MARCH… The weather this month has been extreme to say the least. We started with Storm Emma: frigid temperatures, with hail stones the size of Tic Tacs and in some places, Mint Imperials, and six inches of ice on our garden pond (I measured it, after I had melted a hole in it with many, many kettles of boiled water) which was followed by a day of surreal calm and sunny skies, then we had days and days and days of miserable rain, then today was bright and sunny and a balmy 16 degrees C. The dawn this morning was spectacular. It was the sparrow fart of all sparrow farts. (Go Google it if you don’t know what I am on about). It almost hurt the eyes to look at it. I love the dawn light but today’s colours were really gaudy for about a minute. There are no filters on my photo above. I just happened to take the photo at the moment the dawn was at its most lurid.
When I was out shopping today I saw several people wearing shorts and t-shirts and one lady in a sleeveless vest, a long floaty floral skirt and sandals! I was dressed like the Abominable Snowman, in a chunky puffa coat and snow boots (seeing how I hate the cold and I had left the house early this morning, when the day was still on the chilly side). Now, we are told to expect the Beast from the East to return this weekend. Or maybe it’s his cousin, I can’t remember. Oh, roll on summer: I want to wear shorts and t-shirts all day long, have the windows and doors of the house flung wide open, feel the heat of the sun on my skin, wear flip-flops everywhere and everday, have BBQ five evenings out of seven (even when it rains) BUT MOST OF ALL, I want to drink an ice-cold margarita from a salt-rimmed glass, sitting on the terrace as the sun goes down, listening to the birdsong, after a scrummy BBQ, with my hubbie and Ava, our really old German Shepherd by our side. Ahhhhh, blissssss……..
Now nature knows a thing or two, and already the hedgehogs have started waking from their hibernation. So, even if the Beast from the East comes calling, he’s only popping in for a short visit, as the frogs are getting ‘jiggy with it’ in the pond (no longer frozen) and the hedgehogs are waking from their winter slumber, the birds are collecting ‘choice’ twigs for the foundations of their nests and the bluebells are already pushing their greenery through the hard ground. Spring is definitely in the air 🙂
Last Saturday saw the first hedgehog of the year in our garden caught on film by one of our Trail Cams. It’s a male and he’s a fairly good size. It’s usually the males who wake from hibernation first. This hedgehog has visited the feeding station every night since for food and water.
Our resident red squirrels all up and left. After Delilah had gone, there were only males left and when the breeding season came along, they all went in search of the females. That left a lot of squirrel feeders full of lovely hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts and dried fruit and I suppose the scent markers that the males had maintained regularly, eventually started to fade and it wasn’t long before an unfamiliar red squirrel moved in. It was a real delight when my friend showed me a photo she had taken, showing proof that she had a female red squirrel in her garden. She has called her Misty. Not long after that, a new squirrel turned up on one of our feeders and it was definitely a different squirrel to the one living in my friend’s garden, and although I couldn’t see too clearly on the Trail Cam video, ours didn’t appear to be a male, neither! Plus, I suppose if it had been a male, I would have thought it would have been chasing Misty all over the place at this time of year. So, we have gone from being overrun with reds last summer and autumn, to having none a few weeks ago, to having just two. We shall have to wait and see how these two fare: if they stay and possibly have kittens here, or…. drum roll please….. if Delilah’s boys should return. Now that would be very interesting to watch.
Here is a short video of Misty visiting one of our feeders…