Another False Dawn

24c!  Forget spring let’s go straight to summer, well for three days anyway.  Today is less than half that value and next week a quarter, 5c and wintery showers forecast.  Spring is a bit hit and miss at the moment.  These past days have been great though, time to dust off the macro and go hiking.

Not sure of this tiny bee species but it’s had fun with the pollen! (update Andrena flavipes Yellow-legged mining bee)
A Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) shares a lesser celandine with pollen beetles
Male Great Tit (Parus major) against a stark backdrop of an old industrial unit

It was good for butterflies.  They awoke from hibernation in large numbers.  Strangely, we saw more in the urban areas than the countryside.  Four species noted, the most numerous being Peacocks.  They were all a bit hyperactive and getting any good photos was going to be tricky, never mind plenty of time for that.  It was a joy just seeing them.

A Peacock (Aglais io) takes a breather on a fallen tree

During this last lockdown I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the garden ‘pond gazing’.  Watching the water plants I put in for signs of growth, delighted to have the first lily pad break surface, but also looking for what might be lurking beneath the weed.  Really pleased when I saw the first Smooth Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) and now there are loads of them all getting a bit frisky!

Underwater world. A pair of Smooth Newts in my pond

Really wanted frogs to come and breed but no joy yet.  Plan B, Rose and Mick have two young cats that are pretty efficient at hunting frogs, where they come from who knows.  So I have adopted a couple of recent captures which were totally unharmed.  I think both were females and there has been no sign of any males so it looks like no tadpoles this year unless I can locate some spawn in the wild.

Give us a kiss!
Spring colour. When we moved in there were no flower beds so it’s nice to see our efforts bloom

38 thoughts on “Another False Dawn

  1. It’s so nice to see the plants coming through and the little creatures taking advantage of the warm weather. We have another four days of sunshine but the temperatures are also dropping. I hope to get out tomorrow to see how many butterflies I can capture on the way down to the Rhone valley. 🤞🤞 (So far, around here, I’ve seen loads of Tortoiseshells, several Brimstones, a few white ones, not sure what sort, one Queen of Spain and the odd Peacock).

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  2. You certainly made some spiffing hay while the sun shone, Brian. Fantastic shots, especially those newts. The weather was fabulous here in Shropshire yesterday. But dank and murky today. So much chop and change. Must be that dratted jet stream set on ‘random’ again.

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  3. Nice. Love the frog. We have frogs in our pond again this year, but taking a photo is another story!
    Found one sitting in the weir yesterday as I lifted the cover. It blinked then ”exploded” into a back flip and disappeared into the pond. Not sure which one of us was the more surprised.

    Autumn is fast approaching down here, but I won’t depress you and mention I am still in short sleeves!

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  4. You and I are reacting in the same way as spring arrives–we both are out with our macro lens, searching for tiny subjects. I like the fact that we both have posted photos of bee flies and frogs. I have seen a few butterflies, but so far have not been able to photograph any except for a Cabbage White. Happy hunting as things gradually warm up and more insects appear on the scene.

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  5. First off, hope things are progressing on your lockdown. Feel bad for you as we are definitely starting to loosen up in the states Shots are starting to flow and the economies are opening up. Loved the macros – and now I see an opportunity as our bullfrog community is starting to emerge from the surrounding ponds and the large stream cutting through our property. Bearable at the moment, however, as the months pass it will slowly become deafening, I can scoop up a couple hundred and send them your way in turn for a couple of Great Tit specimens – win win as I see it except our massive frogs may scare your newts away ha.

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    1. Hi B. Lockdown is easing, we are now allowed to travel a bit further so we can start visiting our favourite haunts. The jabs going great guns, over half the population has had at least one dose, Mrs H has had two and I get my second next week. Downside, no drag racing ’till June and we still can’t travel abroad to see the Lemming 😥.
      Think I’ll pass on the bullfrogs, Mrs H is not too keen on the little ones!
      Have a great weekend.

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  6. I think everyone who has a pond is now sitting and watching. It is very crowded at the moment. We have a lot of common toads and two different kinds of frogs. But they will all be gone in a month and that is why I love the newts more. They will stay till summer. Thank you for sharing this picture. Today I saw some of them in my pond too, but I was not able to take a picture.

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  7. Your post screams “Spring”!

    Wonderful photographs! I especially like the Beefly as I just saw my first one last year. And a butterfly bonus!

    I see your forecast is not looking great. Hope it passes quickly and Mr. Sun returns to lure more subjects in front of your lens.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to see your comment Kim. Dull days are back over here too. Spring is a bit on/off this year so it’s difficult to plan ahead to visit our favourite haunts, luckily I’m finding things to photograph nearby.

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