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The WildlifeKate Patch January 2012

With a few weekends of slightly drier weather, I have been able to get out in my garden and begin a bit of a tidy up…. leaves have been late to fall this year, but last week’s winds ensured that all those still hanging in there, were stripped off once and for all. With the weather having been so mild, many of the plants in my garden have remained in leaf or even in flower, so my usual cutting back and tidying up had not really happened.  Last weekend and this weekend has seen me out finally removing all those leaves from the beds and cutting back some of those plants that have finally died back. I don’t like to be too tidy in my garden as some debris offers shelter from the cold for many invertebrates, but  if I don’t get things in some semblance of order over the winter, then I have no chance of keeping up with the explosion of foliage I get in the spring!

I have a bank just outside my front door and it is planted with hellebores….. one of my favourites and these are just coming into flower now. As I cleared away a lot fo the magnolia leaves, I could see how many of my bulbs are pushing their green fingered shoots up into the light, promising an explosion of spring colour in just a few month’s time.

Today has had a true feeling of spring and I had to keep reminding myself that it is early January. The blue skies, watery sunshine and bird song was remeniscent of those lovely March mornings in the garden… I know you should not wish time away, but I long for the lighter mornings that give me all the more time to spend outside, where I am happiest!

I took a few shots of the garden today…..

 The pond is clear and looking healthy.. I even saw a frog in there today! I have had spawn as early as February…. I wonder when we’ll see the first this year? Many of the ferns have not even died down this year, so just received a little trim and tidy up. The marsh marigolds are budding and they ar the first to erupt into colour here. This year, I am going to try to note the dates such things happen in the garden so I can make comparisons over time. You can just see the sieve feeders mounted in the lilac tree on the left hand side (the white shape is the pipe that the cam is mounted in)… watch out for the great footage of these popular feeders on my live stream.

Here are a couple of other shots from my patio looking back toward the house and then from the house, looking up the garden….

I have also been working on a lot of nest box projects, preparing for the season ahead and hopefully bringing you some great live footage of families being raised all around the WildlifeKate patch. The nest box counter on the plum tree nest box is telling me that I am already having visitors… fingers crossed for another successful season. Last year the blue tits raised 10 young in this box.

Finally, an update on the caged cam feeder that was destroyed by the squirrels yesterday. When I got up this morning, I turned the cams on to see two furry hands reaching inside the cage and grabbing the nut kebabs! More adaptations were required! I have now lined the back of the cage with bark, which is cable-tied into place. The nut kebab should now be out of reach. The birds have been popping in all day and the bark backdrop is giving a nice light to the cam.  Check it out tomorrow on my website.


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