Earthling

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Skycaptain

This is a bumper year for dandelions, especially where I don't want them :(

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Mz Terry
4 hours ago, Skycaptain said:

This is a bumper year for dandelions, especially where I don't want them :(

They provide valuable nectar for bees, so I never try and clear them all.  

 

The bluebells were wonderful.  The scent is fantastic and the birds were singing.  I heard my first cuckoo of spring as well.

 

 

 

 

Spoiler

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LVG

Bluebells are so pretty. 

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Skycaptain

Dandelions on the lawn, or the open ground at the front of my house are fine. Dandelions where beans are going less so. 

The size of the bees I've seen this morning I'm surprised they can take off :P

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Tunhope

yes, quite a few people who live near me have commented on the size of the bees this spring. They seem larger than normal. Dandelions I can take - at least you can eat the leaves -well, a few of them any way. Bindweed though......it seems to grow even faster than bamboo and I can't get rid of it. First orange tip today, and a couple of blues. No bluebells yet.

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LVG

Dandelions are springing up everywhere on this side of the ocean too. 

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Muledeer

Here's a little article I wrote about dandelions.......

 

Spoiler

The spinach and chard seeds haven’t even sprouted and I am craving fresh leafy greens. “All parts of the plant are edible” I remembered reading about the dandelion.  Last weekend, on a rocky south-facing hillside among the sagebrush, I found nature’s first spring offering:  wild baby dandelions.   I harvested about 20-30 little plants (with a dandelion digger tool) and brought them home.  I washed them individually and then cooked the whole plants, including root portions and flowers, in a vegetable steamer for about twelve minutes.  The steamed dandelions were garnished with butter, salt, pepper and a splash of apple cider vinegar to make a unique and tasty vegetable side dish.  Although they are widely known for their herbal, medicinal, and nutritional qualities, my interest in them was simply to find and try a tasty, natural and free new vegetable. 

The taste was slightly bitter but not offensive.  My dog gladly gobbled up the leftovers.  The amount of time required for harvesting and washing was at least an hour.  Each plant had to be individually washed to remove all of the dead plant mater, foreign material and grit.  If you have never tried this natural and nutritious vegetable, and if you like the flavor of leafy greens, I highly recommend eating dandelion.  Go hunting for wild dandelions or just pluck a few plants from your lawn before any chemicals have been applied.   

 

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Skycaptain

First Holly Blue butterfly, this is early for them. 

Also some fierce April squalls 

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daveb

Saw a couple of keas "wrestling" in the grass yesterday.

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Tapioca

I have yet to see much green at all but it's finally starting to come in

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daveb

Saw kiwis, possum, parrots, tuatara, ducks and other critters in a conservation center. We've also seen fantails, harrier hawks, and other native birds out and about in the wild.

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Midland Tyke
4 hours ago, daveb said:

Saw kiwis, possum, parrots, tuatara, ducks and other critters in a conservation center. We've also seen fantails, harrier hawks, and other native birds out and about in the wild.

I saw fantails in quite a lot of places. And they didn't seem wary of humans at all.

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daveb
17 minutes ago, Midland Tyke said:

I saw fantails in quite a lot of places. And they didn't seem wary of humans at all.

Yep.

That seems to be the case for a lot of the native species here. The kea sure weren't. :lol:

I learned a new word (for me) today - at the wildlife/conservation center - the word is neophile. Some of these critters are curious about new stuff (to them). :)

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Mz Terry

Masses of apple blossom this year.  My trees are smothered in blossom.

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Muledeer

First Hummingbird!  A large rubythroated male showed up for a feeding about an hour ago.  The feeders have been filled for one week now.  This is the first time they have come back in April that I am aware of.  I don't usually begin feeding them until mid-may, but I thought by feeding early, they might make their nests closer to my home.  

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Mz Terry

Pleased to see a parent robin in the garden with two recently fledged chicks.  They were being fed mealworms from the feeder.

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Skycaptain

Had a quick wander around Trosley Country Park, and saw seven different butterflies in under an hour, lots of Jays and what I think was a yellowhammer. 

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Tunhope

There was a little group of feathers in my garden. I'd say they'd belonged to a dunnock from the colours. Mustn't get sentimental, I know. Aaah, though. 

I know Trosley well. Not far from where I live, (though today I was watching all the Morris dancing in Rochester.) I bet there were speckled woods and blues and maybe orange tips. Are painted ladies on the wing yet?

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Skycaptain

@Tunhope, surprisingly there were no Speckled Woods, but I have seen them locally 

The list was Brimstone (lots), Orange Tip, Green Veined White, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Grizzled Skipper, Peacock. 

 

Painted Ladies are migrants and come much later in the year 

 

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LilyG

Image may contain: plant

 

Butterflies beside the pond & Froggie in the pond  :) 

 

Image may contain: plant

 

 

 

 

 

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Skycaptain

@LilyG, Swallowtail, much jelly. Whilst there are different species globally the one we have in Britain is so rare as to be almost mythical, only found in one small area of fenland northwest of Cambridge 

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LilyG

 

 

No automatic alt text available.

best pic I could get - they usually slither off & hide

 

 

 

 

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LilyG

Three little raccoons.  One of my favorite pictures of my outdoor "pets"  :)   They climbed the tree to look in the window  LOL

I don't feed the raccoons anymore though...got yelled at by DNR (after a bear became a problem)

 

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature

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Tunhope

What lovely photos!. I've seen swallowtails in Germany but never in the UK and is that an adder? 

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LilyG

It's just a Gartersnake - have a bunch of them here...totally harmless.

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Tunhope

Oh. Thank you. This is such a lovely thread. In the middle of all the horrible things that are going on, it is so mind-smoothing to talk about birds and flowers and butterflies and what's happening in people's gardens and back yards.

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LilyG

Bear at the back porch -- a little alarming but USUALLY they don't cause much trouble.  Only had one that really scared me once.

 

Image may contain: indoor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LilyG

Pic from last year (nothing is blooming here yet).

 

Image may contain: plant, flower, tree, outdoor and nature

 

Of course I love Lilies  :) 

 

 

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LilyG

...and...last one for a while, promise  LOL

 

One of the many many blue jays here  (they get peanuts all year...so they stick around :D )

 

Image may contain: bird and outdoor

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Muledeer

@LilyG delightful photos!  

I set out another trail camera today down by the river.  I saw a group of three Mule deer does crossing the river and climbing a hill.  It seems like the animals and their Summer season have returned...early. 

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