I spent a good part of this weekend in the garden, and as usual that brought its rewards - expected and unexpected.
Spring comes later to gardens here in the 'frozen north' (Lancashire!) than in the south, but this weekend I saw that things were beginning to warm up a bit. The beautiful weather today brought this year's first song from our greenfinches - for me, one of the most evocative sounds of spring. I also notice a fair amount of invertebrate activity especially, as one would expect, around the pond.
Trees reflected in the surface of my pond (birch, ash and whitebeam). (View bigger image.)
Yesterday brought a close encounter with a glorious male sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus
) which swept into the garden flying low between my house and next door. It passed within ten feet of me and perched for a while on a neighbour's fence for before moving on.
There still appears to be only a few pairs of frogs in the pond, though one of the females (firmly clasped by her suitor) seems swollen fit to burst and I wouldn't be surprised to see spawn any day. I was also reminded today what a beautiful thing it is to have a pond in the garden on purely aesthetic grounds. As I sat at the waters edge, dreamily gazing into its depths I suddenly realised that I was looking into the sky. It is especially noticeable in winter (when there is less vegetation on the surface) that the reflective surface of a pond brings a big piece of the sky into down into your garden. The reflected trees are mostly in my neighbour's garden, but I'm sure they won't mind me borrowing them!