Thursday 22 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I have been seriously lax in keeping up to date with this blog in recent weeks. I hope to remedy that in 2012. We were away for a couple of weeks in November - a wildlife holiday of course. So, I would like to start with one of my holiday snaps. This was definitely NOT taken in my garden!

Lion carrying cub in its mouth

This harrassed mother had 3 cubs, just a few weeks old. The runt of the litter could not keep up with the others so Mum kept giving it a helping hand, or should I say mouth.

Well, back in the UK, life in the garden has been busy as usual. The weather has been very changeable but not particularly cold. November was apparently one of the warmest on record around these parts. It is causing confusion with the plants, of course. We had primroses flowering in November and some daffodils are in bud at the moment.

There has been plenty of fungi around but not as many as last year. Unusually, there have been huge numbers of Trooping Funnels (Clitocybe geotropa), not only in the garden but all around the village.

Trooping funnel mushroom, Clitocybe geotropa

Trooping funnels are large mushrooms with a cap that can be up to about 8 inches (20 cms) diameter. As the name suggests they grow in large rings or "troops". They are apparently edible but I don't advise eating any fungus without first checking with an expert.

Trooping funnel mushroom, Clitocybe geotropa

2011 has been a good year for squirrels. There are dozens of them, all very hyperactive, running up and down trees and along fences. Luckily there are plenty of acorns to keep them away from the bird feeders.

Talking of bird feeders, in the last couple of weeks we have had a regular (unwelcome) visitor - a sparrowhawk. It sits on top of the bird feeder, which is a bit stupid because, of course, all the little birds fly off and hide.

The deer have been a bit elusive recently, although we have seen the Roe Deer twins, those born this year, in the field in front of our house. A couple of muntjacs have also been foraging in the garden - a female with a youngster.

Sadly it is not going to be a white Christmas this year, but I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2012.


Sandra said...

Hello Jenny, I enjoyed seeing your blog moving again and came in to have a look! It was touching to see that mother lion and her cub and hearing what has been happening on the home front.
Here too, nature has been a little confused and I have also seen primroses and some buds open up. However, we have had several days of wet, but persistant snow which is now melting as the temperatures go up.

Have a lovely Christmas!

agusbg said...

his mushroom is incompatible to in eating, but rather suited for decoration