nature

The birds are back

This week I heard the first cuckoo heralding the arrival of the summer migrants. The nightingales have returned and have started their singing. I’ve seen many birds lately on my morning walks and thought I’d share some pictures with you.

A chaffinch pulling the petals from the blackthorn
A chaffinch pulling the petals from the blackthorn
A chiffchaff amongst the branches
A chiffchaff amongst the branches
My first ever sighting of a treecreeper
My first ever sighting of a treecreeper
A pied wagtail on overhead wires - they are usually seen on the ground wagging their tail as they walk
A pied wagtail on overhead wires – I usually see them on the ground wagging their tail as they walk
A great tit waiting its turn on the peanut feeders
A great tit waiting its turn on the peanut feeders
A green woodpecker in the field looking for ants and insects
A green woodpecker in the field looking for ants and insects
A song thrush - what a beautiful song they sing
A song thrush – what a beautiful song they sing
A pair of red-legged partridges visited the garden
A pair of red-legged partridges visited the garden
A wren singing – they make such a loud noise for such a tiny bird
And finally friend robin, who is always there

nature

Signs of spring

Today, on my walk in the countryside and looking round my garden, I noticed so many signs of spring.

There is a lone aconite with its bright yellow petals, still showing the rain or dew on its leaves.

aconite
Aconite

The first purple crocuses were out. They are in a flower bed with a south facing wall behind them.

crocuses
Crocuses

My wild strawberry has a flower. In my garden are several wild strawberries which must have been seeded by the birds. I’m looking forward to eating the sweet fruits later in the year.

wild strawberry
Wild strawberry

The snowdrops are pushing up through the grass. I have seen some already out in a neighbour’s sheltered spot.

snowdrop

The Christmas rose (Hellebore) has a flower ready to burst open. Although they are called Christmas rose mine never flower then.

Christmas rose
Christmas rose

I’ve had lots of daffodils showing their leaves but today I noticed a flower bud. I love seeing the narcissi out – the yellow of daffodils really is the colour of spring.

Daffodils
Daffodils

The violets have had flowers all  winter, hiding their heads under the leaves. I have some other wild violets which will not flower until later in the spring.

Violets
Violets

The buds on the horse chestnut are fattening and becoming sticky.

Horse chestnut buds
Horse chestnut buds

In the woods the bluebells are pushing their way through the fallen leaves. The beautiful scent as you walk through carpets of bluebells is well worth waiting for.

Bluebells
Bluebells

All in all this bright sunny day heralds spring.

Books, nature

The jay who lost his feathers

Nannie RaRa has written the second book for younger children. This time it is about a jay who lost his distinguishing blue feathers.

The book was inspired by a jay that came into Nannie’s garden. She took photographs of it, and turned them into watercolour paintings. The story of Jason Jay was woven around the paintings.

Jason Jay has lost his blue feathers. He asks for help from Monty Mole and Sonia Snail who do their best to find the blue and white striped feathers but to no avail. It is only when he steps into the ants nest that he finds his missing feathers.

Jason Jay asks Monty Mole for help
Jason Jay asks Monty Mole for help
Sonia Snail slowly makes her way to the flowerbed
Sonia Snail slowly makes her way to the flowerbed
The ants crawled all over Jason Jay
The ants crawled all over Jason Jay
Nannie saw Jason Jay with his blue feathers
Nannie saw Jason Jay with his blue feathers

The book is available both electronically and as a paperback from Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading it.

The jay who lost his feathers: paperback

The jay who lost his feathers: ebook

Books, nature

Bobbie Robin’s red feathers

Nannie RaRa has published a new book, Bobbie Robin’s red feathers, written originally for her youngest grandchildren.

The story is about Bobbie Robin who started life as an egg in the nest box in Nannie’s garden. When he left the nest box he couldn’t wait to have red feathers, but it wasn’t that easy.

Bobbie tried to make red feathers with paint, then jelly and finally red lipstick, but none worked as he expected.

The book is illustrated throughout with delightful watercolours by Nannie RaRa. The paintings were based on photographs taken of robins who had indeed laid eggs in the nest box in Nannie’s garden. The eggs hatched and the fledglings wandered about the garden.

Bobbie Robin on the paint pot
Bobbie Robin on the paint pot
Bobbie Robin putting jelly on his chest
Bobbie Robin putting jelly on his chest
Bobbie Robin brushing past the leaves
Bobbie Robin brushing past the leaves

Young Bobbie Robin
Young Bobbie Robin
Bobbie Robin with his red feathers
Bobbie Robin with his red feathers

The book is available both electronically and as a paperback from Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Bobbie Robin’s red feathers: ebook

Bobbie Robin’s red feathers: paperback

Cover of Bobbie Robin's red feathers