Sunday 24 June 2012

It's Twins!

Roe Deer Fawns I know that the Roe Deer fawns are usually born in early May. However, Mum has kept them well hidden this year because I had not seen any until a couple of days ago. This year, it's twins! These two little rascals are now old enough to explore without Mum and I spotted them on our back lawn in broad daylight.

They were never still so taking photos was not easy. These two were the best I could get. You can see their spots are just fading, so I guess they are a couple of months old.

Roe Deer Fawn The weather has continued to be very unpredictable - a couple of days of decent weather followed by several horrible days with heavy rain and winds.

I have continued to try to photograph the flowers whenever the weather allows. The wind dropped suddenly the other day so I snapped these Primula.

I have never been a fan of Primula (except wild primroses which are so beautiful and delicate), but because the deer don't eat them I decided that it is a good idea for a bit of colour in the garden.

Whilst in Scotland on holiday the last couple of times, I have visited the gardens at Armadale Castle and Dunvegan Castle, both on the Isle of Skye. Both had beautiful displays of Primula and some really unusual varieties. When I got home last time I bought some and they are flowering nicely in the garden this year.

The one below is Primula Vialii, which originates from China. It is very pretty and above all untouched by the deer!
Primula Vialii

Another shrub which has started to flower is Senecio greyii, also called Senecio Sunshine. Very aptly named because the flowers look like little suns and it is a very cheerful shrub with pretty grey foliage.

Senecio 'Sunshine'
It continues to be a difficult year in the garden with the weather. The butterflies and moths are almost non-existent, which is very sad.

I am also watching the badgers regularly at the sett when the weather allows. I don't take photos but just watch these beautiful creatures at play.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Flaming June?

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker British people are renowned for talking about the weather, myself included. It is not surprising because from one week to the next we don't know what to expect.

We had a heatwave in March. April was the wettest in the last hundred years. The rain continued into May but halfway through the month it changed into another heatwave. We sweltered in unseasonable temperatures for about 2 weeks and now it has changed back to winter!

We have stormy winds, heavy rain and it is so cold that we have turned the central heating back on - 2 weeks from mid-summers day!

This weirdness is also reflected in the garden. Some things have flowered early, some have hardly flowered at all, but sadly the wind and rain are damaging the blooms.

The baby birds have all been born early. There are dozens of squirrels, but virtually no moths or butterflies. Completely topsy turvy.

This leads me on to the photo above. We found this juvenile great spotted woodpecker on the patio. It had obviously flown into the window and stunned itself. I kept an eye open for predators to make sure it recovered before the magpies took an interest. At the same time I got this lovely close-up. The red head shows that it is a juvenile.

I am happy to say it flew off unharmed not long after taking this photo :)

I have continued to take more flower photos after building up the momentum with my April challenge. However, it has mostly been too windy to take flower shots outdoors.
Columbine - Aquilegia
I rather like this picture of Aquilegia. It is an intriguingly complex flower.

Below, is a close-up of the tiny Pyracantha flowers. I find it interesting that the anthers on the stamens are different colours on the same stem. Some flowers have orange anthers and other, white.

Pyracantha Flowers
It will be interesting to see how the remainder of this summer progresses. The year has been full of surprises so far.