The return of the honey bee and a vocalist practicing it’s song.


Gosh, how the week has flown and to think it’s almost mid-march!

I feel that I’m positively whizzing through the garden jobs now. The extended veggie patch has been dug over and the first of the seeds, carrots, have gone in. The potatoes will be next, and as a  girl can never have too many spuds I shall be planting plenty of those, and lots of different varieties, after all I do have more space now.


Now, this is a job I really dread doing… turning the compost bins! But I do like the wonderful crumbly compost I’ll eventually get so these have been shook out, and put back. I was surprised to find potatoes and ivy growing in two of them, but now all is hunky dory and hopefully, my compost will soon be ready.


Last week a co-worker at the rescue surprised me with a gift of wild flower seeds, a thank you/bribe….her words…. for helping out with extra shifts. Lots more coming up this week…. lol. 

I am absolutely thrilled with them, especially the teasel, that will grow to five foot and I have one hundred seeds.I was surprised to read that they can take anything from a month to three months to germinate….but hey, well worth the wait. I just adore the names of wildflowers….corn cockle…makes the heart sing it does.


Spring is waiting in the wings and is about to take center stage any day now, the cherry and plum trees are full to overflowing with tight flower buds that will burst into life soon….one of my all time favourite sights, you just can’t beat the confetti floating across the lawn and forming drifts.


There is also new life in the pond…’s now full of frog spawn…..which will soon be a mass of wriggling tadpoles, and I do enjoy tadpole watching.

Last night hubs, daughter and I sat out around the chiminea. Goodness me…it was blowing a gale and the flames were licking around the outside of the chiminea and actually brushing across our knees.


Very dramatic it was and rather thrilling. It looked a little like solar flares flying off the sun’s surface.


Now, a friend at the rescue had me thinking this week.

He was telling me about an article he’d recently read. Apparently some guy had been sitting close to a robin and heard the strangest sounds. They were extremely faint, but as he strained to hear he realised that it was the robin singing….but almost in a whisper. It sang several different songs and repeated them, over and over…..ever so quietly. Then it suddenly belted out it’s “new” songs at full volume. This led the guy to assume that the robin had been practicing! Now isn’t that an astonishing thing… think that a little bird rehearses it’s song….isn’t that called thinking?

I do love robins, they are so tame and are the only garden birds that sing day and night all year round. I leave my window open at night just to hear it, such a varied, complex, melodic song it is too….I always think of the robin as my little midnight warbler.


Just look at the lovely flowers beginning to appear on the witch hazel, aren’t they unusual?


The whole garden is full of crocus at the moment….blue, purple,cream and white.

And….the bumbles have discovered it.



to my great joy, so have the honey bees. I hardly saw one last year but now thanks to the crocus they are everywhere. 

Just goes to show how a little planning can help the wildlife eh?


Wonderful it is! I’m hoping they stick around as I have a succession of plants throughout the year that should keep them happy. I’ve even seen a few red admirals.


And finally….

will somebody please tell Annie to get out of the lavender patch?


And Sam to STOP digging? 

  52 comments for “The return of the honey bee and a vocalist practicing it’s song.

  1. March 10, 2014 at 7:23 am

    What a lovely post – full of the hope of things to come and spring promise. The crocus are lovely aren’t they – yesterday I saw big fat bumbles whizzing about and five frogs croaking in the pond. Sam and his muddy nose with a look on his face saying ‘Who Me?’

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Elaine, it is a lovely time of the year isn’t it and I think we all await the first blooms with bated breath. I do love crocus, they are such vibrant little plants. I think spring is on time this year and fingers crossed for no unexpected frosts.
      Sam….sighs….he has a thing for

  2. March 10, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Great post. Annie – get out of the lavender patch. And Sam – stop digging! I noticed our fruit trees are all budding and ready to go. This time of year makes me so happy!

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm

      Lol…they completely ignored you! Oh ….I couldn’t agree more, it makes me happy as Larry too. Thanks

  3. March 10, 2014 at 11:08 am

    We have frogs in the pond too. I do hope the bees are around in my garden to pollinate the blossom on our apricot.

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:11 pm

      A lot of people are talking of seeing bees and butterflies, I think it may be a good year for them, The frogs are bang on time too. Isn’t it marvelous. Thanks

  4. Jo
    March 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    Ha ha, I think you’re passed telling Sam and Annie what to do, they’ll do what they like anyway. I saw my first bumblebee of the year on Saturday, a huge thing it was, and my first butterfly of the year yesterday, a Peacock. This lovely weather has got them out and about. There’s no frogspawn in my little pond yet but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      I suspect you may be right re those dogs Jo…
      The bumbles are huge this year aren’t they…lovely to see them all out at the right time and spring being on track. Oh how lovely, I do love peacocks. I shall cross my fingers and toes for the frogspawn. Thanks

  5. March 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I love the idea of the little Robin practicing it’s songs first, how adorable! That picture of Sam is fab too x

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      It is rather amazing to think a bird can decide to rehearse isn’t it….there is a lot more to animals than we suspect. Thanks

  6. March 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    A most enjoyable post and wonderful photos, I especially like all the crocuses.
    Once you have teasels growing they do generally self seed year to year. I have a few on the plot but have never seen any birds, such as goldfinches, on them.
    That’s a lovely robin story xx

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks Flighty, you have those cream crocus too don’t you, they are gorgeous. I’m glad the rain kept off the crocus this year or they’d all be on the ground, flattened.
      Oh, I hope the teasel does self seed….that’s if it ever gets going! I was smiling at the robin rehearsing, what a marvelous thing to do….clever wee

  7. March 10, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Wonderful! All looks sunny, bright, and glorious in its green infancy. I’ll bet the birdsong and smells are delicious, and can understand Annie’s and Sam’s need to explore and get involved…maybe Sam’s indicating where a new garden could go???? 🙂

    I’m with you on never enough spuds: would love to hear the types you’re planting this year. The compost bins are so worth it, aren’t they?!

    Thank you for the joyful noises and peace to your week, Dina!

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Sam is trying to dig to Australia I think….sighs….now that little patch is under the beech trees and I’ve just planted the willow hedgerow there, hopefully one day it will be a thicket. I also have some woodland seeds to sow there but the beasties gallop to the railings so I’m a little concerned they may trample them,
      Ah….spuds…well I’m growing the same varieties as I grew last year and they all did well….Duke of York earlies, Red Duke of York, King Edward and Maris Peer a nice Scottish spud that’s smashin’ in salads and for boiling. Now don’t forget to grow some this year….think of your Irish heritage!!!
      Oh yes….those bins do hold lots of compost…thanks

  8. March 10, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    What a fabulous post – beautiful crocuses and how amazing about the robin practising! And such good news about the bees. Those are absolutely gorgeous photos. Thanks SB – you always lift the spirits!

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you Gilly, isn’t it an astonishing thing thing for a bird to do….it must have to think about rehearsing first….there is so much more to animals than we know….I think the nice weather over the weekend has brought the bees and butterflies out….lets hope it

  9. March 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Spuds and ivy are strange bedfellows. Were the potatoes any good?

    I feel worn out after all your gardening. I think I’ll take a rest, just to give you a change to gird your loins for the next gardening campaign!

    🙂 xx

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Lol….I think I must have thrown both spuds and ivy in the compost bins….goodness it’s hard to get ivy out. Strangely though, there were a few good looking edible tators in there….fancy them growing in the dark…maybe a new delicacy.
      I shall have to take a gardening break this week as I’m in the rescue all week then off with friends for a four day jaunt in York….Thanks

  10. March 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Always such aa great joy to read your posts…filling one with awe and wonder at your stamina…and….patent love for Nature….Great posts D! Love those bees……waiting for mine to arrive…;) Hugs! xx

    • Snow Bird
      March 10, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks Bushka… should see me hobbling around after a few hours in the garden….I look like I’m over 100 years old! Nature never ceases to amaze me, every day there is something to marvel at. I do hope your bees come soon….they do seem to be about now the warmer weather has arrived. Thanks

  11. March 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    A wonderful post about the beginning of spring. It’s fantastic news that the honeybees are back and have found those lovely crocuses. And I’m so envious of the frogspawn – I still haven’t got any frogs visiting my ponds here.
    Your work is putting me to shame, I’m still behind with planting seeds – but hope to do lots this week. A good dose of spring sunshine will spur me on, I think!
    It seems your gorgeous dogs have their own ideas about gardening. Sam looks as though he is just pausing a moment for the photo and then he’ll be back to work!

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      I’m so happy about the bees Wendy, it was awful not seeing them last year and to see so many is most unexpected.
      What a shame about the frogspawn. Frogs are funny things, they obsessively return to the same water every year. They only mate in my front pond, the back one is so much bigger yet they won’t entertain it….
      Good weather is predicted for us all so I hope you get your seeds in, probably the perfect time. My lettuce were up in three days….an all time record. Thanks

  12. March 10, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    wonderful to have all those lovely flowers in your garden after all the gruesome weather we’ve had. Sunshine and flowers! Wonderful!

    Well done for all the hard work you put into your garden and the wildlife.

    I am so astonished about the robin practicing his new song! How amazing! And how brilliant that there is all the frogspawn and so will be loads of frogs!

    Great work and I am really impressed by it all ! 🙂 Nice to see the digdogs enjoying it too….. do hope they don’t dig things up and they keep off your lavenders!xxx

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Seeing a little sunshine is fantastic, especially after all that rain as you say. I really hope we have a good spring and summer, the wildlife need it too.
      I was astonished too…what an incredible thing….who would have thought it eh? Just shows how self aware creatures are…I couldn’t stop thinking about it!
      I lose hours watching tadpoles….it’s such a relaxing thing to do…..and even more hours staring at teeny tiny froglets….
      Sam refuses to give up his doggy right and will I think, always be a VERY diggy doggy! Thanks

  13. March 10, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Oh I do love your posts…..and Sam and Annie always look like they have just been very naughty:):)
    The garden looks wonderful….and I also love lots of spuds….
    One of these days I am coming to visit you.xxxxx

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Lol….they usually have!!! But they do have fun!

      I shall take that as a promise, how lovely it would be to see you….maybe you could paint the garden…xxx

  14. March 10, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Love your crocus … makes me impatient to see my own. The snow here is really melting now, but there is still so much of it! Enjoy your spuds … there is a favorite spring dish of the upper midwest: creamed new potatoes with peas. Delicious!

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      Oh I am sorry about your weather, last year we had a really delayed spring and I felt so cheated. We didn’t get our spring bulbs until the end of april….
      Oh I love creamed mashed potatoes with peas…I also add cabbage and onion….delish it

  15. March 11, 2014 at 12:35 am

    How amazing to think that the bird was practicing! But I like the idea of it. My dogs dig holes in the grass constantly and then eat big mouthfuls of dirt. The vet said it tastes good. Maybe I’ll just start feeding them compost and soil instead of kibble.

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      I thought it was amazing too and couldn’t stop thinking about it….clever little thing!!!
      Hahahahaha… that’s an idea….a lot cheaper than kibble too!!! Thanks

  16. March 11, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Fantastic images. Your spring is nearly sprung, so some better weather for you in the future. You have that garden well prepared.

    • Snow Bird
      March 11, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks Peter….I am so excited re watching it grow!xxx

  17. March 11, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    There is always so much going on here! Look at those veggie beds all prepped and tidy. I’m so impressed with your industriousness. I can imagine the color starting to burst out — from the ground up, it seems. Those crocus blooms look just delightful. I hope they survive your canine gardening helpers.

  18. Snow Bird
    March 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks Anne…I’m not usually this prepared, and there is still so much to do….and all the time the weeds are creepiting in….darn things!!! Why are they so much more hardier than plants!
    I’m really looking forward to seeing the plants in the new garden come up…so many have been stolen from the front!!! xxx

    • March 12, 2014 at 2:47 am

      Isn’t it great to be ahead of the game for once? I’m miiiiiiiiiiiles behind. The lavender never got their fall trim. The weeds thrived in the last bout of rain. But no point wallowing! Look at those purple flowers!

      • Snow Bird
        March 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

        Ahhh….but you have all those delightful roses to cheer you up, you have been so busy of late, hopefully when things quieten down you can relax and catch up on your garden jobs. I’m glad to hear you have had rain, we’ve actually had three dry and sunnyish days….wow what a treat, I’d forgotten what sunshine was. xxxx

  19. March 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    I know what you mean about Robin’s singing like that, I’ve seen that with the robin that follows us gardeners around at York Gate, it sounds like its whispering something to me. Its so delicate. How lovely to think that it is practicing its song!

    • Snow Bird
      March 12, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      Oh wow, how lovely that you have a robin whispering and rehearsing it’s song….isn’t it amazing?
      I am ever so jealous! If only you could capture it on tape and maybe post it….thanks

  20. Glo
    March 12, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Spring has sprung! When you mentioned honey bees, my mind went to lemons, sorry 😉 How fascinating about the robin practicing. There is so much more to animal behaviour than we aware of…well, you are aware of much more than most! Looking forward to more springy photos 🙂

    • Snow Bird
      March 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Hahahahaha….y’know I actually think of lemons when I see bees now….what have you done to me!!!
      I found it fascinating too…animals can be so surprising. I am really looking forward to some dry, sunny weather. Here’s to a good year for us

  21. Glo
    March 12, 2014 at 12:33 am

    PS ~ Book finally read and left at the airport 🙂

    • Snow Bird
      March 12, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Oh….how MARVELOUS!!! xxx

  22. March 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Your garden is looking lovely D. I like those primroses. I had one come up in my lawn last year and I didn’t know where it came from. I carefully dug it up and moved it to one of the borders and was delighted to see it come into flower again this year.
    Your plot is bursting with life already. Just goes to show how a couple of warm days bring everything out.
    I will be interested to hear if your teasels encourage some goldfinches. We see a lot of them on the wild teasels at the local beauty spot where the wildlife group meets. Lovely little birds. 😀

    And what can I say about those two pooches ? The look on their faces says everything LOL :))
    Have a great time in York. You have earned it :yes:

    • Snow Bird
      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      How lovely to hear your crocus came up again, hopefully it will now spread and you may end up with drifts of them, I am ever so fond of crocus.The warmer weather has seen a burst in growth, my lettuce seeds germinated i three days! The wildlife are certainly welcoming the dry sunny days too…let’s hope it stays like this.
      I really am looking forward to the teasel, I was surprised by how long they take to germinate, I won’t have any seedheads until next year …..
      Thanks Kegs, I’m at the rescue tomorrow then on my travels Friday am……a break and a few good walks should be smashin’.xxx

  23. March 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Gorgeous macro photography. Your blog looks fantastic x

    • Snow Bird
      March 12, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Why thank you

  24. March 14, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Always enjoy seeing your garden as a harbinger of what I’ll be seeing soon down here but winter is too rough on the primulas in this clip. They’re relegated to cool season indoor pot plant.

    • Snow Bird
      March 17, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Thanks Patrick, here’s to your spring!xxx

  25. March 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Hi I’ve just come cross your lovely blog and am now going to be a follower. Love the photos.. look forward to reading and seeing more :o) x

    • Snow Bird
      March 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for visiting and following Julie. I shall pop over and have a look at

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