Feeling The Heat

The purpose of our “Selfies” is to try and capture the feel of the day. These are from December… Great long shadows and it is cold and windy.

Selfie

SelfieNow this is April…

SelfieHer mud is drying up.

MudThese are my holiday snaps and I have been on holiday for a long time.

There may be trouble ahead….


I wouldn’t like to be that Rat when Fizz the Great War Dog gets a’hold of him.


She just needs to practice a bit, she is warming up.

Oh yes, I have bought the Goldfinches a nyger seed feeder.

Nyger feederThey are loving it and empty it very quickly. I will do more about that in another post.

On the subject of birds. The Bullfinches have stopped using the feeders but they are still around. We have an Apple orchard at the bottom of the garden and I think that they are drawn to the buds there.

Disappointingly the Long -tailed Tits have gone. Like the finches I think that their comings and goings are related to the natural food supply but I don’t know what has drawn them away.

The little Robin never came back. There are still lots of Robins about and sometimes I look out of my door and shout, “Come on! One of you must be Christopher.” No, he has gone.

But all of that fades into absolute insignificance because when I opened my door yesterday I heard a song that filled my heart.

Barn SwallowNow I know what they say, that “One Swallow does not a summer make,” Β but that is rubbish, it is summertime now πŸ™‚

There is something that I have got to do this year. Swallows pair up for life, each autumn when they leave they separate and then in the early summer when they return they reunite. It is something to witness and I have got to video it this year. They are so excited to be reunited, like little puppies and it doesn’t last for that long but for a little while there is a great video waiting to be made.

Barn SwallowI am going to love hearing their song again.

The little Mud Eaters beat the Swallows back by several days.

House MartinI didn’t really do the House Martins justice last year, they don’t nest outside of my front door like the Swallows but I will try harder this time around. I love their little feathered feet.

I like a little heat.

SelfieWildflowers then, there is so much going on that I don’t know where to start.

Walking along the country paths it just looks like a mess of green…

MessUnless you know it.

Cow ParsleyThis little leaf is the Cow Parsley and in a few weeks it will be painting the most beautiful pictures.

Cow ParsleyThat reminds me of another April challenge. The St. Mark’s Fly.

St Mark's FlySo called because the adult flies emerge around April the twenty fifth (St. Mark’s Day), these are the ones with long dangly legs that trail behind them when they fly.

St Mark's FlyThe challenge is to photograph the female, I just could not find one last year. They only live for a couple of weeks and the window of opportunity is a small one.

But back to the present, this leaf is the Hogweed.

HogweedForget any misconceptions that the name might suggest, this one is a very beautiful flower.

HogweedAlso the large, saucer like, flower heads are an absolute magnet for insects. I am finding my first flowers now and it will beΒ here until the very end of Autumn.

I have got to leave the wildflowers for a bit because I have got to take Fizz for a walk, I will come back to them. While we are out I am going to upload some wild animal videos for you to watch.


These are female Fallow Deer (Dama dama) They are just losing their winter coats and so they look a little bit tatty but they are healthy animals.


This week the trail camera returned 180 videos over two days and nights. 136 of those were of my little friend the Fox but I also got 44 clips of the deer in the daytime, a nice return.

This is the same spot that I videoed the Boar in last week and it is proving to be a good place to set the camera. As well as the Deer, Fox and Boar I have been getting clips of Badgers, nothing exceptional but it is good to know that they are there. I feel happier if I can say that I am putting the camera out to film Deer, they are hunted just the same as the Boar but there isn’t the same hysteria and people are much more likely to go into the forest to look for Deer.

This location is not in the Forest of Dean, it is woodland some way outside of the forest boundaries and the Boar here are the animals that the Forestry Commission have been kind enough to drive out of the forest as they attempt to disperse them across the whole county, or country even.


A few other things that are good about this location, apart from the fact that it is rich in wild life, It is an unmanaged Sweet Chestnut coppice, I wouldn’t normally like that because there is very little else that grows in such a coppice but it does give me quite good views of the animals. This is also a Bluebell wood and that will make a nice backdrop and nobody comes here. I have filmed a lot here and have never picked up Dog walkers or anybody at all, that makes me feel quite safe about leaving the camera out. I will continue to film here for a few more weeks.

Okay I am back and Poochy has been walked. It is quite blustery out there today.

Back to the wildflowers. I like them because they are beautiful…

Ivy-leaved Speedwell(Ivy-leaved Speedwell)

Ivy-leaved SpeedwellFizz likes them because they make a nice soft bed.

Fizz in BedGet off the bed!

I am very pleased that I got pictures of the Town Hall Clock buds last week because this week there were no buds to be found.

Town Hall ClockAnother flower that has just appeared…..

Remember the diminutive Harry Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)?

Hairy BittercressThis is the girl of his dreams, Lady Smock and if you think, like Harry that she looks good enough to eat, well, she is.

Cuckoo FlowerCuckoo Flower or Lady’s Smock (Cardamine pratensis). The leaves and flowers are the best bits to eat, they Β have a peppery flavour that adds a lot to a herb salad.

Cuckoo FlowerBoth she and Harry are Cardamines and they can cross pollinate but Β will she, wont she? That is what Harry would like to know.

Cuckoo FlowerA couple more “firsts” for the week, this little splash of pink is Herb Robert.

Herb RobertLast year I was able to find this one in flower throughout the winter but this year, this is my first.

Herb RobertI have also seen my first signs of the spathe of the Arum Lily.

Wild ArumThere will be much more of these flowers in the weeks to come.

Well it has been a long post and you must be feeling pretty tired.

Tired FizzI have just got one more wildflower to do today and then we can play ball.

FizzThis is Hen-bit Dead-nettle. I found it growing on my steps when I got home.

Hen-bit Dead-nettle

Hen-bit Dead-nettle

Hen-bit Dead-nettle

Hen-bit Dead-nettle

Hen-bit Dead-nettle

Hen-bit Dead-nettleI will try and find it in more picturesque surroundings.

Goodnight Fizz.

Selfie

 

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20 thoughts on “Feeling The Heat”

  1. The purpose of selfies is to show off LOL I was almost jealous looking at your pics but then I saw my sheep and she has a new haircut and I figured out it wasn’t such a bad day πŸ˜€

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  2. The birds and bugs and flowers are all so beautiful. And the video of her and the little planter had me laughing right out loud, and I had to watch it twice. Each of your posts brings your readers so many smiles. πŸ™‚

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  3. Sometimes I think you’re so lucky to live where you do (which you are) and see so much, and then I remember that I must be just as lucky, but I don’t know how to notice. You are teaching me to notice. πŸ™‚

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  4. I’m not surprised Lady Smock has a peppery flavour. She’s a feisty girl. Harry best be careful or he’ll have indigestion! I find your posts so inspirational, Colin. Thank you again for another character name, the porcine Mr. Hogweed.

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  5. Another really interesting blog post. The speedwells are lovely…so delicate. I did not realize that swallows paired for life. So thanks for that. No sign here in Nottingham of any hirundines. Too cold for that!

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  6. Another hour or so of pure, informative enjoyment! Videos of precious wildlife, lovely flowers and Muddy Fizz. One of my LPNs was watching Fizz with the flower pot. She fell in love with her, as we all have. I always am so grateful that my daughter “introduced” us. May your days always be filled with wonder….and, may you be able to share it with your many Followers. Whatever you do, hopefully you WILL continue to blog.
    Once again, Thank You Colin. πŸ™‚

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  7. I was so pleased to see this post in my in-box! I too loved to see Fizz playing with the flowerpot. How sweet that she finds her own toys. I had a cat who used to be feral and then after I gained her trust she came to live with me. When I first met her when she lived in my garden she used to play with stones. She had no idea what to do with shop-bought toys. Our weather can’t have been as warm as yours lately as we aren’t as green and there are no signs of Martins or Swallows yet. I loved the videos.

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  8. Still catching up after my holiday. So glad to see your swallows are back. Our tree swallows, too, are back in good numbers, so glad as last year there were only a few pairs.Their song sounds like tumbling water, a delightful sound. Spring is here at last and I couldn’t be happier. It was a dismal winter over here. You must be busy with everything popping up in droves. You make the oft-ignored common weed the belle of the ball, showing us that if one looks close enough, all are blessed with great beauty. Thanks, Colin!

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