Monday, 18 April 2011

Blackthorn is the source

  And sloe gin is the final result!

The flowers are making a great show this week. I'm trying to make a mental map of the positions of all the blackthorn bushes on my local patch.

The sloes will swell through the summer but will not be ready until October. Then the sloe gin can be made and matured for Christmas.

I kept my 2010 vintage till February before starting on it but, sadly, it's already two thirds gone.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A is for apple --

B is for bee!
On an apple blossom near the Steyning bypass.
The bees are quite active this week. There have been some big black bumble bees in my garden with red abdomens that I don't recollect seeing before.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

More flowering trees

Both of these trees are in the wood walk. On the left is a pussy willow catkin, photographed a week ago. On the right is a cluster of flowers on a field maple, taken yesterday. It's easy to miss the small maple flowers but they create a bright yellow cloud around the trees at this time of year.

Early butterflies

I found this male speckled wood butterfly just on the edge of the Steyning bypass yesterday. It's the earliest I've ever seen one.

And that was the case also for the five orange tip butterflies I saw on Friday. None of those would sit still for photographs though.

It seems that the unseasonally warm spell we are having has brought these species out earlier than usual.

Where do I Walk?

Mainly in a fairly compact area on the north-east side of Steyning in West Sussex, UK.

For a map of this area see My Home Patch