Ecology, Humour

Kissing Frogs


Now is the time to look for signs of Spring and here, where there is still snow in the shadow of the hedges, we haven’t seen a bulging bud.  But the birds know something’s up!  They have a sense of anticipation and an irritable awareness of their territory — the robins are scrapping and the chaffinches have started to sing and me?  Well, I go out every morning to look for frogspawn and on the morning after Valentine’s night — there it is!

P1050051 (2)

Something for our newts to eat.


Otherwise things look quite wintery though the moss is strangely spruced up and vibrant.

It’s making the most of the early sunlight before being caste into shadow by the burgeoning verdure that will soon overwhelm it — the uncurling fronds of the ferns  and bracken and the canopy of oak leaves.

And the lichens are looking shaggy after a winter unfettered by the competition and unbroken by the resting bottoms of weary ramblers.


The wild unicorn on Van Hill still has his winter coat and hasn’t started yet to get his new horn when he will hide in the woods like the moss.

P1050098 (2)

Ecology, Nature Photography

New Worlds above the Flood

It’s been raining quite a lot.  Between storms I’ve been having a new look at the world.

The stream is swollen and down the valley they complain that the drumming of the river keeps them awake at night.


We’ve moved our flock to higher ground to keep their feet dry and when the low winter sun comes out, which it has been doing quite often, every sheep has a silver lining:

?????????????????????????????We’ve been making the most of the sunny periods by cutting back the hedge rows so that the grass can grow with more light although we still need shelter for the beasts and privacy for lambing; behind the hedges we’re cutting back  the low branches and brambles that will whip us in the eye and snag us as we give assistance in the spring.

Winter working reveals aspects of the wildlife with which we share this land that are overshadowed or covered at other times of the year. Hover over these pictures for details:

Today I have been looking in a bit more detail at the moulds and fungi that surround us, if any of you recognise the species I’d love to hear from you – leave a comment.

Here are some mosses and lichen.   After the fall, some of the hawthorn and damson trees reveal so much lichen that they seem to be in blossom!

A whole world can exist on the top of a gatepost!

Gatepost with mini rain-forest

Gatepost with mini rain-forest of lichens and moss