Nature Notes: April 2021

One of the good things to come out of this pandemic has been having the time to enjoy our balcony.

We’ve always had a few large plant pots – they were here when we moved in – with our cherry tree and a Pink Flamingo Salix, but over the last year, M has added to it, with all sorts of herbs, wildflowers and other plants.

Not being green-fingered enough to help, I have enjoyed the fruits of his labour, especially during the gloriousness of last spring when we didn’t think it advisable to spend much time in the park next to us. Everyone else seemed to be there. It’s been nice to watch the seasons passing by noting the changes in the plants, from the cherry blossom to the dying leaves and the Christmas strawberries.

Over the last few months, we’ve added a couple of bird feeders and now a bird bath for the visiting bluetits and the blackbirds which run up and down the railings. One of the tits seems to like balancing on the door handle and looking through the balcony door at us.

The bees are beginning to awaken from the hotel, too, though they have missed the cherry blossom this year. That bloomed at the end of March and then the cold snap in April put an end to it. But the lavender next to the hotel is beginning to flower, and the catnip at the other end of the balcony looks like it will soon too.  

The best thing about the last month or so, though, has been the return of the heron to the river which runs through the park. I didn’t see it much during January and February, and was beginning to get concerned.

And the magnolia, which we had thought scorched too badly a couple of summers ago, is growing new green shots again, even despite the snowy winter and April’s frosts.

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