, water mint and with the odd buttercup thrown in there too. Chris got the worst of the mint and buttercups out by hand and then attacked the blanket weed with a handy old kitchen sieve. It works a treat, though we'll never get rid of it entirely I guess!

After just a few minutes there were signs of life in the way of several newts swimming about and two dragonfly larvae crawling on the pond liner. Chris also said a couple of frogs were moving about while he was getting the worst of the weed out. Having got a photo of the dragonfly larvae, I will now have to look in my book to see if it is possible to identify which dragonfly I have in there. I'm not sure I'm very confident. Perhaps I'll just have to wait and see what crawls up the iris stems later in the year. To be continued.......