Maples, martins and some frogs

Acer palmatum Trompenberg

Acer palmatum Trompenberg

It seems I will never get used to the sight of the new leaves on Japanese maples. Lucky me. Going around and checking the young leaves for black-fly is one of my hopeless antidotes at the moment for my depression over the election results.DSCN7564

Acer palmatum Sango-kaku

Acer palmatum Sango-kaku


Acer palmatum Matsukaze

Acer palmatum Matsukaze

DSCN7278 DSCN7593

And biggest excitement of the maple year – a new baby.DSCN7602

Every May there is another excitement – the return of the martins. We were a little apprehensive about their reactions, as we had knocked out two of their three regular nests in order to paint the bargeboards round the house. However they are backDSCN7591 DSCN7607 and seem to be sharing the one nest while building next door. This is a pair.

If you thought the photos of the martins were poor, try my ‘art house’ video of frogs. Actually, best shut your eyes and listen. It is only 9 seconds. It expresses some of my censored comments at the moment.

41 thoughts on “Maples, martins and some frogs

  1. I love the maple leaves.
    As for the frogs, do you remember a song from the Rowan and Martin Laugh-in – ‘Is the Frog the Farmer’s Friend?’ I do. Don’t know why.

  2. Quite a nice collection of japanese maples. Maybe you—as I do— find as much to like about leaves as about the more obvious and showy flowers. Now, about that frog audio you’re calling a video….

    • I am very fond of all sorts of flowers, including showy tree-peonies, but I am nutty on another level about japanese maple leaves. I have another two ‘videos’ of frogs nearly as good as that one, and then there’s the one of the bee hives…

  3. Beautiful pictures, I love the Japenese Maples also! and Purple Martins… I lived in a house years ago where the Martins use to come back every year to the same nest. Sort of like old friends.

    • Yes, we feel the same about the martins and they are so regular in their return, almost to the day. We had three nests on the front of the house, sometimes they use all three, sometimes only two. It is a great relief to see them re-building one of the missing ones.

  4. Ah Hilary, I am learning all about nature from you. Now I shall be on the lookout for trees with leaves like yours — and I will know what they are. By the way, you take pictures that are lovely as well as instructive.

  5. There is nothing quite like contemplation of acers to get over election outcomes. It is the same here Hilary; it is all such a soup of lumpy gruel, Nature is just about the only thing to watch and relish.

    • You’re so right. I can’t think what else to do. I think we are in for a bad five years… correction, we will be fine, but many others less fortunate will be in deep trouble and the next generation even worse off.

  6. The frogs do sound rather French to me. OK, I had no idea you could successfully grow Japanese maple in a pot. Your collection is grand! I have just one and I simply adore it. It is spreading its branches through the white picket fence. A pruner came over today and wanted to snip it away to which I rather firmly put my foot down. I’m sure she thinks I’m mad. I’m happy the martins have adapted to the housing shortage successfully.

    • I’m glad the frog sound, if not the image, told of France. Glad to meet a fellow enthusiast. We had some maple failures in the early days and thought it was our soil, so I put some in pots and they were much happier. Now we have them both in the ground and in pots. I’m sure you are right not prune – except when dormant.

  7. Just love your Japanese maples Hilary. I keep potting up self seeded ones and trying to find places for them. I never tire of their delicate leaves, plus the larger leafed acers.
    Glad that your martins came back, bit like the swallow nests here, where they build under eaves or on verandahs. They tell of Spring, on their return from warmer climes.

    • I have a rather large maple nursery and I’m not sure where they are all going to go, they take so long to mature, I feel they need careful nurture for years and then I am still trying to decide which ones i most want to keep… big decisions.

  8. Beautiful pictures – and you’re so lucky to have nesting martins. We have hardly any birds in our garden, our cat is far too aggressive and far too proficient at hunting. Glad I’m not the only one feeling thoroughly depressed. Like you, we’ll be fine but I don’t think people realise how bad it is going to get in the next five years.

    • Our cats are long gone, but the martins were always safely out of reach (except for the day they fledged into our bedroom). We are not alone in our depression. It looks worse and worse every time I open the paper. It is really a question of how much damage they can do in five years… Let’s hope Nicola Sturgeon is Boadicea in disguise and keeps the troops tied up.

  9. Having recently moved (in the Fall) from the San Francisco Bay to New England, I’m relishing Spring much as you do here with your beautiful photos. Nature restores and silences all the ‘BS’ around us!

  10. You have my sympathies re the election result. Twenty months into our last debacle, the debacle-ness has reached epic proportions. Lord help you if you are young, sick, elderly or poor. But the mining billionaires are happy so I guess that’s something.

    Have you thought of entering your frog video to Canne? If you call it something incomprehensible and in French, I’m sure it would be in the running.

    • I fear we are about to repeat your experiences here – fracking allowed, hundreds of food banks, too few police, NHS privatised…

      Good idea, I’ll call it I’ve Just Put The Kettle On in French of course. Actually, I’ve always wanted to use the phrase, Gardez Vos Enfants Comme Le Lait Sur Le Feu, that should do nicely.

  11. I’ve always wondered about getting a Japanese Acer but have a very small garden. You’ve made me think about it again… Beautiful pictures…

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