wordless Wednesday ~ indoor gardening

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©Copyright 2016 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

being possitive in the rain

at the beginning of last year Cathy, from Rambling in the garden, sent me an e mail telling me that Gardeners’ world magazine (GWM) has included a page giving details of the weather expected that month, thank you Cathy I have found it useful,

around the middle of each month, when GWM comes out for the following month, I found myself in the newspaper and magazine isle of the supermarket looking for the latest copy of GWM, sometimes I bought it, often I just flipped through to the weather page and looked at the forecast rain for North Scotland, it was usually a lot! a very lot, much more than the rest of the UK, the only area that came close is West Scotland, I was (and still am) amazed at how little rain (by comparison) most of the UK has,

the first 3 months, January, February and March North Scotland had approximately 225ml each month, 775ml altogether, there was less for the next 6 months, varying between 190ml and at the lowest point just over 90ml. most areas of the UK never get as much as 90ml. I was surprised that South Wales got more rain than other parts of Wales, and although it is frequently said that Essex is the driest county this didn’t show as parts of middle England were drier,

seeing what was instore rain wise meant I could plan for it and I knew ahead of time if I was going to be able to garden or not! when I saw the forecast for October my heart sank, 239ml, more than any previous month last year, but October had a surprise for me, it rained mainly at night and (I don’t think) was as much as forecast, infact October became the best month in the garden last year, GWM has not forecast the weather since October,

November and December were extremely wet and windy, the storms seem now to blend into each other with no break between them, once upon a time the storms were occasional, now it’s the breaks between the storms that are occasional, January so far has been the same, Sunday evenings shipping forecast for the Hebrides was gale force 8 to storm force 10,

in these conditions it is hard to stay positive, after two wet summers and last summer being cold as well, after two and a half years of rain every week, optimism is fading away, this January I cannot find the will to hope that this year maybe better, hope has left and with her taken excitement, I can see the beginnings of new growth and promise but there is no stirring of excitement, no expectancy of enjoyment, just a feeling of gloom as we entre another wet year, as I see the weeds grow faster and stronger, as my flowers for pollinators droop in the rain or don’t even find the warmth to grow, and the pollinators get fewer and fewer in the cold wet inhospitable conditions ………………………..  

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©Copyright 2016 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

wildlife Wednesday ~ January

I have been dying to post this, back in mid December when I went out to my bins, there on the house wall was a beautiful (imho) moth, I was, still am totally amazed it was about when the weather had been so wet and stormy, I wanted to take it into protection but know I cannot do that, I just hope it survives,  hibernated or did something so it is safe, I think it is an Angle shades moth
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apart from the resident birds which I do not have photos of mainly because like me they have kept to shelter, I have not seen a great deal of wildlife, this winter we just seem to be in almost constant storm, one after another with little rest, calm, last week when I was taking my end of month view photos, I found this on the wildflower slope,
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my newly planted bulbs, on a closer look, some bulbs were gone some still there, these were fritillarais and crocus, I replanted those I found, filled the holes this time with loose soil instead of the plug of turfed soil, then gave a mulch of pine needles, fairly fresh just fallen ones, I have noticed the animals do not tend to disturb them, I think they are a bit too prickly, a month or so ago I found the same thing with some daffodils planted and I just thought with all the rain and wind the weather had done it, not so sure now, anyone got any ideas what may have done this? I am thinking birds but as I say it’s never happened before,

my last bit of wildlife is not a good photo as I was quite a long way and used the not very good zoom on my point and shoot camera, I sometimes hear a bird call I do not recognise, yet I had never seen what made the noise, until now, this is the bird, another thing is sometimes, not frequently, when I walk near the heather or long grass a bird shoots out and scurries along the ground disappearing into the grass/heather again, as it is clearly nervous of me I never follow, often I retract my steps and leave that part of the garden alone for the rest of the day, I have tried to find out which bird makes the call and which is scurrying from me but without some sight of a shape, it is very hard, so with this blurry photo I tried again, I think it’s a Red grouse,
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it kept it’s eye on me all the time which is why I didn’t even attempt to get closer, I’m wondering if it could be the culprit of the bulb holes, who knows isn’t telling,

thank you to Tina for hosting wildlife Wednesday, please click through to Tina’s blog to enjoy more wildlife posts,

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©Copyright 2016 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.