One swallow does not a summer make ….

but it certainly felt a bit like it today with those clear blue skies and glorious sunshine.

swallow for the 2015 season

Newly returned swallow, here for the 2015 season

While working and (I found out later) getting sunburnt in the walled garden at Wimpole, I heard that liquid trilling sound that indicates the migratory birds are beginning to arrive back in the UK. Sure enough, I looked up to see two swallows skimming the Soames greenhouse. Later on, in the yard, one paused long enough on the telephone wires for a picture. They were definitely checking out the bothy for their regular nesting site.


Swallow scouting out nesting sites in the bothy no doubt

First sightings continue apace at this time of year. Yesterday I saw a Holly Blue butterfly on ivy in the hedge around the garden. This pretty butterfly emerges well before other blue butterflies in spring and enjoys basking in the sun with shut wings. The RSPB website describes its diet in rather lurid terms as: oozing sap, aphid honeydew and carrion juices.

Holly Blue butterfly

Holly Blue butterfly

And back in the garden, all the fruit trees seem to be in blossom simultaneously whether they are damson, plum, pear or apple (except for the Bramley). I can’t remember seeing that happen before. Usually the damson are over before the rest start. Too much sun and not enough rain perhaps?

Pear blossom

Pear pollination

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
This entry was posted in Nature, Wimpole Hall and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to One swallow does not a summer make ….

  1. Chloris says:

    How exciting, I haven’ t seen any swallows yet. My apple blossom isn’ t out yet. I’ m surprised that you are ahead of us. Fabulous weather we are having.

    • Well, I’ve only really got two apple trees in full blossom. The others are later varieties. It’s more that the pears and greengages are out at the same time and it is the same situation at Wimpole. This is my favourite kind of weather, sunny but cool.

  2. Robbie says:

    Oh my your picture of the swallow makes me want that bird in my yard! I love the blue and brown together:-) I enlarged your picture of the holy blue butterfly-what a stunner.
    .I can’t wait to have butterflies in our garden! It has been a long winter:-)
    Oh you have a damson–how many years till they produce fruit. I just put in two dwarf plums ( stanley and damson) + I am excited!

    • I am lucky with the damsons and gages. The back garden has a bit of an old Chivers (a jam company) orchard in it. The trees are really in decline. What are yours grafted on, ‘cos that will affect things?

      • Robbie says:

        gosh, I don’t know. I got mine from Stark Brothers ( mail order) and they arrive as a small stick which they do not tell you what is grafted:-( So far all the trees they have sent me have done very well. I sure hope these do well:-)

      • I’m sure they’ll be fine too ….. could take ~4-5yrs to fruit.

  3. Cathy says:

    I saw a swallow today too! I thought I heard one yesterday, but only saw it this afternoon… just the one. That’s a lovely close-up of the holly blue!

  4. Christina says:

    Hi Frogend dweller, thank you for following my blog, I hope you’ll enjoy visiting my Hesperides garden. In Italy we have the same proverb except it is spring rather than summer that is being announced by the return of all the swallows. they only arrived here in central Italy about 3 weeks ago so they have made good progress to reach you already.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s