Having just returned from our Sunday afternoon walk with Tess - just down the lane and back as it is a dull, misty and very cold day today - I thought I would just post a few observations. Of course, sod's law, I didn;t think to take my camera, otherwise the observations could be accompanied by a few shots.
The bogged down tractor in the wet ploughed field has been pulled out and presumably taken back to the farm. In that field there was a flock of at least three hundred plovers (lapwings) and strangely, as is usual, all were standing pointing in the same direction (east).
As we passed they rose into the air as one, circled round a couple of times and then landed again more or less where they were before.
Just opposite the field there is a barn conversion where friends live. They run a 5-site caravan park, which is closed in Winter of course but in the hedge on the lane side are two tall holly bushes which were absolutely thick with bright red berries. We have been watching these two bushes all winter and nothing has taken the berries. Today we stop in amazement to find that every single berry has gone. They were there two days ago, today they have all been eaten. We suspect fieldfares or redwings - I shall look out for the owner of the site in the hopes that she saw the culprits. Now that winter begins to draw to a close I suspect that food is getting scarce, although we have found that blackbirds - who in a bad winter come to our bird table in huge numbers - are quite happy to forage in the hedge bottom for grubs this year. The only thing that attracts them to the table is a handful of dried meal worms, and then they see who can eat the most while the robin dashes in for a quick mouthful at every opportunity.
Our fertiliser (20:10:10) has arrived and now the farmer is waiting for the ground to dry up enough for it to be spread. Only a matter of around twelve weeks before we go on holiday and during that time there is the tidying up of all the bits of wood that have fallen from the trees (several days job), the manure spreading, the harrowing, the rolling, the fertiliser spreading - a couple of weeks today it will be March and the first marsh marigolds should begin to appear (my favourites - I always watch for the first one in the beck). I read in a book today that in Suffolk they are called Bull- Daisies; that's a name I haven't heard before.
The farmer picked up two large cones (from the tree identification book I am pretty sure they are pine cones of some kind) when he was out shooting the other week. I have had them on the kitchen window sill and this morning five winged seeds have fallen out. Now he intends to sow them in a pot and put them outside of course.
I suspect that it is not easy to grow them like this - does anyone have any tips (e.g. would they be better if we froze them overnight?).