Spring comes to the Field
The month of March in Pembrokeshire, as in many places, can be a contrast – definite signs of Spring, but still some grey days and early frosts. Here in North Pembrokeshire in 2017 there is a wonderful warm spell at the end of the month, but also several unusually crisp starts. Averaging about 9-11 C the rise in temperatures overall allowing the plants and fields to flourish.
For farmers, the longer days are very welcome as there is much to do at this time of year – lambing and calving is well under way, along with top-dressing and fertilising the fields. There is still plenty of slurry spreading, too.
So many greens have now replaced the winter browns in the scenery and every day brings new surprises to those of us lucky to get outside in a rural landscape. Take some time to stop and look closely at a field – so much more than grasses. March is when all the wild meadow flowers and plants really begin to take hold and make an appearance. First it is just the grasses seeming to grow inches taller overnight and then the nettles, dock leaves and clover start to show, too. In the hedgerows surrounding “our” field, the daffodils and celandines have been joined by campions, stitchwort and blackthorn blossom. Also, periwinkles and violets peep through alongside a few fragile wood anemones, already dwarfed by cow parsley. By the end of the month the daisies and dandelions return.
Birds are busy pairing up and building nests, and the dawn chorus is captivating with the joyful anticipation of Spring under way. Late in the month the bats emerge from hibernation as darkness falls each evening. Insects are making the most of the warmer sunny days – butterflies and bees are particularly lovely to see after the long grey winter months.