Early Spring Flowers – Vol 2

rambling ratz

Hot on the heels of Volume 1, here is Volume 2.Photo of forsythia bloom The cheery yellow flowers of the forsythia indicate the start of spring. Let’s see what else we can find.

While the snowdrops are still dithering about whether to bloom or not, the crocuses sprout out and blossom. One of our lawns, which happens to be more moss and dog lichen than grass, is covered in them. They also pop up in the cracks of the paths. I know, there shouldn’t be cracks in the paths let alone stuff growing in them, but it’s good for the bees! I have previously blathered about crocuses here. They are a good source of pollen for emerging bumblebee queens. Sadly the recent strong winds and heavy rains have battered the poor crocuses.

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Show us your Anthers!

rambling ratz

The snowdrops and the crocuses have finally shed their shyness and exposed their pollen bearing anthers.

I fear that they may have peaked too soon though. We are having a cold snap after a mild winter, and I have yet to see any queen bumblebees emerging from hibernation. It is they who make use of the nectar from these early flowers and so help to cross pollinate them.

More information in my previous post on snowdrops here, and on crocuses here.

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Red Roses

rambling ratz

Photo of red roseFor some reason there seems to be a lot of red roses in the shops at the moment. Something to do with Valentine’s Day, I believe.

So why are red roses associated with love and romance? It seems that the Romans might have started it by associating roses with Venus (the Roman version of Aphrodite), the goddess of love. It is said that as she was searching for her lover, Adonis, she pricked her foot on a rose which was then stained red with her blood. An ancient Persian variation is that of a nightingale who was so besotted with a white rose that it flew down to it; embracing it tightly, the thorns pierced the bird’s heart. The blood shed in love caused to rose to grow red flowers thereafter.Photo of red rose

Across time and cultures, roses are highly prized for their beauty and their scent. Red roses in particular seem…

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Mrs Sparrowhawk’s Second Course

rambling ratz

I mentioned in my last post that the sparrowhawk had downed another pigeon. Well she returned today to dine upon the unfortunate beast for a second time. She spent nearly three hours, plucking and turning her dinner to get at the best bits. She may yet make it last three days.

Isn’t she magnificent with her fierce yellow eyes and sassy stripey vest and pantaloons? I have previously blogged about sparrowhawks here.

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Funny Looking Bird

rambling ratz

This weekend was the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. I placed my camera trap on the bird feeders hoping to catch a wide variety of small birds. All I caught on it was this funny looking bird with a big fluffy tail.

Photo of sparrowhawkThe reason for the absence of the usual birds can be explained by the presence of the sparrowhawk. She caught another pigeon. At least it meant that I could add her to my bird count, along with wood pigeons, rock pigeons, collared doves, magpies, crow, sparrow, wren, robin and blackbirds.

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Friday Night

rambling ratz

After a day grazing in the supermarket, the trollies are herded together and locked safely in their corral for the night.Photo of shopping trollies

It is an undeniable fact that life has boring bits in it, perhaps this should be reflected in our photography? However, I felt that I couldn’t just fob you off with a photo of some shopping trollies. So I made an attempt at a long exposure to get some light trails from the traffic. I think I need to be at a higher elevation, above a longer stretch of road and armed with a tripod!Photo of light trails

So my pursuit for providing you with a documentary of an exciting Friday night saw me outside, attempting yet again to try to get a decent photograph of the moon using my limited kit and skills. Mainly I just wanted to use the name, « waxing gibbous ». This refers to the fact that the moon…

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