It’s Spring at last! This does seem to have been a long, wet. cold winter. The Cherry Plum trees in the garden started flowering weeks ago, even when nothing else seemed alive, and now they’re nearly over, having been a good stopgap for the bees that were out early.
In the summer their small pinky-red plums are good for eating or cooking, and the woodpigeons and jackdaws love them. One year the jackdaws dropped all their discarded cherry plum stones down one of the bedroom chimneys, so that we had a pile of stones in the fireplace that weighed nearly 2kg!
The other great signs of change are the frogspawn in the garden pond, and the massive increase in the birds’ activity. There’s a lot of nesting going on. The wrens are making a tiny nest in the ivy on the fence, there is a blackbird nest in the hedge, and the magpie family that have had a nest in the whitethorn tree for years are back.
The magpies’ nest is just bonkers – it appears to be a haphazard loose pile of long twigs, full of holes and gaps, that you’d think a small breeze would destroy in minutes. In spite of its appearance though, last year’s nest survived Storm Emma etc, and could be seen swaying around with the tree in the gales. It just needs a bit of tidying to be good for this year again. Once the eggs are laid they are very protective of it and there’ll always be one of the pair very close by to chase off predators like squirrels, until the young ones can fly.