Maes Howe greets the Spring

Spring comes to the farm in a hundred different ways.

The geese announce their arrival early one morning by noisily flying in and splashing down on the lake, disturbing the sleek green-headed ducks who disappear into the bulrushes.  Sharp, sunny mornings set the buzzards to circle and shriek.  A group of hen pheasants hide in the long grass near the woodland and the calls of the cock pheasant don’t make them emerge.

Swathes of snowdrops fade, giving way to beds of bright daffodils, and the brown areas of earth in our fields start to give off a mere shimmer of green, of new grass as it emerges after a wet winter.

New leaves on the hawthorn are clean and young and have little taste, but they are so delicate, and the hazel’s catkins shine brightly in the sun and taste good.

Little birds call.  There are tits and sparrows, blackbirds and speckle-breasted thrushes, and big fat hens dust bath and sun bathe in sheltered spaces in the garden.

Dazzling white blossom is out and bees are collecting pollen from the trees.

Frogs have mated and clumps of spawn float at the edges of the lake.  As the water levels have dropped our people throw stranded frogspawn back into the lake as they patrol it

A heron stalks and waits for food, but as the lake has few fish, it is a long time between strikes.

Pretty yellow celandines spread their heads wide amongst the bark spread around the Japanese maples.  The maples themselves are developing buds and will be in leaf soon.

More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon

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