29 December 2015

Rainbow Christmas

Rainbows are not usually associated with Christmas, but this year with the wild, wet and sometimes balmy weather we have been blessed with, a few wonderful sightshave been seen set against wild grey/ blue skies.

On  clear days we reap the wonderful sunsets  against deep blue skies.  Surrounded by water on three sides as we are on the Wirral undoubtedly  lends an extra level of ethereal essence to the colours we experience. 

In this balmy winter-spring hinterland bulbs are popping the ground and buds bursting the twigs.  It is possible to see Rosemary, Daffodils, Primula, Roses, Cyclamen and Primrose all at the same time. 

BUT......... many hundreds of seagulls are collecting on inland fields to hunker down for  Storm  Frank  that is heading our way tomorrow.  

In the 'Wilderness' we should have been busy  clearing the wildflower beds and  be preparing for sowing of the new seed in the meadow.  So far we are still waiting for the go ahead.

                                                        This blog is now closed.

5 December 2015

Wilderness Project suspended

It is difficult to write with enthusiasm when the project is still suspended, but I will  endeavour  to keep up the reports of what is going on in the area as best as  possible.  The team are very confused about how to proceed but hopefully that will become clearer in the near future.

This is a great time of the year to observe mammals as the undergrowth is less concealing and creatures wander further to find food.  It is a relief to see our badgers are still around despite not many  sitings  since  the summer.


After all the heavy rain the 'giant'  moles at Ness have been busy leaving evidence of their hard work looking for their staple diet of worms, which .will now  be close to the surface.  Recently this strange tunneling was seen crossing a main pathway in the main gardens.

Despite the wild winds and rain many trees still hang on to their leaves and fruits amongst early new buds. 

The first signs of spring are evident, early Daffodils and Primroses being reported everywhere,  strangely not Snowdrops here.

It is to be hoped nature is not being lulled into a false sense of security before the hard frosts come, as happened a few years ago when many early buds where damaged.

The shortest day is nearly upon us so we can look forward to the evenings drawing out. 

30 October 2015

Mist and Fruitful-ness

At risk of being obvious but this has been the best season of 'mist and mellow fruit-fullness' in many years.  What a wonderful drawn out  mellow autumn we have enjoyed.

Even so there are still a few butterflies to be seen, mainly Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell.

Butterflies do not all have the same life cycle.  The above find somewhere warm and dark to hibernate over the winter, to re-emerge as the days get warmer.  Many others  die, but leave their offspring at various stages of the life cycle.  

Meadow Brown have already hatched as caterpillars and are eating and living in the grass.  On cold days they rest and warmer ones they feed. 

Small and large White  fat caterpillars are already turning into chrysalises and will spend the winter hanging under shed roofs and fences to come out and join the emerging elderly Peacocks and Tortoiseshells.

Earwigs are looking for mates and will lay their eggs about now, watching over them until they hatch. Amazingly I have just discovered they can fly but rarely choose to do so.

The new interpretation signage has arrived after a long wait, now heralds the entrance into the wilderness zone of the gardens.

When the meadow was harvested and bailed recently we donated several of the bails  to the Cass Foundation, subsequently we received the following letter :

This Diary is on a break  until the 'Wilderness'  review is completed.