Wolds Diary: Springtime lure of the garden

With her garden now in bloom, Sue Woodcock reports seeing her first butterflies of the season.  Picture: RHS.
With her garden now in bloom, Sue Woodcock reports seeing her first butterflies of the season. Picture: RHS.
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Everywhere nature is delightful. In my garden, there are many birds frantically collecting nesting materiel and food, ready for breeding. Among them are blackbirds, sparrows, tits, finches, not to mention pigeons and even starlings.

The wild flowers are in glorious bloom wherever I look. This includes in my garden! I must get out and do some gardening, and the grass already needs cutting. For the first time this year I saw butterflies in the garden.

On walks with the dogs this week I have felt very fortunate. I was in one of my favourite woods, that is owned by the Woodland Trust, in which I have never met anyone else, I was happily looking around when I heard the unmistakable noise of a woodpecker hammering on a tree.

I went to investigate, with my Staffie on a lead, and no sooner had I narrowed the area down, then another started behind me and yet another a bit further on. I was so entranced with them and was trying to see them, when my Doberman/Sharpei cross, Looroll, spotted a squirrel in a nearby tree.

Now Looroll has a thing about squirrels and is under the impression that she is able to catch them. She is a large dog but does not understand why she cannot climb trees. This does not stop her trying, however. I managed to untangle myself from the lead, and rescue her from all of four foot up a tree, and eventually managed to calm her down by which time the squirrel was long gone, thankfully.

The wood is a very muddy place, and I was glad I had worn wellies. Once home the dogs needed a clean-up. So did I, as I had tripped on a stray bramble and fallen into the mud but no harm was done. Thankfully I have a good washing machine.

On Tuesday I drove over to Sewerby to The Grange Hotel and gave a talk to the Probus Club and their ladies there. On the way, as I approached Bridlington, I saw the most magnificent peregrine falcon sitting calmly on a fence post by the road.

Once at the lunch, I was made most welcome and it was a delicious meal with great company, and one lady even gave me a super little sewing box, where I can store my cottons on the top. They were a great audience and laughed rather a lot.

The next evening I went to a rather different event at Thorp Audlin, a charming village near Wakefield. On the way, there was a massive hold-up near Shiptonthorpe, with ambulances rushing towards it, so I took the long way round. It is for such eventualities that I allow plenty of time to get anywhere.

It was a dinner party at a private house where my delightful hosts, Chris and Lynn, were entertaining friends and hoped I might help. The company was superb. I also met their two delightful dogs.

The next evening, I made it to a rehearsal of the Celebra-tion Singers, for the songs we are singing for the Flying Man Concert on May 5. I need to do some work on a couple of them but the other numbers are old friends of mine.