March 2022

March has on the whole been a lovely month. The weather has been good and the days have been noticeably longer. My mood has definitely picked up, thankfully!

One of the jobs I always do in March is to cut back the dogwoods so as to encourage new growth for this year and to maintain the bright colours for wintertime. This year was no exception. Whilst cutting them back, I came across a wild animal. Can you see it?

It is really well camouflaged.

From hiding in the undergrowth, it ventured out onto the lawn and headed for the pond.

The pond had been renovated last year, so I wasn’t sure if the frogs would return this spring. I needn’t have worried. There were at least a hundred of them in the water, and they had only one thing on their mind… sex! It was quite a spectacle, one which wouldn’t have been amiss on a David Attenborough programme.

A couple of days later, the frogspawn duly arrived. It’s amazing that such a small animal can produce such a vast amount of spawn.

It didn’t go all the frogs way though. When the mating had been taking place, I had shown some relatives the action that was happening. The following week, when they saw me next, they came over to chat and asked if I’d seen the heron. I hadn’t. Apparently, it had been coming several times a day in order to pick out the frogs. One afternoon, they came out to chase it away. As they approached, they noticed two frogs legs protruding from the heron’s mouth! Sadly no photo.

Whilst continuing to prune the dogwoods, I came across a beautiful birds nest. I’m not too sure what bird made it, maybe a long-tailed tit? Any ideas?

It looks like it is this year’s nest, so I left the dogwoods in situ.

There was more wildlife hiding at the hospice. Can you see it?!

Right in the centre is a mallard.

He and his partner come every year at this time, along with a pair of moorhens, and think about nesting. The mallards, unlike the moorhens, don’t usually stay long enough to build nest. The moorhens usually do stay, and have a brood of chicks. Let’s hope they do this year.

The flowers have been beautiful this spring. The daffodils were stunning, and the tulips are now taking over. We’ve also have lots of anenomies in various colours.

The cherry blossom is also in full bloom now.

In the Amberswood Garden, the cowslips are appearing. When I sowed the wildflower garden four years ago, they didn’t appear initially. But each year we get more and more of them. They are always the first flowers to emerge in the wildflower garden, standing proud.

I am stil so in awe as to how beautiful nature is. Even something as simple and as ordinary as a celandine, is stunning when you look up close.

As you can see, March has been a busy month, both for nature and for me! Let’s hope that April can live up to March. Until next month, keep looking out for the spectacular amongst the ordinary, and let me know what you have seen.