Nature Ponderings - April 2022

Updated: May 2






I'm becoming a little obsessed with Nature


... and over the past few days, I have been losing myself in its incredible details, both visual and audio.




As daylight hours become longer, Mother Nature forges ahead, and it is the details that are so very often overlooked that have been grabbing my attention.


People in the Park stop to say hello and ask what I am capturing. They tell me how they too enjoy the park, and love to see how small changes are having a positive impact on the Park's Wildlife. Conversations turn into new sitings; in particular, Red Kites, King Fishers, and Otters. The Council have been chopping down juvenile, trees for the inhabitants of the park to enjoy. Hedgerow tops have been left un-trimmed, and many grassed areas have been left to grow.



... the more I look, the more I discover.







DAY ONE - Digital Captures

6.4.2022

Horse-chestnut buds unfurling

Wild Green Hellebore




I'm learning everyday

A few days ago I discovered what a Horse-chestnut bud looks like. Since then, I've been visiting a spot in the Park where they are abundant to witness their progress. They are remarkable.


Since capturing the changes each month of a dear friend's cutting garden, my ability to identify and name flora and fauna is growing. Today, when I fell upon Wild Green Hellebore, despite not knowing its name, I did know it was part of the Hellebore family. I stayed a while to savour the moment and photograph it.




It is along this Woodland pathway, to the left, that I discovered new buds of Horse-chestnut




 





DAY TWO - Digital Captures

7.4.2022




As I reached the disused train embankment, two Pigeons caught my eye. I had my short long lens with me, so captured them without attempting to get closer. Despite it being an overcast day, I was rather taken by the softness of the early evening light, the Hue and textures of the hedgerow.




First Image - the light caught my eye

I very often walk along this woodland pathway. I spied it a few months ago and today after walking toward the lake after checkin-in on the Horse-chestnuts, the light caught my eye.


Second Image - Willow Pet Tunnel

The above Willow Tunnel was a wonderful addition to the Country Park on Doctor's Lane toward the upper perimeter. It gets more beautiful by the passing of time.






The main Allotment in the Melton Country Park, located from Doctor's Lane toward the park's upper perimeter.





GLORIOUS MUTE SWANS

Cygnus olor


I watched the Mute Swans for about half an hour today. It is so lovely to see these Swans getting on and showing courtship rituals. Only a few weeks ago the Swans that were present, that might have been different Swans, displayed, what seemed, relentless rivalry between one another, which is a natural thing to do and I believe at that time it was the Parent Swans that were wanting to ward off their, almost fully grown, Cygnets.






DAY THREE - Digital Captures

8.4.2022

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis





It is always lovely to see the return of 'old friends' each year


... on today's visit to the Park I stayed a while at one of my most favourite parts of the lake. Through the trees, the other side of the Lake to where I created the above capture, I can almost see my house.

I usually spend a good 20 minutes or so breathing in the fresh air and saying hello to whomever is happy to come say hello. Today it was this handsome Canada Goose and its mate, some Coots, Swans and Mallards. Further into my walk I spied a Kestrel. 'Park Life' and its diversity seems to be growing every day.



Ground cover in the Woodlands is becoming quite dense, and the park colour palette is turning from creams and browns to creams and greens. Bumble Bees are buzzing, but their movement is too sporadic for me during the early stages of using my new Macro Lens. I have started to capture some footage on my phone, which is another learning curve, but it means I get to record the joys of the park in an animated way with the bonus of Bird Song.










Mallard

Anas Platyrhynchos




Japanese Blossom Cherry Trees

Prunus Kojo-No-Mai


The light and the twisted stems caught my eye






One of my favourite, Woodland footpaths that I ascend to make my way to the park's upper-most pathway



Horse Chestnut Trees

Aesculus hippocastanum


... as I walk along the upper-most pathway, then Woodland Blossom. There seems to have been an abundance of Cherry Blossom this year, or maybe I have been noticing it more due to my new found obsession with Nature!


So many beautiful posts of Blossom on Instagram by so many people.


iPhone capture






Avenue of 40 Oak Trees planted in 1992, to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen's accession to the throne.



iPhone capture


Common Reed Phragmites australis









DAY FOUR - The Drilling of a Woodpecker

9.4.2022



... after having been woken early by our Cat, as I peered out of the bedroom window, frost was still clinging on, so I grabbed my camera and headed off to the park to see what I could find.



I was too late for the soft-forgiving light of the Golden Hour, the light already had quite a contrast to it, but I was thrilled to have found hidden amongst the long grass these intriguing, shaped leaves emphasised by the frost's 'sugar-frosting' vibe.










As I walk a little further, I arrive at the smallest lake in the park. The atmosphere is still and quiet. There is a real sense of awakening. In the distance, the Swans are peaceful and still, but after spotting me, made their way across the Lake, most-likely in hope of edible offerings.





'Move on Mr Goose!'








The adjacent, Main Lake



There is a peninsular on this Lake, with Willow Trees amongst other trees. This is where a pair of Herons can be seen when they are not on the Wing, and for the first time for perhaps many years, a pair of Cormorants can be seen on the peninsular.



On warm, blue skied days, Red Kites can be seen soaring up high in the skies thermals.









iPhone footage captured for the beautiful sounds in the Park.


I'm sure I heard the drilling of a Woodpecker in the distance








DAY FIVE - Six Baby Canada Geese

26.4.2022 - All iPhone captures


It has been nearly 3 weeks since I last visited the Park on our doorstep. I managed four walks since the beginning of April a week after being sideswiped by a ghastly chest-infection, but then it kicked-back, and I was a bit of a mess.

Today's visit cemented just how much I appreciate having a beautiful place in which to let go in, to press the stop button on everything else that is going in the World. I have missed connecting with Nature so much.




The more I immerse myself in Nature, the more I see. The more I see, the stronger I connect. The stronger my connection, the greater my appreciation. With the turning of time, Nature repeats itself, but she is far from mundane.







Bird song filled the air


There is an abundance of Wildlife. Butterflies, Chaffinches, Robins, Pigeons, Magpies and Blue Tits flit in and out of the Shrubs as I pass by. A short while later, I spy a Bird of Prey hovering in the Sky and a small plane doing loop-the-loop. As I look across the lake I spy a Cormorant with its wings spread, airing itslef in the warm breeze. Trees are dense with leaves and ground cover is now thick and lush. So much change in just three weeks.







Stop, and look up ...


and listen to Nature. She is a calming influence.





I discover a pathway that I have not been down before. As I walk alongside a small woodland I discover a small, intriguing opening, and as I walk through it I am treated to Bluebells.








The Horse Chestnut buds have broken out into Bloom and bare branches now adorn lush green leaves. Nature is picking up momentum.








Lakeside Indulgence


I always stop for a few minutes to soak up the daily 'goings-on'. Today, I sat for a good thirty minutes or so and shared the water's edge with a Canada Goose preening itself. Utter joy.










Nature Ponderings - MAY 2022




Thank you for joining me here. If you have enjoyed this post, and/or you have your own Nature story to tell, I would love to hear from you.



Until tomorrow, enjoy your day.


Gina

Wild East Pledgee

@rspb_love_nature















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