The sun is shining, the birds are twitterpating (©Disney), the trout season has opened. Also, the first swallows arrived on Tuesday, followed by the martins on Wednesday. These birds are already checking out the mud nests under the eaves that remain from last year.
The hedges are suddenly greening up and the grass is beginning to grow fast. The Alpacas, formerly the official lawnmowers for the paddock, have been banished to another field to give the ground a rest. That means resorting to the mechanical method for the first cut of the year.
Some creatures appear to have got Spring fever. The rabbits for a start, who are clearly ‘going at it’ for all they are worth. And the sheep over the road surprised me one evening when I opened the kitchen door (the notice on the gate is good for their self-esteem).
My first fishing of the season yesterday, on the River Piddle (as in Tolpuddle) – very pretty, pretty unproductive… Today on the River Frome, the swallows were skimming insects off the surface of the water. There were heron and egrets, and a pair of common sandpipers clearly looking for a suitable nesting site. It’s been a great Spring week.
The moon and stars have been wonderful all week. There have been plenty of moon photos around, pink or otherwise, but one evening Mars was gleaming brightly too. Only one shot was steady enough to use – at maximum zoom most of the images looked like squiggles.
A GOOD YEAR FOR HELLEBORES
FRITILLARIES PLANTED LAST YEAR ARE DOING WELL
PEACOCK BUTTERFLIES ARE PLENTIFUL
THE ALPACAS ARE ENJOYING THE SUNSHINE
Spring arrived in mid-Dorset last week. On Tuesday evening, swallows appeared for for the first time. On Wednesday, they were joined by housemartins. That evening, the unmistakable sound of an attempted break-in at the back of the house turned out to be a male partridge landing on, and strutting round, a corrugated roof. His mate then set off a security light, to her great surprise. Last year they raised 13 chicks. On Saturday morning, I was fishing for wild and wily brown trout, when a sandpiper flew up from the water’s edge. Plenty of people have been posting lovely Spring pictures. I certainly can’t beat them, but I’ll join them with a few photos from the last few days.
Buds are burstingThe partridges are back, and other birds are out in force
The spring flowers are at their best
Baby blackbirds are already fledging
The rooks are pairing up, and nesting in the oaks
The alpacas are enjoying fresh grass and the warmth of the sun (attractive they may be, and useful mowers, but they were looking the wrong way when brains were being handed out to the animal kingdom)
Other seasonal woolly creatures are out and about in the nearby fields
The river is full and running clear
A sure sign of spring – the first hotair balloon passes overhead
A blazing sunset to end the day…
…and an early spring moon bright in the sky the following afternoon
ALPACAS IN DORSET – THE 3 LAWNMOWERS…
I realise that these creatures are not strictly – or in any sense – equines [the page where they are kept] , but South American camelids related to llamas. I don’t have a separate category for them, however. Our neighbours keep these 3 in our paddock, where they act as lawnmowers, mobile fertilisers and exotic livestock eye-candy in the Dorset countryside. They are very stupid, and wince-makingly shy – except when they are being violently aggressive…
And here is their modelling portfolio in slideshow format. Some might say the brown one has “IT”, but the white one clearly needs some expensive orthodontistry…