Spring is finally here!

Gosh, it’s been a horrible winter, with lots of snow and rain and wind and more snow and more rain and more wind.  Some of the shrubs have been frost damaged and wind-burned.  One of the giant laurels came down, too, with all the heavy wet snow.

Spring has been creeping in very slowly.  The snowdrops at Attingham Park were lovely, but our frogs crept in for only a couple of days between freezes to spawn.  Normally they hang about waiting for the females to arrive, but this year, they all came in, did their thing and left!  Naturally, we saw our first newts soon after – devouring lots of the eggs!

The birds have paired up and there’s lots of territoriality, showy display flights, strong singing, heavy breathing, collecting of sticks and moss and dried leaves and feathers.  In our cold garden the buds on the shrubs are barely breaking, but the daffodils are just coming up to their peak

At the bottom of the road, on the common land with the war memorial there are masses of white and yellow daffs right now.  It’s a lovely sight to see!

Today there’s promise in the air, too.  Strong sunshine and warm southerly winds have cheered us all up and Jan and I had tea out in the garden this afternoon.

While we were there we found a Larch Ladybird.  They’re very small and I’ve never seen one before.  It’s unusual because it’s tan coloured and doesn’t have any spots.  I’m not surprised that it’s here – there are a lot of larches, including a huge one next door – but it was sitting on a camellia leaf and they’re supposed to prefer conifers!

Paul’s coming tomorrow and it’s supposed to be sunny with highs around 20C.  I can’t wait!