Wednesday, 9 May 2012

7th May - You Got a Reaction Didn't You?

After an enjoyable weekend away (more of which on my other blog soon), Helen and I took a late afternoon walk to stretch the legs after a long and fraught journey home.  The weather had apparently been rainy in the morning, and the afternoon was one of sunshine and showers.  We took the usual route to Old Down along Brislands, but went into the wood through the Gradwell Lane footpath.  Before we reached the footpath our attention was taken by a pair of Jays in the small copse just before the path. Their presence was annoying the smaller birds, but one decided to put on a really good show as it perched on a low branch.  It seemed to want to draw attention to the lovely blue wing patch, as it held the wing slightly open.  I obliged by taking the photo, and got what are probably the best photos so far of this very shy bird.


leaving the Jays we walked along the footpath, Swallows were still flying low over the field, and the tail less bird I had seen last week was still present.  The paddocks were full of rabbits, and at least two young ones could be seen amongst the them.

We decided to take the northern path around the wood, the Bluebells here are competing with the bramble, and the blue doesn't appear to be so intense.  However the spruce trees are just beginning to show new shoots and leaves and these always contrast nicely with the darker green of the main tree.  This becomes even more spectacular with the background of blue from the Bluebells


We walked out on to the main path, and checked the Tawny Owl, for the first time it wasn't in the normal tree, we searched the area but couldn't locate it, no doubt it is still about, and maybe taking advantage of the calmer weather to hunt in daylight.  We did manage to find a male Roe deer deep in the amongst the bluebells, as usual once it realised we were there it was quite content to watch us, as we watched it.


We took the southern perimeter now, and came out on the main north - south path, from here we headed west along the perimeter.  the wood was very quiet, with little or no bird song, the paths were also still very muddy.  The Ransoms or Wild garlic was now fully out, and the scent from the flowers filled the air as we walked.  The Lords and Ladies had also suddenly started to come into flower, and the bell like petal could be seen amongst the dog mercury, when the light caught it the petal would become quite translucent.


The Solomon's Seal was also now well in flower.  The white bell shaped flowers hang from the bottom of the leaves and are difficult to see, as many of the leaves have been weighed down by the rain.  This one was particularly prominent.


It had been quite uneventful up to now, but as usual something turned up to make the walk worthwhile.  This time it took Helen's keen eyes to find it.  I walked straight past them, but Helen found a couple of Early Purple Orchid amongst the bluebells.  Getting closer to them, you could see the lovely spotted leaves and the delicate purple petals that are so characteristic.



We scoured the rest of the area for more or other orchids but without success, as the bluebells die back, I am sure there will find others.

As I mentioned earlier the Bluebells do not seem to have been at their best due probably to the heavy rain we have had in April.  However there are pockets where the spectacle does not fail to impress, and very soon they will be gone so let's just continue to enjoy the colourful show, before it's gone.


Coming out onto the main path, the birch tree was still lying across the path, but now it had been joined by a large branch off one of the Oak trees close by, this branch though was hanging down, creating a curtain over the fallen tree.  How long that will stay there will probably depend on how long other can resist swinging on it!


We walked back along Brislands, in the horse paddock before Gradwell we noticed a Rabbit feeding, and this scene probably answered the question I had pondered early last month as to why we do not have that many cowslips as the rabbit was thoroughly enjoying the petals of in the middle of the paddock.

As we approached home another question was answered.  Over the past few weeks the Collared Dove pair have been seen frequently in the garden, and around the trees.  As we came towards home one was seen in the road picking up a small twig, it then flew up into a tree, and presented this to it's mate who was sitting on a very fragile looking nest.  The Collared Dove makes a very flimsy nest and typically lays two eggs, which hatch quickly, and the chicks grow up even quicker.  Hopefully this pair will be successful, but you have to wonder how anything survives in such a precarious position.


As we set off this afternoon, we noticed a poster at the Village Hall about the lossof a puppy.  The story is quite disturbing, and I contacted the owners to get more details so that I could post them here, and hopefully widen the search for Evie, the little Jack Russell puppy, that it seems was stolen from their garden in Medstead.  Their jack russel puppy went missing from outside their house in Stoney Lane, Medstead at 5.30 pm on the Wednesday 2nd May 2012.
She was ouside with their other older dog, apparently the daughter heard the dogs barking, and when she looked out of the window she saw a white van drive past. When she went outside to get the dogs in Little Evie was missing. A neighbour also saw the van and is confident that it was an old Vauxhall Astra van.  This maybe just coincedence but any help will be grateful recieved as their daughter and son are obviously distraught.
Evie is all white with a long wiry coat, tan on her ears and face, a lopsided left ear with 3 spots on it, big button nose which is split all the way through.  If you have any information please phone 07870 227161 or 07402 863279, they are prepared to offer a reward.  Here is a picture of Evie.

They have also set up a Facebook page, so if you want more information you can check here



 

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