Monday, 2 March 2015

Pyrtle spring in March

We went back to Pyrtle Spring on Sunday to see what had changed in the last month. You can read the pyrtle spring story and it's special place in my family's history here.

We were welcomed by snowdrops growing around the edge of the trees and we could just glimpse the water level in the spring. It's always exciting to see how much water there'll be, although we've had a lot of rain recently, so the chances were good. We were very surprised though to see the water covering most of the bottom of the spring and it actually appeared to be flowing through the spring and off down a small stream. When we visited in January it had been completely dry.

From the entrance to Pyrtle Spring we could see the water level
had risen a lot and the water was now right down to the lower
half of the spring

The water was lovely and clear

The water was in the lower half of the spring, although there were some
small islands still showing

Looking back up to the entrance to the spring

At the bottom of the spring the water flowed off down a
small stream towards Culverton

A pair of ducks were on the water when we arrived, but they flew away as soon as we disturbed them.

Bug Mad Girl couldn't resist a paddle and in some places the water was right up to the top of her wellies. She also enjoyed climbing around on some of the logs - having the water below to potentially fall into only made it more enjoyable!

It felt like a very different place today. I think it was because we couldn't get down into the bottom of the spring, so the trees weren't looming over us and their roots weren't creeping down the bank towards us. Instead we were scrabbling around the edge, looking down into the spring. Still beautiful, just different!

There were a few flowers around and the plants have started to grow. Another month and I think it will be very 'green' around the spring.
There were several dandelions in flower - a great early source of nectar for
bees and butterflies
The celandines are still flowering - we saw our first one there on Jan 1st
Beautiful snowdrop

The brooklime has started to shoot

The cow parsley is growing and should make a stunning display
in a couple of months
We found a little bit of fungus and a pretty pink lichen ...

A black jelly fungus called witches butter

Some dried up jelly ear

Velvet shank
Pink lichen

... and some signs of animal life.

There were several big dig holes, which I assume
were made by a badger

Pigeon for lunch!

Nibble marks in a conker - looks like quite big teeth, so maybe a squirrel?

Holes in a tree trunk - could have been made by a woodpecker
Then on the way home we found these snails hibernating together between two tree trunks. I looked up the collective noun for snails and it's either a walk, rout or escargatoire. Well I think this has to be a huddle of snails!

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