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May has been a much longed-for late spring, but definitely worth the wait

with warmth, birds singing and long evenings - what a treat. Primroses have lasted longer than usual and the scent when walking

through a carpet of bluebells is really something.

Our oak trees have finally burst into leaf, and our wild cherry trees are

heavy with blossom, with the wind blowing petals like confetti in the air. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching a variety of garden birds feeding

their young and encouraging them to come out their nests. It has also

meant our regular sparrowhawk has plenty to feast on!

It is stunning, to see all the different tones of green - from a dull forest green,

to an intense lime. Nature has truly awoken to the warmth.

As the heat has continued , life has flourished but dare I whisper it, a wee drop

of rain would be nice round about now as I'm exhausted watering my

veggie patch - something I normally don't need to do!

Our animals also need more water when it's warmer.

So thinking of wildlife . . . ●offer a wet dog/cat food for hedgehogs ●have a supply of water in your garden for birds to use ●a wet muddy puddle is useful to swallows still building their nests ●continue being aware of wildlife while using strimmers and lawn mowers ●ONLY lift young wildlife whether birds or mammals if their life is in danger. In most cases you're best to leave well alone. Well, in the last blog entry I did tell you I would have to be on my best

behaviour this month - and I did! I was commanded by the Queen to attend Prince Charles 70th birthday

party at Buckingham palace on the 22nd May 2018, to represent our

award winning Newcastleton wildlife watch group.

I was overwhelmed and so excited that Newcastleton again was being recognised.

My wildlife members have won several awards over the years for their hard work, dedication and conservation work to their local area. And it continues to be a successful and enthusiastic group.

I'm very much a country girl so London has never been on my list of places

to visit, but we decided to make a real family trip of it and give ourselves

five days to really embrace the big city. Much to my surprise, I was very impressed. We made sure to see as many of the iconic tourist attractions as possible,

such as Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Royal Mews, museums, and black cabs etc.

and of course for me there was a wonderful afternoon at Buckingham Palace.

As Prince Charles is patron to the Scottish wildlife trust, they were asked to nominate 5 people, and I was lucky enough to be one of them. I met the rest

of the group at a pub near to the palace and we walked round together. We were all searched and had to show I.d on arrival, then we were escorted into the Palace by armed police. Once through and round the other side of the palace,

we joined more than six thousand other guests. It could have been a bit

overwhelming, but they were all so friendly and smiling and the atmosphere was amazing.

When the band started playing the National anthem, we knew the royals

had arrived. The newlyweds, Prince Harry and Meghan made a brief appearance

and Harry made a lovely speech about his Dad, despite being momentarily

distracted by a bee.

Prince Charles and Camilla spent the whole afternoon with us and when the

rest of my group wandered off to get tea and sandwiches, I was determined to

stand my ground to get a good glimpse of Charles. Well it worked , I got

unbelievably close and managed to take several photos, then simply stood,

listening to him chat and laugh . It really was a magical moment.

Mission accomplished I went to sample the afternoon tea...

then I had a wander around the beautiful grounds, enjoying the WILDLIFE gardens

the most.

In the early evening the National anthem played again to signal that the

royals had left. It was the end of an unforgettable, incredible day.

What an honour, what an experience, for a wee lass like me from Copshie!

Join me again next month to enjoy more wildlife adventures in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

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