31 March 2013

Phenological blog

It's official, on these islands our Spring is about five weeks behind those of recent years. I had reckoned as much, looking at my blog entries here from roughly this time last year. The Horse Chestnut trees are way behind, the Smilicina in my garden is too, so are the daffodils... Oddly enough, only the wood anemones seem to be at much the same point.

Wood anemones turn their back on the cold weather

Late daffs along our local stream
In keeping with the cold season, our Easter 'decor' was low key: some Japanese quince and a Birch branch pruned from its tree by the wind, both from the garden. And with them, some small painted eggs that my son won in primary school and we've kept carefully since then.
To echo the season, we took a minimalist approach to Easter decor

But at least the sun came out this week, even if temperatures have stayed at 2-3C. On Good Friday we headed down to Mount Usher gardens, where a friend treated us to lunch (thanks BL!), and we were delighted to see a goldcrest flitting through the bushes outside the window of the restaurant. It's a gorgeous little bird--our smallest apparently (smaller than the wren even)--and its big dark eyes and gold crest are unmistakable. I don't remember seeing one before, but they're common. Like wrens their shyness and diminutive size keep them out of our sight I suppose. A post-prandial promenade in Bray meant braving the bracing winds, but at least there was blue sky over the choppy sea.
Easterly winds keep Easter cold (the view from Bray back to Dalkey and Howth)
The clocks went forward too which means we'll have more chances to view the golden evening light:
A magpie catches the evening sunlight in the back garden

A busy week didn't leave too much time for drawing, but sketching a Muscari was fun. Lord but paint is hard though ...
Muscari sketches, pencil and watercolour
Not much inspiration this week so I'll end with the easiest spot-the-schnauzer we've had so far...

Eh... spot the schnauzer? (Alright then, spot the scillas)
Have a good week all. And Happy (major) Birthday DM xx


  1. It was great seeing you this week and meeting the very friendly schnauzer!! Lets hope we get some sunshine soon!

  2. yes, and some warmth! hope you and the family had a lovely Easter. See you on the 9th.