Author Topic: Signs of Spring  (Read 90764 times)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1225 on: March 25, 2019, 01:33:43 am »
There is a bluebottle buzzing round my kitchen.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1226 on: March 25, 2019, 02:43:29 pm »
There is a bluebottle buzzing round my kitchen.
Splat!

Quote
You duhtty rotten swine! You dedded me!
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
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Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1227 on: March 25, 2019, 03:11:34 pm »
This weekend, the first of the bluebells and cowslips, and also hawthorn flowering in the hedges.
"ne'er cast a clout 'till may be out", so I can legitimately wear shorts now :) (I've been in shorts for about a month)

That's probably blackthorn at this time of year.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1228 on: March 26, 2019, 08:46:28 pm »
What's probably blackthorn at this time of year.
I dare say.
In a hedge, thorny, and no leaves to help with the ID

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1229 on: March 26, 2019, 09:04:52 pm »
My mirabelle plum tree is very thorny and its blossoms have been and gone.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1230 on: March 27, 2019, 08:09:06 am »
Magpies began nesting in the elder tree by the corner of our barn, but they seem to have given up and gone elsewhere since - possibly driven out by the family of rather thuggish ravens in the neighbourhood, who always seem to pick on magpies.  In this case it's probably to the good since the tree gets bashed every time we open the barn door to get the car out.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1231 on: March 27, 2019, 12:01:01 pm »
What's probably blackthorn at this time of year.
I dare say.
In a hedge, thorny, and no leaves to help with the ID

Blackthorn normally flowers before the leaves appear.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1232 on: March 27, 2019, 08:39:51 pm »
What's probably blackthorn at this time of year.
I dare say.
In a hedge, thorny, and no leaves to help with the ID

Blackthorn normally flowers before the leaves appear.
There is a similar prunus, cherry plum, that usually flowers a bit before blackthorn. The shrubs look like blackthorn in early spring - drifts of white blossom covering the whole shrub/tree Leaves appear while they're still blossoming, unlike blackthorn. I don't think they're particularly thorny, unlike blackthorn; we have them locally, but rarelyusually on verges of roads where I would not feel comfortable about stopping to look at details. It's not native & IMLE tends to be commoner near urban areas.

My guess is also blackthorn, which, according to the books, has black bark rather than brown, though I've failed to separate bullace from blackthorn at this time of year. FWIW bullace is another non-native which has escaped from cultivation & has bigger fruit. There's more than one variety; some have round fruit while others are plum-shaped.

I think blackthorn is the only one which has a high (>50%) probablility of minor wounds from injuries caused by the thorns turning septic, but I'll leave controlled experiments to others.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1233 on: March 27, 2019, 09:02:43 pm »
My mirabelle (yellow cherry) plum tree has VICIOUS thorns (as Giraffe will attest).

The tree was here when I bought the house nearly 20 years ago.

It's in leaf now; white blossoms have been and gone.

Sweet flesh, acid skin, adherent stones; makes the best jam EVAH!

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1234 on: March 28, 2019, 08:34:26 am »
Around here they make schnapps out of them.  Quite nifty: they harvest and ferment them, then a chappie with a portable still comes round and they distil & bottle it. I was once invited to a distillation afternoon: "you get drunk just by being there and breathing" but for some reason I didn't go.

A chap in our club has a mirabelle orchard, and always has litres of the stuff available.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1235 on: March 28, 2019, 12:36:03 pm »
Mirabelle de Lorraine is a protected name/origin innit?

Mirabelles ripen very close to my Dad's August 13 birthday.

There are LOADS for the taking in Hyde Park...

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1236 on: March 28, 2019, 02:08:44 pm »
Yes, it is protected. Our bloke is a Lorrain. Good trencherman too: one club holiday in 2013 there was andouillette for dinner, which a good few didn't like. I put away two but he put away five.

I'm not that bothered by mirabelles, but around here there are quetsch trees by the hundred. Strangely, we rarely see quetsches in the shops, which p's me off because I love the things.We used to have two or three trees but they went when we sold off our meadow.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1237 on: March 28, 2019, 03:01:26 pm »
The flying bugs are out and about. On monday I could walk around the site in my hi vis without them swarming to me, today I can't.

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1238 on: March 28, 2019, 03:33:27 pm »
Blackthorn has been out a while around us. I washed my car on Saturday, used yellow microfibre  clothes to dry it off. I left them out to dry, and they ended up covered in dozens of pollen beetles.  My wife killed the first fly of the season in our kitchen yesterday.  The bees are loving the lungwort in the garden.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1239 on: March 28, 2019, 10:18:45 pm »
Lots of bees on various blossoms in the garden today.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1240 on: March 29, 2019, 08:23:24 am »
Our magpies are back, building suicidally in the tree that gets bashed by the barn door when we get the  car out. They just stood off a raven - they don't get much rest. I'll try and get a few pics later.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1241 on: March 29, 2019, 06:53:34 pm »
This year's crop of Japanese Knotweed has suddenly started to appear and is sprouting surprisingly quickly by the river.  :(
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1242 on: March 30, 2019, 07:48:07 pm »
First ice cream van of the year!

I think today has been the first time I've been aware of the chimes.
Two sets: 'Yankee Doodle' and 'The Sun Has Got Its Hat On'.

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1243 on: March 30, 2019, 07:57:05 pm »
This year's crop of Japanese Knotweed has suddenly started to appear and is sprouting surprisingly quickly by the river.  :(

Reportable if on your land. Terrible stuff.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1244 on: March 30, 2019, 08:49:01 pm »
A pair of swallows.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1245 on: April 01, 2019, 05:15:00 pm »
First ice cream van of the year!

I think today has been the first time I've been aware of the chimes.
Two sets: 'Yankee Doodle' and 'The Sun Has Got Its Hat On'.

'Greensleeves' has returned.

ETA The fourth ice cream van chime has returned so that's four in as many days.

Maybe Teddy Bears' Picnic will too...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1246 on: April 01, 2019, 05:32:36 pm »
A family having a barbecue in their not-garden (not knot garden).
sideways bounding monkey lounging under fruit tree

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1247 on: April 01, 2019, 05:40:16 pm »
A pair of swallows.

Excellent! I went out a couple of days ago, when the weather was lovely and warm, to a farm where I know a colony of swallows turns up every summer, but I saw no sign of them. I checkd the SE Essex RSPB "Latest Sightings" website and no-one down here has reported seeing any yet.

http://www.southendrspb.co.uk/sight99/migrationlist.htm

To date, only sedge warbler and wheatear have been reported this year for summer visitors.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Basil

  • Um....err......oh bugger!
  • Help me!
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1248 on: May 02, 2019, 07:26:15 pm »
Standing on the rear balcony of my local during a 'dog walk' this evening, I notice that a cricket match is underway on the pitch.
 :D

That's it. Spring is over. Summer is here.
This thread is now closed until Jan 1st 2020.
Quote from: Kim
And remember that friends who organise things on Facebook aren't proper friends anyway.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: Signs of Spring
« Reply #1249 on: May 03, 2019, 01:54:46 pm »
Heard cuckoos in several places. Saw a bunch of house martins yesterday merrily butchering the flies over a gravel car park down by the footie field. They're called hirondelles de fenĂȘtre here, maybe from committing suicide against them.

Also met an alarming number of motorbikes and quads in the Vosges on Wednesday: the warm weather brings them out like flies from a chicken-coop.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.