"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 13 March 2017

Frogs, Moths, Garden Flowers and Recent Reading

Frogs have been active in the pond over the course of the last week or so and last Saturday we spotted our first frogspawn.

The next two were taken by D with the Canon Bridge camera.

Common Newts are also starting to move round - two were seen yesterday.

I've not seen any butterflies yet but Tree Bumble Bees are appearing and a few unidentified white-tailed species have whizzed past the kitchen window.

Daffodils are now in flower -

these pretty miniature ones are in the rockery behind the pond.

Primula Belarina Amethyst Ice will be in flower soon. I think there are at least three plants in this pot so will have to split them up later in the Spring.


Shoots on the Climbing Hydrangea

Primulas are dotted round the borders and

Wood Anemone leaves are just appearing above the ground.

I think Wild Primroses are my favourite flower and we have half a dozen large clumps.

I've had the moth trap out three times in the last week or so and trapped 3 species so far. (It is always a slow start here!)

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) - two in the trap this morning

and this Common Plume (Emmelina monodactyla)

I know I should have made more effort to get a photo of it out of it's pot - but the micro moths are very lively and after taking this photo it was off like a shot landing on a nearby window.

I finally managed to re-pot it and released it safely

Recent Reading

"Spirals in Time" is a superb book and highly recommended. The book is really well researched and immerses you in the wonderful world of molluscs (although I will be wary of Cone Snails when I am next on a beach!).

I've been wanting to read this book for ages and, although it took me a while to get into his memoirs, I enjoyed it. I will certainly see the Lake District in a totally different way when we next visit!

Good holiday reading

I get inspiration to try new authors from several of the blogs I read and I spotted this author on Rosie's Blog (see here)
I just adored this book (the first in the Doctor Ruth Galloway mystery series) and couldn't put it down!

Another author I spotted on Rosie's Blog was Ann Cleeves and having read all the Shetland Books I have moved onto the Vera Stanhope novels and have just finished the second. It is a really well crafted story and again one you could read at one sitting :)


Midmarsh John said...

A lovely showing of flowers there.
Not seen any of my Common Newts yet though I haven't been looking very often.
Had a few Small Tortoiseshell flutters on the Heather today.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thanks so much. Good to hear about the Small Tortoiseshells. Yesterday was the first sighting this year of newts but loads more around today. They must suddenly be emerging/returning. They always seem to appear after the frogs!

amanda peters said...

Lovely post, so nice to see the frogs. Do the newts eat the frog spawn ? Hence there timing. It's nice checking the garden for flowers and new growth. Noticed on Monday Blue tit going in next box, will monitor it when I get back.
Going to look at shell book too.
(I'm a early riser, wating for OH to wake before we set out for the day!!)
Amanda x

Margaret Adamson said...

Yes spring is upon us and it lovely to see the spring flowers in all their glory and well as other critters immerging

Pam said...

It's great to see all the signs of spring isn't it! The butterflies will be there soon i'm sure :) I like the look of Spirals in Time, another to add to the list!

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda - the newts do eat the frog tadpoles :( I am surprised we still have so many frogs to be honest! Never thought about the timing aspect before but it is a good point! :)

Sounds good news about your nestbox - our nestbox camera seems to have packed up :(

You would love the shell book I think :)

Have a lovely lovely day :)

Margaret Adamson - Thanks Margaret - it is lovely to feel that Spring is here :)

Pam - Thanks Pam. Yes, I love this time of year :) I have a very long wish list on Amazon!!!

Rosie said...

Saw a Yellow Brimstone butterfly whilst walking on Cannock Chase yesterday. Our pond has three huge clumps of frog spawn. I haven't seen more than two frogs but I'm guessing there must be more. I think the newts feed on the very small tadpoles, but I'm not sure. 'Spirals in Time' looks interesting. Glad you are enjoying the Elly Griffiths and Anne Cleeves books:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks Rosie. Lovely to hear about your Brimstone :) For some reason our frogs seem active in the day (I always thought spawning took place night-time or dawn?) so we have seen quite a few now. Pretty sure newts eat tadpoles - I know numbers decrease pretty quickly once frogspawn has hatched :( Just adoring those two authors. Am reading Rachel Hore's latest at the moment but it seems tame after reading the other two!!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

I've been watching smooth newts in a local drain from a pond, hard to photograph with the reflections though!

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thanks Simon. The only newt photos I have are rubbish! Unlike the frogs they stay well below the water!

Stewart said...

Hi Caroline, Ann Cleeves lives in Northumberland, I know here husband Tim well. He is a first class birder. Tim and Ann met on Fair Isle where she worked as a kitchen assistant / cook I believe.

You can be forgiven keeping micro's in pots and even Geometers but I ve seen Garden Tigers ad the like taken through plastic, thats just disrespectful to the beautiful creature! :)

Ragged Robin said...

Stewart - Thanks so much for the comment. Please tell Tim when you next see him that there are quite a few of us on blogger who adore Ann's books :) There is one I shall read soon called "The Moth Catcher" :) Does Tim trap moths?

lol re: the photos - I was thinking of you when I wrote the words and thought Stewart won't like this!!! :) I find even after a little chilling in the fridge micro's are still very very lively!

Countryside Tales said...

Wood anemones are out here this week. And we had a common plume on the window this week too. Thanks for the book suggestions, always useful!

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks. I'm getting quite a few Common Plumes in the moth trap this week :)

David said...

Lovely photos and wonderful to see all the lovely spring flowers again. Things have really come out rapidly in the past week or so haven't they. Good to see the frogs and the moths as well, hopefully the start of the 2017 season will be much better than 2016 !!!

Hope you are well :-)

Coquetnaturelover said...

A very interesting post. I'm still waiting for the frogspawn in my pond! It's interesting to read Ragged Robin's note that newts might eat tadpoles as that could explain what happens year on year! Thanks for the book tips - I've been looking for a good book to take on holiday!

Ragged Robin said...

David - Thanks so much - yes it feels more like Spring now :) 2017 moth-wise seems to have started well for me this year - I think 2016 was the worst year I have ever had :( I gave up in the end it was so poor!

All fine here thanks - hope you are all well too. Best wishes Caroline

Coquetnaturelover - Thanks very much. Am sure you will get some frogspawn soon - it is so interesting the timing varies throughout the country. These days we have a lot more newts than frogs! Have a good holiday and happy reading :)