Monday, April 20, 2015

The Cuckoos have arrived.

It has been a very warm April, the swallows arrived last week and today we heard the first cuckoo, a day earlier than last year but not as early as 2013. Once again there are reports of Hoopoe's in Ireland, they were one of my favourite birds when we lived in Spain, I would love to see them again.
The blackthorn seemed to have come out overnight, the hedgerows are now white with blossom,
                                                       such a dainty bloom.
The small birds are now all into nest building.
One determined little bird.
When we groom the dogs we always throw out the hair in the hope that some bird will find it useful to line their nest, this week I spotted a coaltit taking advantage of the silky hair from our golden Labrador, it was quite a large clump of hair but this little bird was determined it was going to take it all, it was fascinating to watch this little bird folding and rearranging the hair so it could fly of with it all in one go, it would have been easier if it had just come back several times, as it was it took it over twenty minutes to gather it all together, plenty of time to get the camera, change the battery and photograph it at work.
Yesterday there was a big fire on the Mooreland close to where we live, our garden was full of smoke although the nearest the fire came to us was nearly a mile away, today we had a drive round to see how much damage had been done, we estimate that around six hundred acres has gone up in flames, this includes some lovey trees. It has been very dry this month, but almost certainly this fire was the work of arsonists, luckily no one lost their home although it did get up to the back garden of one of the houses. Fortunately it did not spread to an area of ancient woodland that we have close by, this woodland is home to red squirrels and pine martens,
                                             as well as bluebells and wood anemones.
Everything in the garden and tunnel is romping ahead,
I hope they flower soon, there is no more room to earth up.
the early potatoes in the tunnel have been earthed up three time now, hopefully there will be a good crop  from them.
The spinach is doing well , we have had our first feast from it and the salad bowl lettuce is ready for picking,
Broad beans are blooming.
broad beans are blooming, attracting lots of hoverflies and a few bumble bees, it  is also looking good for a heavy crop of gooseberries.
Lots of new leafs.
The lemon tree seems to like it's new home in the front porch, it has made lots of new leaf growth
Plenty of blossom.
and has lots of blossom, the perfume is lovely. As this tree is being grown inside it has to be hand pollinated which has now been done to the open flowers but there are more to come. Even our fig tree has little figlets on it, we might even get a crop.
All for ten euro.
I spotted a set of slate table mats and coasters in a local charity shop last week, I knew I would have a use for them, but not as table mats. We left them and went for a coffee, yes, we can get a good cup of coffee in our local town. It was then that I knew why I wanted them. To paint suitable garden signs on. Ok, so they serve no purpose, but they are a bit of fun, and it's much nicer to make your own signs than to buy them from a garden centre.
First one is painted. Just for a bit of fun.


  1. Thats a great idea for a garden sign. I have a lovely poem tucked away in my wallet waiting for me to get out my paints. Your garden is looking so beautiful and productive. I love that you have the time to notice the changes and observe the birds. Im very envious. I watched a Grand Designs program last night on a home made of containers built in Northern Ireland. The green landscape with brooks and fat cows was magical. I thought of you. Google It.

    1. PS. Arsonist should be jailed forever. They are just not destroying multiple people's property but nature as well. Like they care. Its a big problem in Oz as we have so much dry timber and such hot winds that make the smallest fire into raging devastation. Its common now for fires to be the work of arsonist. Its almost assumed. What is wrong with people?????

    2. It takes me a long time to get dressed in the morning Lynda, we have a settee in our bedroom and large French windows, it looks out onto hedging and woodland, the hedging is also where we have the bird feeders, it's a wonderful place to sit and observe!
      We got quite used to forest fires when we lived in Spain, one , in Catalonia was started deliberately by a fire fighter , 1000's of acres of forests and vineyards were destroyed, three fire fighters died. The person responsible was given a life sentence.

    3. Yes, we saw the grand design program that you are referring to, I cant remember if it was George Clark or Kevin McCloud presenting it. I love the fact that the rusty colour of the containers blended into the colour of the rocks around.

  2. Definitely Kevin, he's my dream boat and hubby thinks he's pretty cool as well. I loved the green view from every window and the cows right outside. I also loved his relationship with his Mum and family. So heart warming. She was so so proud. A very talented man. I didn't see a partner on the scene, but where would he find the time.

  3. Lucky you to hear the cuckoo. Lovely plants,,they are doing so well. It's my first year growing beans and they are a no show so the slate, such a great find

  4. I THINK I too heard a cuckoo give just one call this morning but I can't, in all conscience, claim it yet! :-)

  5. I love the garden sign, I think a garden should be fun, I love to see quirky things dotted about. Bless that little coal tit, I shall remember to leave Archie's fur outside for the birds from now on, what luxury, fur lined nests. I've got blue tits in my new nest box, they've been nest building so I'm hoping for some babies. I'm sorry to hear about the fire, it just makes me wonder why people would do such things, it beggars belief, it really does.