A Little Tour

Nature Diary

Yesterday, before I got distracted by peering into the pond, we had a little walk around the village again. I thought that for a change I would take my 18-55mm lens with me so I could show you a bit more about where I go for my walks.

This is the wet meadow that I’ve mentioned, where the Cuckooflowers grow. It has a lot of Celandines in it too at the moment. Later on there will be buttercups too. Sometimes there are sheep or cows in this field and when it has been raining alot the whole area in the foreground gets very marshy.

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Wet Meadow

Just to the right of the first picture are these trees – Horse Chestnuts on the left, and the newly-identified Ash on the right:

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Horse Chestnuts & Ash trees

Continuing along this road takes you to the woods I walk in sometimes, and the village pond. No wider angle pictures of those today, but I will try and remember to take this lens out with me next time and get some soon. You can also see the hedge along the right side of the road here – it goes nearly all the way round 3 sides of a field which is in this next picture. The hedgerow is where I see a lot of the flowers and insects I photograph.

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Field in the middle of the village

The hedge turns to fence here for a bit, which makes it easier to see over into the field for this photo! On the right of here is the village church which has all sorts of little plants growing in the wall that goes round it. The big hill on the right is where I went walking a few weeks back and ended up going on a very long walk.

Down past the church is a field with these pretty blossom trees in it. I’m peering over the wall to take this photo, in just about the same position where I saw the first snowdrops this year.

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Blossom Trees

Today it’s raining and not really the weather for going out for a nice walk, but it’s good for the pond so I’m not really complaining :)

Early arrivals in the pond

Nature Diary

Our pond, though not full, is already attracting lots of life. I’m not convinced some of it really intended to be in there, but even so, it is already a very interesting place to visit.

Different coloured Ground Beetles considering a future together on their rock island

These beetles were living on a temporary island made from a rock. Their island wasn’t going to survive for long, as we had the sudden realisation that there was a water-butt full of rain water just waiting for us to top up the pond with it.

Pond Skater who has moved in from his temporary home in the wheelbarrow

The Pond Skater has now moved in from his temporary home in the wheelbarrow, and seems quite content in the pond

Spider who seems quite at home messing about in the pond

This Spider seems quite at home messing about in the pond and despite my first thought that he was unable to get out, he seemed to be able to come and go as he pleased … and just liked it in there :)

Peculiar thing waving its tail at me

I’ve no idea what this peculiar thing waving its tail at me might be. Some kind of larva maybe? He seemed happy sitting on a rock in the pond.

Non-specific beetle beating a hasty retreat up my helpfully placed twig

This unknown beetle decided to beat a hasty retreat up my helpfully placed twig, as it realised the water level was rising, and the rock island was shrinking.

Ground Beetle contemplating the future

The shiny Ground Beetle stayed on the rock island until the bitter end, contemplating the future, until it was assisted out of harm’s way. The island is now under water.

Weevil observing the pond water from a rock

A tiny weevil observed the rising pond water from another rock, before making himself scarce before he came into any danger

Down by the River

Nature Diary

On Saturday I had a brief wander down by the river near my daughter’s riding school as I was a bit early to pick her up. It may not be entirely obvious that I was by a river as I neglected to take any photos of the actual river but never mind! As it was brief there are only a few photos to share.

As usual I find it hard to resist an unfurling fern, and I do rather like the lovely bokeh I got in the background:

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The highlight of my wander was hearing an unfamiliar bird, and actually managing to spot it and get a half-decent photo! Near the river in a patch of what appeared to be scrubby willows were a pair of Willow Warblers! Don’t think I’ve ever knowingly seen one before. They look very similar to Chiffchaffs, but they definitely had a Willow Warbler sound, not the chiff-chaff song. They were hard to photograph as they were hopping around a lot, but I think this shot’s not too bad:

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And finally I got my first photo of the year of a Swallow :) I had seen a couple on my travels over the last week, but this was the first time I had a camera in my hand when a Swallow helpfully paused in it’s busyness:

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Friday in the Village

Nature Diary

On Friday we had a nice little walk round the village in the sunshine to see what we could see.

The bees were out again, getting all covered in pollen:

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There are loads of Stitchworts making the verges pretty – for a change I got a shot of a group of them rather than just focusing on one:

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As we passed the wet meadow, I couldn’t resist another few shots of the Cuckooflowers – this one is my favourite shot:

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I noticed that this tree still has no leaves, and after a comment by Peggy about an old saying “Oak before Ash, we’re in for a splash. Ash before Oak, we’re in for a soak” I was wondering if it was an Ash tree. After a bit of googling, I think it is, so if the saying is right, it should be a nice summer :)

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The Hawthorn flowers are coming out now. I’ve not really studied them closely before, but you can see in this photo the shape of the Haw already there, with the rather fuzzy flower dangling underneath. I’m kind of confused about this as all the pictures I can find of Hawthorn flowers are wide open white flowers similar to Blackthorn … maybe these will change as they grow a bit more.

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There are lots of Bluebells out now although there are still many more yet to open:

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I was delighted to find a butterfly that actually stayed still for a minute! There were a fair few of them fluttering about, but this Green-Veined White seemed to be having a rest and let me take various shots of it:

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We had a look in the village pond again and saw quite a few tadpoles as well as about a gazillion baby Water Boatmen and their parents, with plenty of Pond Skaters too. The highlight was when Bruce spotted a peculiar creature which turns out to be a larva of the Great Diving Beetle:

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Great Diving Beetle larva

Great Diving Beetle larva

We spotted some Tulips (one of which I posted a couple of days back). There are still a few Daffodils too, but they’re mostly looking tatty and old now. Here’s one of the red Tulips:

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There’s a patch of Erica flowers which we often go and visit while walking as it seems very popular with the bees. We were in for a treat with lots of Honey Bees there again :) Here’s one of them (if you want to see more, have a look on my Flickr photostream):

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It won’t be long now until the Columbines (Aquilegia) flowers will come out – this one looks pretty close now:

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Lastly, I spotted a couple of new flowers that I haven’t seen yet this year. A Corn Speedwell, and some Chickweed:

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Corn Speedwell

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Happy Kitten

Animals

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This kitten at my daughter’s riding school really wanted a cuddle this morning, and once she had her way, she was very happy about it :) Very cute.

Welcome to any readers who’ve joined us from my other blog which is going to be closing down – this will now be the location for Nature Diary blog posts as well as the usual posts you would normally find here. Thanks very much if you voted or commented on my poll – it was very helpful :)

To Merge or not to Merge?

Photography

Suzy Blue:

Hi Readers, I’d appreciate your thoughts on my dilemma of whether or not to merge my blogs – please read and tell me what you think in the poll.

Originally posted on Blue Girl Poems:

Hello dear readers, can I have a little help please?

As you may know, I have several blogs:

  • This one (Blue Girl Poems), which is where I post my poems
  • Blue Girl Photography, which is where I post my best photos
  • Suzy’s Country Diary, which is where I blog about nature and how it’s changing through the seasons, including lots of photos

Now sometimes I wonder if it would be easier to put all my posts on one blog instead of having different places for different things. But then I think that people who are interested in my poems might well not be at all interested in my photos, or my nature diary, or vice versa. So I have a bit of a dilemma.

As you are the people who read this stuff, perhaps you can tell me what you think?

Please answer the poll to let me…

View original 39 more words

Bee-fly and a small pottering

Nature Diary

Yesterday, while having my lazy day after the exertions of mowing and digging I was sat watching birds and insects busily flying around. Then this one landed on a nearby flower and I grabbed my camera (not far away, naturally) and was lucky enough to get this one shot of a Bee-fly. I’ve never even seen one before!

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Then, since the camera was in my hand I had a little potter round the garden and spotted some tiny beetles inside a daffodil flower:

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I haven’t managed to work out exactly what sort of beetles they were.

Then I noticed that some of the Beech leaves are coming out:

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And finally, it amused me to catch this shot of a Robin mid song :)

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Sunny Garden Wander

Nature Diary

I had a quiet little potter round the garden yesterday in between various errands, and some mowing.

Bruce pointed out that my container sown with wildflowers was now full of tiny sprouts! I have no idea what this one will be, but it’s one of many little shoots that I hope to look after well and make the insects happy (as well as making the garden pretty).

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The Sparrows seemed quite hungry and were busy nibbling away at the seed feeder:

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The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron) is now coming into leaf and they looked lovely in their fresh bright green again the blue sky yesterday:

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There are quite a few Hoverflies hovering around the place now, though without their favourite Ragworts out yet, they’re hard to catch when they’re sitting still! This one stopped for a moment on a Daffodil.

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It won’t be long until the Welsh Poppies are flowering. The buds are getting fat now :)

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This Pond Skater was spotted in a wheel barrow full of water … which gave us the push we needed to get the pond finished off. We bought a pre-formed pond a while back, dug out the hole and put it in, but then when it filled up we realised we hadn’t got it quite straight so we had to empty it out (hence the wheel barrow full of water). We’d been meaning to sort out the hole for some time now, but it had been too cold or too wet, or we’d both been full of aches and pains and not up to it. Seeing that Pond Skater gave me a burst of enthusiasm to finally sort it out, so I finished off the digging that Bruce had started, and took a bit more off the edge, and checked the levels, and we put the pond back in. It seems to be sitting level now, which is brilliant, and is now about half full from the water we managed to save from when we emptied it. We didn’t have enough containers to save all the water, so we’ll just have to wait for rain to fill it up now. Hopefully the Pond Skater will move in properly. Sadly we’re too late for the frogs I think, as we saw tadpoles in the village pond already. Never mind, better late than never, and maybe we’ll have tadpoles next year :) After all that rambling, here’s the Pond Skater responsible:

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Finally, while I was sat in the front garden recovering from mowing and digging, I was watching a Jackdaw sat on the wire. I think he’s one of the ones nesting in the chimneys. He was sat still watching the chimney so I thought I’d try and get a couple of shots. Then just as I was taking photos he took off! They’re not the most well-focused or crisp shots, but it amused me to have caught him taking off like that! :)

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I might have to have a lazy day today as I hurt in various places! Nothing too bad (in case my mum is worried I’ve done too much!) – just the usual aches and pains from doing stuff your body is not accustomed to (digging)!

A Mammoth Tale (from a walk in the sunshine)

Nature Diary

We had a lovely walk in the sunshine today – it was a really lovely day :) I found lots of new flowers and some new insects too!

The new insects I spotted were these 24-spot ladybirds (the first pair are presumably mating). I couldn’t manage very good shots – a bit blurry – but they’re bearable:

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The first of the new flowers was a pretty little Vetch in the hedgerow:

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Then another little bee – same as the one I saw a couple of weeks back, I think, and again stumbling around pollen-covered in a dandelion!

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There were quite a few Bumbles around too, but most were flitting around to quickly to photograph. This one was a little more helpful:

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I was pleased to see that the village Bluebells are coming along nicely, not too far behind the ones in the woods near work:

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There is big splash of violet across the hedgerow bottoms now, with many little violets joining that lonely one that I spotted a few weeks back. I’m pleased with this shot I got this time:

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There are many flower buds on the Columbines in the hedgerow so hopefully not too long until the flowers come:

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The Oak trees here are bursting out now like the ones near work:

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I saw a more ‘normal’ Ladybird, as well as the 24-spots – this one is the regular 7-spot:

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A new flower in the hedgerow now is the Garlic Mustard:

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And another new arrival – the Red Campion:

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I’ve been looking out for Wood Anemones for a while, and today they are finally here! Hurrah! Here’s some of them:

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I spotted this nearly hidden at the bottom of hedge – I think it’s a Red Dead-Nettle or a relation:

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Through the woods on the way back there wasn’t a lot to see. The Bluebells aren’t out yet. So it was just the Wood Anemones and the unfurling ferns. I do love the ferns though :)

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I spotted a couple of beetles while we were out. One is (I think) a Cereal-leaf Beetle, but the other, I’m not sure:

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I was surprised to see tadpoles in the village pond. I’d been looking out for frogspawn and hadn’t seen any, but I must have missed it as there are a fair few tiny tadpoles in there now. There are also tonnes of tiny baby Water Boatmen, as well as Pond Skaters and crazy Whirlygig Beetles.

Another new flower spotted today was some Cowslips near the pond:

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The flowers are all coming on the Horse Chestnut now – looks like they’ll be open soon:

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One of my favourite village flowers is now starting to appear – the Cuckooflowers. The field down the road is pretty damp and turns in to a bit of a marsh when there’s a lot of rain, and this seems to be the perfect habitat for them:

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The Hawthorn will soon be flowering – it has many little flower buds now:

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And finally, a little update on the Fringecups which are really living up to their name now!

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