What an amazing world we live in....
Today is another bright and crisp morning, still a bit cool, but we are at the very end of March. As I look into the garden the Horse Chestnut tree has burst all its buds, except for about a dozen right at the top of the tree and in full sunlight. It is odd isn't it that the same tree, in the same position leafs at different times - almost a fortnight between first and possibly last buds opening.
The Horse Chestnut is one of my favourite trees, I love to see the sticky buds bursting open initially silvery white and then the sharp. new fresh green. I love the pretty, pinky cream sweet smelling flowers that all too soon will appear and trust that the winds don't damage it, as they did last year. Who doesn't enjoy the dappled shade from a tree in the heavy days of Summer and then the falling conkers of Autumn. I used to have great competitions of conker fights with conkers that weren't baked but "au naturale" as a child and the fun of finding them on Autumn walks. Bet you did too? Now they are useful to keep the spiders away inside the house!
The pleasure of simple things is perhaps accentuated in these days of almost lockdown and the pleasure of tree watching from a window or even in a garden is an amazing experience, but so is watching all the wild life that uses that tree, from birds to bees, from squirrels to ants. Why don't you keep a photographic record of a tree, bush in your garden, near your home that you can study changing and developing throughout the year ahead. See what birds visit, and listen in the stillness from the lack of traffic to the birdsong. Keep a diary, do some reseach on the creatures that visit and what is their purpose, find out why what the bird song actually means. Try sketching the tree or bush or a leaf from it, We are never too old to learn and never too young to start learning!
Hope you will enjoy listening to the birdsong and learning to identify that which you didn't recognise. Also there is a guide here to aid your listening, in a much quieter environment that we share.
Time now to watch and listen and still keep safe.
https://bit.ly/33ZmKqy - RSPB birdsong radio
https://bit.ly/2UNfkCt - Woodland Trust birdsong guide
Thanks to Dot for this beautiful picture from her garden last week.