After one of the wildest, wettest winters in a long time Spring has finally come to the banks of the Munster Blackwater. The countryside all around us has being changing both in looks and sounds. The cock blackbird above has been singing loudly all week proclaiming his status as the top bird in his territory and there has been many scuffles as he sees off any would be challengers to his throne.
Although we have had settled weather for the last week we haven`t seen much of the sun although on the few occasions that it burnt off the mornng fog things have been nice.
The early Flowering Cherry has been a welcome splash of colour in the garden o these cold foggy mornings.
This woodpigeon wasn`t too inclined to leave his perch in the cold fogginess of the mornings.
Even the finches were on a bit of a go slow.
The growth rates of the plants have increased with the mild weather. Last Monday I took some pictures of the buds on the willow trees in the garden. This mornng when I looked all the buds had now opened into the lovely pale yellow blossom.When I was looking at my beehive yesterday I saw some bees coming back from foraging with their polllen sacks full of pale yellow pollen so maybe they have also found some willows.
These two pictures are of the same tree taken only four days apart.
The mild weather has brought blossoms onto the wild strawberry plants on the ditches locally. These strawberries aren`t the ones that give us the lovely sweet fruits but are a species known as the Barren Strawberry which unfortunately don`t give any fruit.
The barren strawberry is easily recognised from the fruiting variety by the front tooth on each leaf which is shorter than the teeth on either side of it.
The Barren Strawberry
Well that`s all for today. I must now go and get my gardening trowel and go hunting. Yes. Hunting. It is now only three days to St. Patricks day and it is time to find some Shamrock which is so important in the story of St. Patrick. This time last year the weather was very cold and there was no plant growth so consequently there was a real scarcity of shamrock. Hopefully with the mild weather this year my shamrock seeking will be more successfull.