I love nature especially plants and fossils, I have always enjoyed finding things on walks and have brilliant memories of the Nature Table at school and searching for treasures to take in for it. I regularly come home with pockets full of shells pebbles rock and fossils, the house has the feel of a museum. I wanted to share the natural world in a diary form and a virtual nature table . Hope you enjoy the finds.
The rhythm of the day has changed so much with the lockdown, it has slowed down and made things more noticeable. The garden is a source of discovery and I have been spending as much time as possible out there planting, weeding and exploring.
Each day we are walking to either our local park or pocket park with the dog. Tonight we saw a muntjac deer hop into the blackthorn hedges. There were lots of rabbits and birds. The sky was a bright blue and sparrows and blue tits were sailing through it in groups .
We came across a huge tree that had been felled and left as a pile of enormous logs.
A walk through a small green space into the local park was rewarded with a show of celandines shining in the sun. The ditches along the hedge were full of them.
These small green spaces are surprisingly full of wildlife and wild flowers . I will be spending time exploring these everyday areas over the next few weeks when doing our daily exercise in this difficult time. Stay safe.
With lockdown travelling out and about is not an option.
The garden is the centre of nature explorations for the next few months. The weather has been amazing and the garden has been full of life. This week there have been brimstones and comma butterflies. I saw a bee fly investigating the primroses.
I only have a small garden but there is plenty going in. The wood pigeons are flapping noisily and building nests. Sparrows are flying in and out in large flocks visiting the bird feeders. Red kites are hanging in the brilliant blue sky. I’m hoping blue tits will nest again in the terracotta bird house.
The blossom is coming out, plum above, ornamental cherry at the top of the page. This has been busy with visiting bees. The garden is small but has greengage, crab Apple , pear and Apple blossom still to arrive. Hopefully plenty of fruit this year.
I will be out in the garden as much as possible and looking even more carefully than usual to discover more .
It is warm and sunny , I am sitting in the sun in the garden drinking tea, next door are mowing their grass and the birds are singing noisily. As Pa Larkin would say ‘perfick’! In fact HE Bates who created Pa Larkin in The Darling Buds if May books lived here in Rushden .
The bird feeders are busy with flocks of squabbling sparrows, I sometimes think our garden is a sparrow meeting point. They are amusing to watch .There are great tits, blue tits and chaffinches in the trees and red kites floating above us. The number of red kites has increased , we often have them flying and soaring over the garden. Driving down into town earlier there were three together .
Our chickens are enjoying the better weather and are looking healthy and inquisitive and busy eating any insects or worms they can discover.They are not roaming in the whole garden now as they are fond of digging up the spring bulbs!
There are not many insects in the garden this afternoon apart from some tiny flies and a huge bumble bee visiting the hellebores. I’m on the look out for butterflies and always like to see the brimstone in these early spring months.
The pond which we created last year looks good but needs leaves taken out of it and some of the plants cut back. I’m hoping that this year it will attract some dragon and damselflies.
These early spring days are brilliant as everything starts to grow again . Hoping for birds to nest or bumble bees to take up home in the terracotta house.
Sunday was bright and dry and skies were blue. The woods and meadow areas were however transformed into watery worlds by the rain of the past three weeks.
The River Nene flows behind these gravel pit lakes and it has burst it’s banks and created new wet areas. Herons are standing in them as well as the coots and moorhens and ducks.
This was a bright day and a noisy walk, the birds were busy and very vocal. Standing in a wooded area right next to a lake a flock of goldfinches were incredibly loud . There were great tits , blue tits and long tailed tits in large numbers as well. I like this small wooded area it always has something interesting to discover.
The tree tops looked fantastic against the sky and buds are beginning to burst open. Pussy willow is appearing along the paths.
It’s great to spend more time outdoors not wrapped up in a waterproof, hat, gloves etc let’s hope that spring will sweep in soon.
It has been an amazing blue sky afternoon out exploring Batsford. There were drifts of spring flowers, crocus, daffodils and snowdrops and beautiful blossom. While walking along the stream at the base of the hill a strange bird caught my eye. It turned out to be a bat which was flying up and down the stream bed. It was about 12.30 and was unusual. There were plenty of birds flying too, chaffinches, bullfinch,, blue tits, robins, blackbirds and noisy pheasants were in large numbers and busy. I noticed a magpie carrying a very large twig flying off to build a nest.
The sky was a brilliant blue and the trees looked fantastic silhouetted against it.
There is a large collection of magnolia trees at Batsford and the buds are growing and filling out now. They are often hairy or downy. Some of the buds look black .
The flowers were beautiful especially in the sun. A short tour of them for you below.
As all the new growth is bursting forth and everything is sprouting and greening there is still interest from last year. This perfect leaf skeleton was laying on top of some leaf litter. It almost sparkles in the sun.
I couldn’t resist a sit on a bank of daffodils , they smelt lovely. I noticed what I thought was a bee diving in the golden trumpets but it was a hover fly. It ventured deeper and deeper into the flower .
I often stop for a walk at Batsford often on my own and I love it. There is always something new to see and discover , today a stream flying bat! The magnolias won’t be long until they put on an amazing show so a revisit will be in order.
Spring is definitely marching on, looking forward to being out more as the weather improves discovering and exploring.
Issue 2 of Explorations magazine has been out for a few weeks and people are really enjoying the range of articles, photos and information. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the issue.
This Issue is full of new features and some amazing articles from all over Britain and even Iceland.
I am trying to bring the magazine to school libraries and develop a love of the natural world with young people. A school Subscription is three issues plus newsletters three times a year. Information can be found in the schools and groups tab. Email- email@example.com I am looking for schools to become ‘explorer schools ‘ and deliver natural history focussed projects at them.
Please think about becoming part of the naturetableexplorer (NTX) project . If you would like to send ideas or photos, notes or an article for issue 3 email in firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to subscribe to the magazine Explorations use PayPal with the same email .
I am also looking for outlets for the magazines , if you have any ideas let me know !
I have set up a Facebook group page called nature table explorers and would like people to share their photos on this page and build a virtual nature table of discoveries.