Saturday, 26 April 2014

April 2014

blackthorn blossom

April has seen a wonderfully bright and dry month with just a few showers to make everything lush and green.

White blossoms have erupted along the road from the blackthorn hedges which will be giving us damsons and sloes later in September to make delicious gin from for Christmas. The road is scattered with the petals like snow. 
Apple and fruit trees are beginning to flourish with pinks and the fields are a sea of daisies. I've never seen such a carpet before. 

The hedgerows are filled with sparrows and Great-tits fluttering around bringing the hedge to life as we walk along the road. 
The light during spring seems to have made every plant exceptionally green with such vibrancy. Hearts Tongue ferns are uncurling in the corners and the Ash hedge with all its fingers pointing to the sky is eventually showing some feathery leaves. Further down the road last years dry seeds are still hanging from a branch. 

Due to the dry spell young dairy cows have arrived to stretch their legs in the field and feast on the sugar rich grass. And as a treat on the corner a little family of two goats, a ewe and three lambs all huddle together on the still slightly chilly mornings. 

Walking along the riverbank the Kingfisher is still making regular flight, swans are visiting and the otter is about. There was quite ruckus on the river the other night in which I suspect the sleeping swans were disturbed by the otters swimming up and down. The bats are back flying around at dusk. 
A large depressed river mussel shell was in the field too which I assume the otter collected and ate on the bank. This was about 10cms in diameter. I have also noticed little holes in the path along the riverbank of which I'm sure something scurried into as I walked along. It may just be a mouse or a rat or something more interesting? 

The swans at the end of Biddisham Lane under the Poplar trees.

The Lamb family on the corner.

Carol, Rita, Ava and their moovie star friends. (This really is their names on their ear tags) 

Carpet of daisies 

Hearts tongue ferns

The Depressed River Mussel found on the bank. 

Thursday, 27 March 2014

March 27th 2014

As the sun sets on another beautiful day in Biddisham Spring has most definitely sprung.

The rains have stopped, the grey skies that did look like this ........

Have now now turned to this!

The wildlife came out in force this week. The lesser spotted woodpecker was drilling away in the Poplar copse, very loudly.

A single lamb, a beautiful Wiltshire Horned lamb has also arrived at Poplar farm. It was quite a soap opera since the little lamb arrived last week. She watched closely as the Rams clashed their heads together and as her Mum butted the Rams to show them what was what. All of the flock came over to greet her and although she is a lonely lamb she has skipped, slept and munched her way around the field discovering the bunnies, the seagulls and the crows.

Along with the lamb a small group of adventurous Shetlands have infiltrated the flock through the fence. At first the Wiltshires were a little nervous of the spotted sheep but they have settled back to their very relaxed way of life of eating grass all together.

Today was the highlight of the week. The river Axe has been raised back up to Summer levels, its so clear you could swim in it. If only is wasn't so cold!
This afternoon an Otter purposefully swam downstream paddling past us all as we watched from the gardens at Waterfront.

A deer and a duck was also spotted on our morning walk nestled in the grass. In separate fields.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sunday 16th February

 Something very different appeared today, the sun. Glorious sunshine bathed all of Biddisham lane for the whole day. The sky was the deepest cobalt blue fading to a hazy pastel shade. The sun was low and bright, the clouds were almost painted perfectly in the sky in fluffy wool white. It was a beautiful, beautiful day that we were all very grateful of.

It would have been silly to sit inside so we went on an extended walk of Biddisham lane, including the back drove which we think was the original road into Biddisham running from the church to Poplar farm.
The drove wasn't too swamped at right at the end we watched a hang-glider attempting a flight on Crooks Peak. There was quite an audience up there on the hill.

All the birds appeared to make the most of the sun, a great flock of starlings, egrets, ducks, swans, buzzards, etc. Everything came back to life just for one very special day.

The starlings

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Tuesday 11th February

We were caught in another downpour this morning on our walk. Just had time to snap the sheeps sheltering in the shed squeezing behind the tractor. Very bleak today.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday 10th February 2014

The River Axe is swelling but thankfully still has plenty of space. Not sure what the fish do when all this water comes through but everything seems happy with moor hens still darting in and out of the banks.

Sunday 9th February, Afternoon

Yesterday was certainly changeable in the weather. We went from heavy hail storms and breaking of tree limbs to glorious sunshine and back again.

Balls of mistletoe hanging from the trees. 

The branches of the hedge are growing up as if it was Spring. 

A couple of fallen limbs from our largest poplar trees. 

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday 9th February 2014

The Sky on this morning walk, we got caught in another hail shower. 

The Winter down here on Biddisham Lane was quiet and mild with nothing to dramatic to report. Now during the wettest Winter on record our hearts go out to the residents of the Somerset levels further South suffering with the overwhelming floods. We are incredibly thankful that the River Axe running along the road is flood controlled with gates at Bleadon and has been dredged/cleared by local farmers over the past few years.

The trees have held up well with just one fall on the road bringing down the telephone lines. Its amazing to see how they bend and flex with the wind to keep from falling.

The rain has been relentless over the weeks since Christmas with grey skies and mud, glorious mud.  The rare day of sunshine bought everyone out over Crooks Peak for walks and gliding off the hill.

Such mild weather has kept roses in bloom and now the snowdrops have popped up amongst daffodils that just need that spike of sunshine to flower. Even daisies are trying to cheer us up.

The animals are the ones having the most miserable of times, horses are having to be kept in along with the larger beasties to keep their feet dry and the land preserved.
The lucky native horses at the end of the road run out in such glee every morning really appreciating they have a higher dry field to stretch their legs in. Even the sheep are now looking a little soggy with the ground so easily turning to sludge coating their undersides a dip dyed black.

We hope the sunshine will come out soon but in meantime we'll do our best to enjoy the weather we can't do much about. It certainly makes a cup of tea taste all the better!

The River Axe under Crooks Peak

The fallen tree in the hedge, you can just see where the roots snapped.

Burr's along the road