Monday, 26 April 2010

Revelling in Sight(s) and Springtime Sunshine!

How nice to be back in blogland again and I would like to thank everyone who left such kind comments on my last post and particularly for the good wishes concerning my recent eye surgery. I do hope that just this once, in the circumstances, you will forgive me for not having replied to each comment individually. I would also like to thank everyone who so kindly emailed me, I was very touched by your concern and I'm happy to say that all went well and that I now have very good sight again in my right eye. Of course it does rather emphasise how poor the sight in the left eye is and makes things seem rather 'out of kilter' but hopefully it won't be too long before the next operation.


I have to admit that I could/should have been here a week ago but the weather has been so nice that I have been playing truant and taking advantage of it, getting out and enjoying the beauty of Springtime, and how very beautiful it is this year!

'The World is very old;
But year by year
It groweth new again
When buds appear.'
(Cicely Mary Barker)

All the photos on this post are an amalgam, taken in the last few weeks, when I was able to enjoy several different walks but was not permitted to use the computer for any length of time.


After the long hard Winter which we have endured this year it is wonderful to see all the lovely Spring flowers which suddenly seemed to appear from nowhere and I have to start with my all time favourite wild flower.


'They speak of things above my verse,
Of thoughts no earthly language knows,
That loftiest Bard could ne'er rehearse,
Nor holiest prophet e'er disclose,
Which God Himself no other way,
Than by a Primrose could convey.'
(William Gay)


Of course Spring wouldn't be Spring without the delightful little Violets peeking out from below hedges and hiding in ditches.

Common Dog Violet

Another favourite is the beautiful silky

Pussy Willow


I visited several small, local lakes, enjoyed riverside walks and continued my love affair with Draycote Water. Unfortunately the last time we went to Draycote, just over a week, ago we were driven away by the swarms of black flies which came at us from all directions in huge black clouds. They looked remarkable but made our visit impossible, flying into mouths, eyes and ears. We had encountered them on a smaller scale last Autumn and found them unpleasant but this time they were exceedingly troublesome. I hope that particular experience was an exception and will visit again before long in the hope that the situation has improved.


This Moorhen was enjoying a peaceful swim in the sunshine during our visit to a nearby lake.


While this Coot was more energetic!


Another Springtime treat I always look forward to seeing when visiting watery locations is the lovely Kingcup or Marsh Marigold, seen here in bud.


'Kingcup, is it true
That Fairie Kings drink out of you,
Golden Kingcup full of dew?
"My cup is filled," the flower replies,
"For Kings and Queens and butterflies." '
(Maud Keary)

And here, in full flower.

Spring is, of course, a very busy time for the birds and we spotted this Swan nest building.

Mute Swan

This Canada Goose was perhaps only thinking about nesting.

Canada Goose

While this Greylag Goose was just enjoying posing in the glorious sunshine.

Greylag Goose

How lovely it is to see the butterflies again and one which I don't recall seeing much of last year but which seems to be everywhere at the moment is the beautifully coloured Orange Tip. The colourful orange tips on the wings of the male are a warning to predators that this butterfly is highly unpalatable!

Orange-tip Butterfly (Male)

'You are the most beautiful thing
I've ever seen
You shine just like sunlight rays
On a winter snow
I just had to tell you so'
(Lenny Kravitz)

This lovely Chaffinch was on a bush at Draycote, close to the feeders, awaiting his turn.

Chaffinch (Male)

While this Blue Tit was more interested in insects than seed.

Blue Tit

While visiting a small local lake I spotted these handsome Deer through a wire fence.

Red Deer

At the same lake in one of the surrounding trees I spotted this Goldcrest and what a very difficult bird it is to photograph, it just never stops moving in its search for insects! I managed one photo which showed the lovely yellow crest which gives it its name but unfortunately it is out of focus but as it is a bird I have never had the opportunity to photograph before I have included it anyway.


'A small bird's trilling note,
That seemed, like fairy's song,
On the evening air to float,
By the breezes borne along;
I look and look, and then
With eye delighted see
A Golden-crested Wren,
Singing from a neighbouring tree.'
(Richard Tonson Evanson)

This tiny bird, which is the UK's smallest, was previously called the Gold-crested Wren which explains why I was struck by its similarity to the Wren particularly in its rather grumpy facial expression. It is also the national bird of Luxembourg.

This small lake surrounded by lovely old trees seems to be a haven for wildlife and is always alive with birdsong. While standing, looking and just enjoying the sights and sounds, this beautiful Blackcap appeared in a tree just a short distance away from us. Completely oblivious to our presence, it was a wonderful 'at one with Nature' moment.

Blackcap (Male)

'For beauty being the best of all we know
Sums up the unsearchable and secret aims
Of nature, and on joys whose earthly names
Were never told can form and sense bestow'
(Robert Bridges)


Finally, in the same location, it was lovely to see this Grey Wagtail which is on the amber list of endangered species and can be badly affected by harsh Winters.

Grey Wagtail

Well that is all for now. I shall endeavour to visit all your great blogs over the next few days and hope to post more regularly now, although it is still difficult with good sight in only one eye. However, I will do my best and thank you again for all your good wishes and concern.