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  • Writer's pictureAlistair

A Soggy Spring has Squelched In

Spring has less sprung than squelched its way into Cefn Garthenor this year.  It’s been a warm and wet winter, and the rain has just kept coming.  And coming.  Relentlessly. 

 

Many farmers are unable to get their cattle out of their winter lodgings, their barns, for fear of totally destroying their fields, turning them into muddy quagmires.  The Galloway cattle here out winter, so never move into a barn, and their numbers are small relative to the size of land, so I’ve been lucky to avoid a mud bath.  But wellies have been essential in the fields no matter how sunny the day.

 

L to R: Lesser Celandine and Primrose

But all that said, nature has decided to give spring a go.  It’s been coming for a while, with the daffodils and snowdrops out some weeks ago.  But now we have primroses and lesser celandine, both in yellow, and the blackthorn, which provides white hedges, still bare of leaves.  Hawthorne and many others still have a little way to go before their buds pop.


Blackthorn bushes and flowers

The frog spawn had turned to tadpoles around Cefn Garthenor and the odd bee is doing its stuff (mainly refusing to sit still for long enough for a photo).  No sign of a swallow yet. I’ll know because they are in the habit of sitting on my window sill in the early hours and singing their hearts out … fortunately not for too long, so I can get back to sleep.

 


Frog story: pond, spawn and tadpoles. Video at bottom of this blog.

The barn owls have taken up residence in the box in the old sheep shed, so hopefully we will have owlets for the third year running.  As I’ve written before, no classic twit-twoo from the barn owl (you get that from the tawny owls), but rather a spectral screech … you get it right at the end of the video clip below … worth winding the sound up for it and waiting until the owl is well out of sight.  Enough to terrify any nearby vole, I’d have thought.  No avoiding evisceration (my word of the month for various reasons) for some unlucky ones.



And some wigglers



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