You will have to forgive the lack of posts, but with our daughters here over Easter, my time was taken up - 4 long-distance journeys took up four days of the time they were home.
Anyway, back on an even keel again now, and here are some photos from a walk up our hill last week, when more wild flowers were starting to bloom.
Garlic Mustard, or Jack-by-the-hedge. The leaves may be eaten, raw in salad or boiled.
Ground Ivy - a better picture than the one from the Preselis recently. A Greater Stitchwort also getting in on the act.
Shining Cranesbill flower.
Herb Robert flower.
You could miss it easily - a little Fairy Forest of lichen on an old log.
Young Sycamore leaves with their pinky-bronzey tint. They are much larger than the similar-looking . . . .
Field Maple. This big old tree grows in the hedgerow in our top field.
Here is the trunk, for identification. With that flaky bark that looks a little like a Plane tree. The hybrid London Plane tree which is what we see (deliberately) planted in our cities is a deliberate cross, and the Plane tree is not indiginous to Britain as it is to Europe and America and Mexico.
I have recently bought a proper niger-seed feeder to try and attract the Goldfinches to the garden. Now, when I put the seed in a cheap-and-nasty feeder (which kept falling apart!) they didn't come near, but the Blue and Great Tits enjoyed it. Within hours of putting the proper feeder out, I had four Goldfinches appear from nowhere. Here are two of them, to prove it!
So I have been enjoying their colourful plumage and their antics. There is a definite pecking order - these two are a pair, but if one from the other pair tries to muscle in on the seed, there is a bit of bother! You can just see the third of the four, beak-on, to the right and below the feeder - or better still, double click and you will seem them all clearly.
I still put crumbs out for the birds on the window sill too, and thought I was seeing things recently when a little Blue Tit arrived, but his face was completely YELLOW. Anyway, I looked in one of my bird books, and found that immature birds do indeed have yellow faces. A couple of them looked a bit fluffy still - obviously moulting off fluff - so I wonder if the Blue Tits had a very early brood and these are they?
In the paddock, I noticed a Tree Creeper recently. He is often around, but as I was sat in the car, he didn't notice me and flew to the smaller apple tree near the car, so I could get a close look at his curved beak - used for hunting out insects in the cracks in the fissures in the bark - and his white tummy and eyebrows. He is a regular visitor over the years.