It’s a chilly, overcast day, no more than 12˚ C. It’s no surprise that I see no flying insects; I am sure the cold weather grounds them. The pond has a solitary pond skater on the surface, but has lots of tadpoles in the clear water which is full to the brim due to all the recent rain. The first spawn has mostly gone, all the tadpoles out, though there are some eggs that haven’t fertilized and so won’t develop. Today, we found some spawn on the ground outside the pond, and scooped it up and put in the pond. Was this from an exhausted female that couldn’t climb up to the pond, and have the eggs been fertilized? If it hasn’t then it will serve as food for pond fauna. There are many mobile tadpoles, able to feed on algae, as well as static ones that will take a few days to develop mouthparts, and many embryos still locked in the spawn. The tadpoles are number one in popularity with children visitors today. I am sure our new hut, when the buddleia is at full height will match them. The buddleia is certainly vigorous, with lotsof soft twigs and foliage sprouting. You can feel the life in it bounding, even on a chilly day.
It’s surprising how long the daffodils have lasted, probably due to the colder weather slowing their cycle. There are lots of forget-me- nots in the raised beds and in the cleared, wild flower patch, seeds are sprouting, but the couch grass, disdaining our efforts to clear it, is returning.
The birch by the shelter has tiny leaves amidst the catkins. Nearby, the spiraea is out with prolific feathery arches of white florets. By the quiet area, between the posts, there’s leafy anchusa with its tiny five-petalled flowers and a few native blue bells. The bird feeders here are not as active as those in the children’s area where I see several sparrows, and great tits feeding. The cherry tree there has swollen flower buds which I expect to see fully open next week.