Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Saturday, 5 April 2014


Sheep in a field - glimpsed between branches of tree with opening leaves.
Peeping between trees in annoying rain.

For all that we are trying to celebrate spring, for all that blogs are full of hellebores and hopes of blossom, I feel we are straining at the leash. We aren't there yet. Daffodils may be nearly over but they flowered in late winter rather than in spring. There may be primroses on the hedgerow banks but they are like little beacons of what's to come. Birds may be noisier than they have been over winter but they aren't in full voice yet. Not here they aren't. Indeed, the mornings seem to be getting darker. Perhaps we will be skipping summer this year. The trees won't properly open their leaves or bother with autumn.

Bincombe - Dorset

Plants, trees and creatures may have been knocked back by unusually strong winds and wet weather. I don't think it's the same all over the country. 

A mass of horsetails (Equisetum arvens) on a bank.
Horsetails - Equisetum arvens

Even only a few miles away from the sea I came across a bank of horsetails more advanced than I've ever found them here. And it's bound to be subjective too. Even if everyone else smells spring in the air - I don't. To me, it's still late winter. The light is almost consistently dull. Rain un-refreshing. The ground cold.

Equisetum arvens (horsetails) growing on a bank along a country lane.

The pictures in this post are from last week - when beetles unexpectedly took over the blog. Nature can move fast at this time of year and has moved on a little since then. But I wouldn't want those of you who live in cities or in other parts of the world to miss out on this last fling of cold weather in the English countryside. But I do hope it will be the last of the dull-light posts. Or second to last! I've been to visit my tree-following tree - and, guess what? The sky was overcast. You'll see pictures of it on the 7th - which is the day after tomorrow - Monday

Large sheep on a hill. (Ram?)

Are you too ready with your tree-following posts? I'm hoping the link box will come up of its own accord at 7 in the morning UK time. Scheduling can sometimes go wrong so, if it doesn't appear straight away, don't worry. I'll be hot on its heels to put it in manually.

Lots of sleeping snails behind ivy trunks on a tree.
March 25th 2014

Snails in this tree, partially protected by thick ivy stems, still seem to think it's winter.

Posts about Horsetails closer to the sea. You can tell by the dates they grow later here.



It's not too late to join us in following the progress of individual trees through the year - garden trees, park trees, hedgerow trees, wild trees.
Let me know if you'd like to be added to the list of tree-followers and put a link to your tree following posts in the link box here on Loose and Leafy on the 7th of every month. (Nobody is obliged to post about their tree every month but the more you post, the more we know - it's in your hands.)



Gardens at Waters East said...

Lucy, You and me both - have only winter at this time of year! Spring seems so late to me. Enjoyed visiting your post today. Jack

Stewart M said...

That "street" view could have been taken in the older part of the village I was born in! Different county, but very different feel. I suppose the "late" spring is just caused by the soil being so cold and wet - once it warms up, I imagine there will be an explosion of life.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

amanda peters said...

Great post, we had one day of sunshine this week and we all thought Spring had sprung..then the fog and mist rolled in and it stayed,it has been grey damp and dark here (Leeds) for the last five days, winter is desperately trying to hold on....

Joanne said...

Lovely post, I enjoyed seeing photos of your walk. xx

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi, Jack. I imagine you are, at least to a degree, used to this time of year being cold. Is that right. Here, where I live, we are usually ahead of much of the rest of the country.

colleen said...

It has been so warm here - heating went off on 1st April and could have been switched off earlier really. Even today, quite overcast and breezy, it didn't feel cold. Candles on the horse chestnut opposite Mile End station are standing up and getting ready to bloom.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hi, Stewart. I feel this little village has more of a northern feel to it than fits with Dorset - something to do with the colour of the stone. (Not that it's even big enough to be called a village, really.) I expect you are right - that an explosion of life will come before long. Things are muddled though. I heard on the radio the other day that there may be a shortage of dragon flies in England this year. There has been so much flooding, the larvae will have been washed into the fields and towns and left stranded when the water receded.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello. Our local weather forecast says there will be sunshine on Tuesday. And that's it. Rain before, Rain after. Was watching it slant sideways across fields earlier today. I think it's got muddled with autumn.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Joanne. I'm glad you enjoyed our Dorset walk.

Lucy Corrander at Loose and Leafy said...

Hello Colleen. There are a few horse chestnut trees round here but not many. I wish there were more - their candles, their conkers, their stature, their shape - all are wonderful. It must be special coming out of Mile End Station and seeing them standing there. Of course there are a surprising number of trees in the East End of London but what with the dust and the noise of the main roads they take on a special and welcome significance. (Have lived in Poplar and Bromley-by-Bow as well as North London.)

Anonymous said...

Those horsetails are magnificent! I've only ever seen the green foliage in gardens (as an invasive problem) but those fertile stems you show look "alien" in the extra-terrestrial sense!
Brilliant :)

Down by the sea said...

I enjoyed seeing your pictures of Bincombe in the last two posts. It always feel so peaceful there. Sarah x

Erin said...

Lovely post!! The horsrtails are amazing! I would love to walk through that beautiful village!! Someday, I hope to visit the English countryside!