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Nature blog - Jenny Bourne

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The RPA Nature blog with Jenny Bourne.

Watch the seasons unfold right here at our very own allotments

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Allotments Nature Blog by Jenny Bourne

  • Spiders from Mars, a stroll through the plot, beeflies and butterflies!

    Date posted: Friday 24th March 2017

    Spiders from Mars, a stroll through the plot, beeflies and butterflies!

    Haven’t been able to identify this large (almost 2cm) spider that appeared in one of the hollow panels of the shed window – it stayed in one place, almost immobile for 2/3 days before disappearing off! I hadn’t noticed it there previously so it can’t have been hatching out, or I would have seen it. Pale buff coloured, slightly translucent head and legs.. any ideas on identification, please let me know!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Sex lives of dunnocks shock news! Plus all the usual suspects

    Date posted: Wednesday 8th March 2017

    Sex lives of dunnocks shock news!  Plus all the usual suspects

    Let’s start with the less salacious news from the plot! Spring is on the way – a large queen bumble unsteadily tottering around in the shed guttering a few days ago, crocus, hellebores and daffs now sparkling under my little old apple tree and the honeybees abuzz in the purple crocuses…

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Spring is bustin' out....

    Date posted: Monday 27th February 2017

    Spring is bustin' out....

    The first queen bumblebee spotted last week clambouring around in my shed guttering, honeybees in the hellebores, crocuses and snowdrops and the first iris reticulata and ‘tete a tete’ narcissi out under my old apple tree – suddenly in the space of a couple of mild weeks it all starts!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • bumbarrels, dunnocks and signs of spring

    Date posted: Wednesday 8th February 2017

    bumbarrels,  dunnocks and signs of spring

    “A brief, high-pitched “see-see-see” sound, followed by the appearance of half-a-dozen tiny balls of fluff, each attached to what looks like a protruding stick. Then, more calls, as these flying lollipops flit from one tree to the next, pause, grab an invisible insect, and then move rapidly on.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Happy Birthday, Blog!

    Date posted: Tuesday 31st January 2017

    Happy Birthday, Blog!

    Unbelievably it’s the third anniversary of this blog tomorrow (2nd Feb 2017)! Many many pictures of birds, bees, butterflies, flowers and allotment landscapes later and still as avid as ever about all things wildlife, the natural enviroment and all creatures great and small…!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Green shoots, cold cold wet and fungus

    Date posted: Thursday 12th January 2017

    Green shoots, cold cold wet and fungus

    Green shoots beginning to push up from the soil and now this single clump of snowdrops is a harbinger of spring to come.. I originally put in several different snowdrop varieties but so far only this one has made a re-appearance! Unbelievably vile day today – cold, relentless rain and snow forecast, with Heathrow cancelling flights this afternoon, although so far it’s only the sound of rain that drumming on the roof above me!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Auld Lang Syne

    Date posted: Saturday 31st December 2016

    Auld Lang Syne

    One small item of good news from the litany of loss and ‘unpresidented’ year’s events – some UK ash trees appear to have a natural resistance to ash die back, giving some hope in the natural world! At this time of year the park trees around the allotment site filter the low, winter sun through their bare branches and the recent heavy frost in Home and Bushy Park made a winter wonderland scene..

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Winter birds and old friends

    Date posted: Wednesday 21st December 2016

    Winter birds and old friends

    Yesterday morning a bright, cold early morning sun after what seems like days of drab, dull, mild and damp weather – what a contrast to the previous week of heavy hoar frost and ‘proper’ wintry days! But better for the ground foraging birds when they can actually penetrate the ‘earth stood hard as iron’ to get those worms and grubs…

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Frosty hips and heaps!

    Date posted: Thursday 1st December 2016

    Frosty hips and heaps!

    A heavy frost over the last two nights followed by bright sun all day yesterday! I went up early yesterday morning to feed the birds – as I walked my bike past a large holly bush a robin flew down and landed on my handlebars briefly, before darting off to my plot to wait for the first offerings! I love the way that, as soon as it’s had a quick meal, you get a melodious little song:

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • November preparation, foraging and hunting

    Date posted: Monday 28th November 2016

    November preparation, foraging and hunting

    Several plots now have fresh heaps of manure ready for the next season and we’ve had a new delivery for communal use near the entry gates. This pile attracted several jackdaws the other day, busy flicking and picking through the heap for insects and other tasty bits…

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Dark days...

    Date posted: Wednesday 9th November 2016

    Dark days...

    Overwhelmed with shock, distress and anxiety at the USA Elections results – fearing immediately for the natural world – this is a man who I believe cares little for the frail, vulnerable and precious biodiversity and eco-systems of the natural world and everything for personal business opportunities and self-serving interests… Sorry, that’s my rant on this very dark day, literally and figuratively.. (disclaimer – this blog reflects only my own personal views!)

    Click here to read the full story.

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