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Friday, 26 March 2010

Spring has finally arrived...

Despite some pretty stormy weather the last couple of days the start of the week brought some milder weather and the first sightings of the beautiful Brimstone Yellow Butterflies to our garden - pictured here on the Pulmonaria - they look rather striking with the bright blue flowers - posing perhaps!?  During the week I've also caught sight of a couple of Comma Butterflies too but they were flying around so no photo I'm afraid.

A few nights ago I came across the first hedgehog of the season - presumably out for a stretch leg and a munch after the long winter hibernation!

The best sighting this week - just yesterday was my first swallow - a male swallow which greeted me on my return from a hard day's work and then today on my morning stroll with Lucy - loads all sitting on the telegraph wires and chattering away "swallow-style" and there were also quite a number flying really low over the fields searching around for insects I suspect - it was quite amusing to watch as they darted they way around the herd of cows - the cows seemed quite unperturbed!

The moment the swallows arrive is always a very heartening and special moment and I'm in awe of these small birds which travel all those thousands of miles against the odds and seem to arrive back here each year - incredible!  I always feel priviledged that they would choose our barns to nest in.  It was funny talking to my sister this morning as I was telling her that the swallows were early this year - last year they arrived on the 28th March to which she replied - "only you would notice these things as living in London when would you know they'd arrived?" and she's right - the coming and going of the seasons are so much more apparent when you live in the countryside and I think you have time to notice which is one of the things I love... isn't this what life is all about!?

Wishing you all a good weekend... and I hope to try and get to visit a few more blogs this week - I've not done very well of late - so please don't feel neglected...

22 comments:

Cheryl said...

Beautiful brimstone Miranda.....I have not seen any butterflies yet. The wind is still chill here.
Pulmonaria is a particular favourite of mine........a fascinating plant with much folklore attached.

Sigh swallows.....I know exactly what you mean. Ours have not arrived yet. They nest in next doors stables. I was born in London and my heart will always be there, but my soul, most definately belongs to the countryside. I would not live anywhere else by choice........

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the sunshine.....perhaps I could ask if you might just send a little this way......

patientgardener said...

How lovely to see butterflies and swallows. I think it will be a while before we see them here in the Midlands. My pulmonaria has only just started to emerge above the ground

The Early Birder said...

I've noticed more Bee activity in the last few days but no 'flutters' or Swallows yet.

Brittanygirl said...

Hello Miranda Yes we've just seen our first swallows here this week - late aren't they with the cold weather? How do they kno it was slow getting warmer here? Do they send an advance party?! Still wet and grey here. Come on Spring!

Chris said...

You have beaten me with the butterfly and the swallow :-) No sign of either in our garden yet. We have had a lot of rainy days, no gardening and little wildlife :-) Enjoy your weekend.

easygardener said...

We have had Butterflies and Bees but no Swallows or Swifts flying around yet. You are right about gardeners noticing the seasons via wildlife and flowers - it soon becomes a habit.
The Brimstone has chosen just the right plant to show itself off to perfection!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

It looks like you placed the butterfly there, just to hightlight the lovely blue of the pulmonaria, gorgeous.

Rosie said...

Miranda what a delightful little butterfly you have there - I have never seen one like that here. If I want to see some little beauties that I won't see in my garden I go off to the cliffs over at Arbroath during the summer which I'm sure you've been to many times too. Such a beautiful contrast between the pulmonaria and its wings.

No swallows here yet that I can see but Britany is not too far from Scotland so I'm sure they are not that far away.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend - I so missed that hour in bed this morning with changing to BST - what happens in France?

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Beautiful post, I didn't realize the flowers of pulmonaria were so very beautiful.

Noelle said...

I think that gardeners notice the little signs of spring such as birds and butterflies arriving much more then the average person. I do love the little blue blossoms of your Plumonaria.

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - since that posting it's done lots of raining here too and today is even worse :-( Thank you for your lovely comments - I wonder what the folklore is around these plants - I'm intrigued! Do hope you're keeping well - will visit again soon Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Patientgardener - thanks for visiting - sorry things are so much later with you - not surprising with the winter the UK has had and from the news is still having? Does the cold weather ever give up... hope the swallows will soon be arriving - Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Earlybirder - I wonder if you've seen any swallows or butterflies yet... can't believe there's more wintry weather in the UK - haven't we all had enough? It's pretty cold again here too - the poor swallows! Hope you're having a good week Miranda

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Brittanygirl - sorry to take so long to reply - it's been lots of work recently - glad to hear your swallows have arrived too - I just love these birds - they're infact 6 days earlier here this year as opposed to last year! I can see I'm going to have a few challenging days trying to get people's grass cut before Easter now - hope you're well and ankle repairing too - take care Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Chris - sorry you still don't have any butterflies or swallows as yet - I'm sure they'll be there soon if this cold snap will ever go! Hope you're enjoying your garden anyway... take care Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Easygardener - thanks for your kind comments - I think the Brimstone knew exactly where he was landing!! Hope you're having a good week in your garden - very wet here at the moment do hope it cheers up for the weekend - Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Deborah - just to confirm I didn't place the Butterfly on this plant - honest!! It's such an amazing colour of yellow with fine green markings - quite amazing - it's always the first Butterfly on show here although I've seen one or two others this week when the sun has been out! Take care Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Deborah - just to confirm I didn't place the Butterfly on this plant - honest!! It's such an amazing colour of yellow with fine green markings - quite amazing - it's always the first Butterfly on show here although I've seen one or two others this week when the sun has been out! Take care Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Rosie - believe you me we also missed out on an hour of sleep this last weekend too - I felt it even more as I went to our plant swap - 2 each year on the weekends when the clocks change!! A great way of gaining different plants without having to spend money! Do hope you're not too inundated with snow again - the pictures are not looking good for anyone who loves the gardens... take care and have a lovely Easter Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Rebecca - many thanks for visiting - Pulmonaria is an amazing plant and infact you can get a number of different varieties - some stunning colours too! It's so pretty at a time of year when ground cover is essential and when there's not so much out in the garden although things are coming on bit by bit! Take care Miranda x

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks Noelle - I love that sense of the changing seasons and all that goes with it... had been looking forward to the swallows' arrival and wondering when they would arrive - it's like watching for all your favorite blooms starting to push through the soil - each day has it's own surprises.... hope all's well with you Miranda x

debsgarden said...

It's great to see signs of spring. The pulmonaria is amazing! I have been looking for some different plants for my woodland garden and have been considering pulmonaria. I am looking for a local source. The yellow butterfly is a lovely sight against the blue of the pulmonaria flowers. Happy Easter!