Amazingly, in March we had snow! I say ‘amazingly’ because down in central southern England it doesn’t happen often so when it does, we have to make the most of it 🙂 ! To be truthful, it was only a thin covering but it was great anyway.
The first half of the year was a time when plans just didn’t seem to come together – I had intended to have at least one backpacking trip early in the year. We had a family trip away to Devon in early April and drove across Dartmoor. Although it wasn’t a time for walking, it did whet my appetite and I determined to visit again with my tent because it is not an area I have ever explored on foot. April came and went, as did May and June but each time I planned to go, something got in the way. In the end, I never did make it although my son, grandson and I did return later in the year for a boys trip……but more of that later.
There was plenty of walking in Dorset though, especially as the fresh green foliage appeared, and the spring flowers made their appearance. I headed for the hills as often as possible. By early April it was time for the shorts to come out again as the weather was already warming up…..I’m not sure we expected it to warm up quite as much as it did though!
There was of course plenty of wildlife to photograph at this active time of the year and I went in search of bugs, butterflies, amphibians, snowdrops, orchids, bluebells, rape fields, ramsons, and anything else really. I spotted my first hermit crab and quite a few jellyfish along the shoreline. The snail below was probably the easiest to photograph because he hardly moved 🙂 !
There was plenty of action in the garden too, with a visit from some mice, nesting blackbirds, nesting tree bumblebees, great tits looking to nest but finding the bumblebees squatting in their box, wood-pigeons, and so much more. My policy of deliberately attracting wildlife to my garden does seem to be working even if the wildlife is not particularly exotic.
I think one of the highlights of this part of the year was discovering the Stanbridge Mill Garden Open Day because this was a mill I had passed numerous times and really wanted to see. It is in private ownership so visiting it is not normally possible so I was delighted to hear that it was to open this year for one day. Not only that but the day was a spectacular one and I was able to do a fantastic walk which incorporated the mill. I am really hoping they will repeat the exercise next year.
It was towards the end of spring that I revised my plans in terms of backpacking trips – there are so many on my list that it is hard to decide which to do, especially since the first 5 months of the year had been abortive. I determined that I would make it work and decided on three or four trips that I hoped to complete over the summer months.
Fortunately, this time nothing got in the way, although the extreme temperatures could have…..but more of that next time 🙂 !
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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