In like a lion…

March has been all lion down our way (if you hold with the old saying that is). We’ve had endless grey skies and blustery winds. All my daffodils are bent at right angles. In the fields towards the mouth of the estuary wild geese graze contentedly, oblivious to the gusts. This morning I saw a heron stood stock still in the pools that have collected over the water meadows, his feathers being teased by the breeze.

My seeds got all of three days in the soil before Finch dug them up and turned the soil into a car run. He got an absolute earful I can tell you. He smiled sweetly at me, nodding, yes, yes mummy, won’t do it again. But there was a little look in his eye that said, the car-run was pretty good wasn’t it?! In fact he’s been on top mischievous form this last week. In a brief moment of lax supervision he and my niece got into Little Owl’s bedroom (using a stool to get to the high door handle) and smeared one wall with Little Owl’s favourite lip balm. His protestations that “it was for her birthday” did nothing to help his situation when she got home from school and he got another earful.

Here is Margaret Erskine Wilson’s illustration of lesser periwinkle from Wildflowers of Britain. We saw some lesser periwinkle in full flower at the weekend, clambering about in a gale-bent hedge outside an isolated cottage along the estuary. Other flowers to look out for in March are green hellebore, bittercress, vernal whitlow grass, golden saxifrage, yellow star of Bethlehem, white butterbur, primroses, sweet violets, lungwort (very important for hairy-footed bumblebees I have learnt) and scurvy grass. Did you know that people in the 17th century used to drink a glass of scurvy grass water every morning, just as we might drink orange juice to get our intake of vitamin C? It’s also not a grass at all but a member of the cabbage family. There’s a couple of fun-filled facts to get your week off to the right start!

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