Sunday, 28 March 2010

The arrival of spring is frustratingly slow

     A good walk over the Bowland Fells to blow away the cobwebs.... Sun.28th March 2010.

Sunday March 28th 2010
                I don't know about other parts of the country but up here in the Lancashire Pennines Spring is frustratingly slow to gather pace after our colder than average winter.Whether it's because I'm getting older and more impatient and longing for some warm sun on my back I'm not sure ,but I'll bring my Blog up to date about the progress of my garden.
                              The Snowdrops are finishing
                                  The miniature Daffs are opening
 A hungry Hedgehog just wakened from hibernation (suprisingly small to have survived the winter)
                          My resident Ducks are still around
    A favourite of mine around the top pond... the Golden Saxifrage.
                              The first Primroses are opening
 In the Alpine Scree Garden some of the early alpines are already in flower
                              The Purple Saxifrage is at it's best.
  It will be about 2 weeks before this beautiful alpine comes into flower
 on the cliffs of Phen-y-ghent in the Pennines.

Friday, 19 March 2010

The best of pals

Friday 19th March 2010.
                     It's a regular sight in our garden to see the pheasant and the ducks feeding together on the lawn in the morning . The frogs are still spawning but the area of spawn never seems to increase, what the frogs are doing they're forcing all the earlier spawn into the deeper area of the pond with all the writhing action of their hind legs.
There's still plenty of activity in the pond
             We're all good pals
A liking for raisins

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The sound of early spring

Wed. 17th March 2010.
This the sound that greets me when I open the door into my garden in the early spring , it occurs around this time every year.....Its the chorus of the frogs.

Spawning has reached its peak

Wed.17th March 2010.
                            Yesterday and today the frogs that are spawning in our garden have peaked at about 90 to 100 similar to last year, even though I did lose some owing to the very cold weather earlier in the year sadly they were frozen to death in the ice of the shallower pond in the corner of the garden.This year the conditions for spawning have been excellent once the warmer weather arrived over the weekend. Temperatures have remain fairly constant with day time highs of 12-13c and night temperatures of 6-7c the pond temperature is a fairly constant 8-9c.These conditions are ideal because there has been no night frosts which cool down the pond  temperature and slow down the rate of spawning.
Crocuses opening after a slow start

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Limestone Pavement Country

Tuesday 16th March 2010.
          Today has been another early spring day the temperature in my garden reached 12c in the afternoon This morning I think the frogs reached their peak in numbers and vocal intensity with lots of spawning, I'll upload the pictures and video tomorrow.
   But back to today we've had a good walk over Moughton, a limestone pavement and plateau area between Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent in the Yorkshire Dales, it's about 20 miles as the crow flies from our house. In the late spring and summer many rare plants grow in the grykes in the limestone pavement including several orchids.
This a  wonderful landscape of bare rock, the glaciers of the last ice age scraped away most of the topsoil giving it a rocky desert appearance.

              The start of the walk ..The hamlet of Wharfe in Crummack Dale                    

                                                                  Hazel catkins 
                    Moughton summit looking towards Pen-y-ghent

                                                       Looking towards Igleborough
                        In the distance our local landmark "Pendle Hill"                                
                                                       Looking north to Ribble Head
                                                     Juniper bushes grow in the grykes
                                            The vast expanse of the Limestone Pavement
                                                                   Moughton Scars
         Moughton Scars with the summit of Moughton on the horizon                               
                                                       A final look back to Pen-y-ghent

Monday, 15 March 2010

Activity in the pond

When the spawning reaches it's maximum there will be around 100 frogs.

The weather is warming up

Sunday march 14th 2010
                              Today has been the warmest day  since Dec 18th 2009 the temp. in my back garden reached 10.6 C  shade temp. in the afternoon. Up in the fields at the back of our house you can see into Upper Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales and the higher fells of  Buckden Pike and Great Whernside which are still snow covered and have been since December 18th last year.
        Back in my garden Spring has finally started  and the frogs have started to spawn They are 2 weeks later than last year because of the colder winter.
A pair of Mallard are now residents in our garden again this year