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Spring is nearly here!

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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:10 am

MARCH

So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

From 'A Shropshire Lad'
By A.E.Housman


I would imagine we have all heard if not seen the storm-cock or Missel Thrush Housman refers to, singing boldly regardless of the wind and rain from the top of a tall tree at this time of the year.
It about sums up the average blustery March!
We seem to have more Missel thrushes than Song thrushes around here, particularly St Asaph.

On my daily frog removal yesterday I saw a strange sight, a frog swimming upside down along the bottom of my Koi pond and repeatedly dashing its back against the bottom. I netted it out and found a male frog clinging tenaciously to the back of a quite large female toad! Luckily his arms weren't long enough to lock his fingers together in plexus around his unwilling amour, I think I saved him a rough ride.
Curious to know what a frog/toad cross would be called: A Froad? or a Trog?
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:47 pm

Here is a sequel to yesterdays post of a frog and toad attempting to mate, an amphibian gang bang! I hauled this lot out of my pond early yesterday morning.
It's a large female toad with a large male frog on her back and a male toad locked onto his back; to top it all, another male frog is firmly attached underneath!

I celebrated St David's day by fly fishing with Nigel at Wal Goch Nanerch, one of the nicest places we fish at and an added bonus of a nice 3lb rainbow toward the end of the session. It's so nice to see the lake coming to life at the end of the winter, pussy willow catkins and yellow celandine in flower, even dandelions in flower everywhere and of course lots of daffodils, on such a nice day!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:44 am

Friday no sign of any frogspawn in my small wildlife pond, is there going to be any this year?
Saturday lots of frogspawn.
Sunday wake up to a covering of snow. Crazy weather we've been having this year, in the space of a week we've gone from early summer, back to spring and now winter has returned.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:32 am

Snow? we haven't had any this time around, you must have been just lucky over there Colin. Judging by the pic's sent in to Derek on the BBC Welsh weather, everybody else did though!
I took a photo of my bottom wildlife pond on the 2nd March when I thought the frogs had finished, they carried on to the 9th, see pic's below, in the second photo the earlier frogspawn has sunk in places as it hatches leaving masses of tiny 'c' shaped embryo tadpoles clinging to the top, the later frogspawn is massed at the back of pond.
This is the pond I transferred all the frogs and toads into from my filter and Koi pond over past three or four weeks. The frogs have now all but vanished and the toads pretty much too, the odd one appearing in the Koi pond or Nexus. On cue though, the newts have appeared hungry as ever and starting on the hatching tadpoles in the smaller overflow pond were it gets more sun.
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March 10th.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:46 am

HOME THOUGHTS FROM ABROAD
Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England now.
Robert Browning.


One of my favourite poems, Browning wrote this poem in Italy to Elizabeth Barrett back in England, he was obviously homesick and missing her. He married her later when he returned to England and she became: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Despite 3 nights of frost at blossom time I appear to have a good fruit set this year, the Denbigh plum had a mass of blossom on this year (it's the centre tree of three in picture below,) the other two are Swedish plum trees, Opal and Jubileum.
The other two plum trees are self fertile pollinators as the Denbigh plum is self sterile although it is an excellent pollinator for other plum trees.
We also have had a mass of tadpoles this year, the toad tadpoles are still half the size of the frog tadpoles but feeding well. The adults still continue to visit my Nexus filter though, one frog one toad removed from Nexus this morning, plus half a dozen tadpoles travelled through koi pond from veg filter that somehow evaded the ever hungry Rudd.

I have had the enemy of all pond owners over the last fortnight, the dreaded grey heron! I have chased it off three times but it still comes back. It's had one of my golden Rudd, I only noticed it missing yesterday, just 5 swimming around instead of six, it doesn't help with my water still crystal clear.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:46 am

My tadpoles seem to be doing well on their new diet of koi pellets, thanks for the tip Phil.

Storm Hannah has now past and thankfully we didn't have the severe gale force winds they had on the coast although we did have lots of rain during Saturday.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Sun May 12, 2019 8:31 am

Summer must be on the way, I saw my first swallow this morning.

Walking with the dog up Moel Famau yesterday morning I heard the first cuckoo of the year, although I haven't heard one around home for quite a few years, even longer since I've seen one.

What was the old rhyme?

The cuckoo comes in April,
He sings his song in May,
In June it lays its eggs,
July they fly away.
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