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.
6 thoughts on “March 2022”
What a lovely post, Jim, so glad to see the garden looking so good! We had a heron in our tiny pond, be a bit careful as it stabbed a hole in the lining while trying to grab a frog, which made for a messy and expensive repair. Having said which, it was extraordinary to see the bird in our small suburban North London garden. As someone said, when you create a garden for wildlife you never know who is going to turn up! And a good year for frogs here in East Finchley too, though the recent cold snap has slowed up the frogspawn somewhat….
Thank you for your reply. I hope the heron hasn’t pierced the pond liner, it was only repaired last year! But as you say, herons are beautiful birds.
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Thanks for a lovely post, due to old age and a severe arthritic hip ,awaiting surgery am finding it difficult to get around, so my garden has become rather wild, but none the worse for that, surprising what pops up when you are not looking, still try and do a bit when I can ,and the wildlife love it
Thank you for the comment. Sorry to hear about your hip. I hope it gets sorted soon. As you say, I’m sure the wildlife love your rather wild garden!
How exciting….sex and savagery, beauty and drama…..all in one column. As for the nest, I agree that it seems to be a long-tailed tit. The only puzzle is that they usually line it with lichen and not with moss. But there are (to the best of my knowledge) only 8 dome-nesting species in Britain and I can’t link it to anything else. Check your lesser celandine as the flowers die off. It looks to me like the infertile sub-species that develops little bulbils hidden in the axes of the leaves. Love Bob
On Sun, 3 Apr 2022 at 13:45, The Hospice Gardener wrote:
> thehospicegardener posted: ” March has on the whole been a lovely month. > The weather has been good and the days have been noticeably longer. My mood > has difinitely picked up, thankfully! One of the jobs I always do in March > is to cut back the dogwoods so as to encourage new growt” >
Cheers Bob, you’ve really made me laugh with your sex and savagery comment! I’ll keep an eye on the nest and the celandine. X