Spring is in the air - time for a walk

Hi Guys,

Springtime at our local pond is exciting. After a cold winter, void of plant life, its great to see some greener coming back. First to pop out the ground is the snowdrops (Galanthus Nivalis). Whenever I see those little white flowers I know spring is just round the corner.

These little flowers generate their own heat which actually melts the snow or frost around them in order to flourish and announce spring.

Mentioned in literature as early as the 4th century, Galanthus meaning milk white flower and Nivalis means resembling snow in latin.

Normally next to follow is the Crocus. Another small flower that comes into bloom soon after the snowdrop to let the world know spring is coming and winter is almost over. The Crocus is part of the iris family and round my local pond, we see yellow, purple and white flowers in bunches. We are lucky to live beside woodlands because both these flowers appear along the paths in abundance. I often go walking with one of my daughters to pick some of these flowers to give the their mum. One of my daughters Ava especially gets excitied at this time of year and normally is the first to talk about our nature walks.
Although, springtime would not be springtime if it wasn't for the iconic Daffodil (Narcissi) and our pond is no different. Scattered amongst the trees there is always little bunches of these bright yellow flowers shining away. When I see our kids picking them for their Mummy, It reminds me of when I was at primary school and we would hand out bunches of Daffodils to our mums after the easter play.

Another lovely side to the pond is when the ducklings and signets are emerging from the safety of the nest and embarking on their maiden voyage towards the banks of the pond. Often greeted by excited children with handfuls of bread. This is a very popular activity at our pond. So much so, the local library has made duck pellets available to buy. Every year, once the signets have grown a little, the parents bring them up onto the grass close to the footpath. It almost feels like they are presenting their new babies to all the passers by. Very proud parents and excellent at keeping them in check.

Our little ducks are just amazing. Throughout springtime, new batches of fuzzy little duckings keep emerging from the Bulrush with there mum leading the way. Its the ducklings that are the most popular with the kids. Its easy to see why.

Our local pond is looked after by an organisation called DEEP and the local council. Between the two, we have seen so much work being done to improve the pond and surrounding areas.

Nature is by far the biggest influence on me when it comes to aquascaping also. I am constantly looking along the banks or bottom of trees for rock and root formations. Its often by doing this that I come across a lot of the stones I use in my aquarium. This root formations is something I would love to use in a massive aquarium.
Being beside a wooded area is a fantastic resource when your a fishkeeper:

  • dead branches
  • pebbles
  • leaf litter
  • worms
  • inspiration

If your looking to keep the cost of fishkeeping down, visiting your local woods or ponds is a must. Its also a nice way of introducing the kids to fishkeepng. Kids love collecting stones and sticks so why not get them collecting for your aquarium?

At springtime, the thinks I like to collect are stones and branches. with the wind through the winter months blowing of lots of branches, its the perfect time to collect. The branches will have had lots of time to dry up and ready itself for your next aquascape.

Being a fishkeeper, I'm always fascinated with what lives in the pond. Ive seen sticklebacks and minnows but I always wonder what else is in there.

Believe it or not, in all the days I've spend kneeling down at the side of the pond, staring into the water, I've never seen a tadpole or even frog spawn.

The Lanthorn Pond in Livingston is very much enjoyed all year round by the whole community. It is a place where the kids go on adventures and adults walk their dogs. When I go walking round the pond, I almost forget I'm right in the middle of Livingston. This is the same all year round but  springtime is by far the best and for me. Full of the promise of new life and warmer weather.

Thanks for reading about my local pond. If you have a pond locally, use it, enjoy it and look after it. The Lanthorn Pond in Dedridge, Livingson has recently been transformed by the organisation Dedridge Environment Ecology Project or (DEEP) who really have worked extremely hard to clean up the pond. Without the support of this organisation, our pond wouldn't be the same.

The Lanthorn Pond, Dedridge, Livingston

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