Friday, May 28, 2021

Five things for Friday

 1. Cuckoo

On Wednesday we booked an entry time at Trentham Gardens and walked around the lake this time taking the longer route into the woodland area, instead of continuing by the lake.  Whilst there we heard a cuckoo.  It called three times.  I was so pleased to hear it as I haven't heard one for years.  I was immediately back in the Derbyshire village I grew up in where the sound of the Cuckoo wasn't at all as unusual as it is now.  We could hear them as we went on school nature walks, down the lanes and into the woods.  They could also be heard over the houses in the village.  The sound of the Cuckoo overhead and the sound of the nesting House Martins in the eaves above my bedroom window are still there in my memories.

No photo of a Cuckoo of course so I offer you Cow Parsley on the banks of the River Trent instead.  It's one of my favourite sights at this time of year.

2. This year/Last year.  

This time last year, well 28th May to be exact, I took the two photos below.  Yellow Flag Iris blooming in the pond and the first strawberry ripening to a tempting red.  


This year the Flags have only just started to show buds and there are no fruits as yet on the strawberries.   Photos taken May 27th 2021.

It just shows how far some plant growth is behind this year.

3. Fox Cub

One of the cubs visited the garden without its parents watching what it was doing.  Below is a clip from the nightime wildlife camera.


I took the photo below last night about 9.30p.m. when there was still some light, the cub had ventured out on its own again but it wasn't long before the vixen appeared to watch over it.
 4. Reading 

I ventured to the library for the first time in over a year to collect a book I'd had reserved.  I waited at the door, as instructed by the notice in the window,  the librarian came and took my card and booked it out for me.  I could have gone in to browse the shelves but I decided to leave that joy until my next visit.

Coincidentally, the very last book I took back to the library just before lock down last year was also a Dr Ruth Galloway book by Elly Griffiths, The Lantern Men.  It seems fitting then that my first book to be taken out should be her next book in the series.  I'm really enjoying it although have to read just a couple of chapters at a time as my eyes get tired.  Although, of course, the book involves murder I love the history and archaeologiy side of the story and the comforting familiarity of the main characters and the style of writing.

5. 'NoMowMay'

We've been taking part in 'NoMowMay'. It hasn't been hard as the wet weather would have stopped us mowing anyway.  Some of the grass will be mown next week but some, at the top of the garden,  will be left for a while longer.

The birds and insects have enjoyed it. 

All for now.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Rain and More Rain

It's rained everyday since Thursday.  It seems to have been continuous but there have been one or two dry half hours here and there when dashes out into the garden were possible to do a few small jobs that needed doing.  The lawns which haven't been mown are covered with daisies, buttercups and dandelions.  The birds have been busy at the feeders especially the Robins, Goldfinches and Bluetits. We've seen young bluetits and sparrows being fed by their parents. Blackbirds sing out their familiar, territorial songs from  early morning until dusk and both Robins and Dunnocks have been joining in. We've been visited by the Vixen and one of her cubs in daylight, also by the pale grey female badger and the dog fox spotted on the wildlife camera.  Larger bird visitors have been wood pigeons, crows, magpies and herring gulls.


Early yesterday afternoon during a dry patch I went out into the garden with my camera to capture a few images of the flowers before they are dashed by the wind and rain.

It's Aquilegia time, they take over most of the flower beds at this time of year.

The Rhododendrons are begining to flower.

Peonies are covered in buds ready to burst open.

Alchemilla Mollis

Chives in bud

Bistort by the pond

Clematis Montana

Perennial Cornflower


Lily of the Valley


Solomon's Seal

Wild Garlic.

In the raised beds and greenhouse tomatoes and vegetables are growing well. 

At the moment it isn't raining but the sky looks grey and watery.  Time to nip out for a walk before the heavens open yet again.

Friday, May 14, 2021

To the Gardens

I know I said that my next post would be about our walk at Westport Lake on Monday but I felt I had to share photos taken on Wednesday when we visited Trentham Gardens and Lake for the first time in months.  We walked around the lake spotting many young waterbirds and other wildlife too.  We stopped at the cafe at the end of the lake for a coffee and then walked back towards the formal gardens.

                                                 The Lakeside Walk

View across the lake

Grey Squirrel - it was quite happy to pose.

Greylag Goose family

 Black Swan - there were five last year two parents and three young.  We only saw three this time but the others could have been hidden from view somewhere around the lake.

Wild  Rabbit on the banks of the River Trent which runs through the gardens.  We could see signs of a warren on the other side of the river.

 Male Mandarin Duck - there were three male ducks and one female perhaps others were on nests,  I think these ducks nest in nearby trees.

The little tents or garden gazebos can be hired along with a picnic or afternoon tea for a socially distanced party. 

The many tulips, which are part of the Spring Flower Festival, were absolutely gorgeous, so many colours and varieties.  It was too hard to choose a favourite.  Although the cream coloured ones below were beautiful, as were the purple and pink ones.

The colour combinations were wonderful.

Apologies for the picture overload.  

Have a good weekend.