From one extreme to another; February was very windy and the best part of March has been warm, sunny and dry. I don’t know for Scotland yet, but some parts of the Netherlands have seen a meagre 1 mm rain during the entire month!
Yet, while I am checking the weather forecast for Scotland, Glendevon is meant to see some snow during the next few days. Well, I suppose I have been here long enough to know that the Scottish weather can be very changeable!
The weather on Mother’s Day was very good indeed and I and my husband spent all day in the sun, soaking up that important vitamin D and planting some strawberry plants. I have also prepared some young strawberry plants to sell very cheaply in the shop in a few weeks’ time; nothing tastes better than a home grown strawberry still warm from the sun! And how lovely it was to hear the birds singing and the bumblebees buzzing, I hope you managed to enjoy some of the sunshine too.
The chickens are enjoying themselves too, eating the fresh spring greens they find in the fields. Hank the Tank is now basically attacking the spoon (remember how she likes to be ‘spoon fed’?), well she now goes berserk when she sees the spoon and pecks at it even if there is no food left. I’ve never seen a chicken behave this way, it’s very odd.
Hetty is just being dumb; because of all the spring greens they are eating, their droppings are a little bit on the thin side, so I mix in a herbal powder which sorts this out, but Hetty is that slow that the other chickens have eaten most of it before she tucks in and so she is missing out on this powder. Even if I single her out, she is a very slow eater it and will just stare at it really. Mind you, she must be eating something because she is not losing any weight, maybe she is just shy.
Betty (Blue) is very sweet; she tries to sleep in a nest box, but this is not ideal as it is cleaner for them to perch, so when I check on them at night and see her in a nest box she guiltily looks at me before she climbs up on a perch next to the others. It is all very sweet.
The frogs have been busy too; there is so much frog spawn that it looks a little bit like something from a horror movie! It’s interesting; I’ve been keeping track on their first spawning for the past 6 years via Nature’s Calendar and the first frog spawn has always appeared within the same 7 days, around 15th March (apart from one year when we had snow lying until April!).
Nature’s Calendar is a great website founded by the Woodland Trust to track changes (or not) in nature’s events. There is a variety of events you can record and for every level of expertise; from seeing the first peacock butterfly of the year to oak leaf bud burst. Personally, I have been recording the first colt’s foot flower, frog spawn, first cuckoo and first swallows, which are all fairly easy to recognize. The Woodland Trust then uses the data submitted by us, citizen scientists, to look at patterns which may be affected by changes in climate. I heard that in my next year’s Environmental Science study we even get to work with this data, so that would mean I might use my own recordings! How fun is that?!
If you are interested in recording nature events and be a citizen scientist, here is the link to their website: naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk