Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wildflower Lawn Before and After

For those who are interested before and after pics of the wildflower lawn. Still lots to do, but it is starting to get established now.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Just Like Dastardly, Muttley and Yankee Doodle Pigeon

So there we were yesterday, the dog (not-so-muttley) and I (not-so-Dick Dastardly), just walking across our back garden to get the bbq out of the garage. Fathers day you see, parents coming for dinner.

As we walked across the yard, a pigeon decided to come in to land, he obviously wasn't expecting to see us. Instead of completing his landing he opted for aerobatics, going into a tight climbing turn into, straight through the open potting shed door.

Now the potting shed, to a pigeon, is probably the length of an aircraft carrier flight deck, except this aircraft carrier is enclosed on all sides. That didn't stop him trying to fly the length in both directions several times, running into the windows at either end, feathers flying everywhere.

Here, I entered the fray, or at least the potting shed. I managed to corner him. Dick Dastardly would have been impressed and hired me on the spot! I picked him up making sure I had both of his wings against his body and his feet tucked up underneath, and carried him outside. I could feel his little heart racing, and he was looking at me. I'm not sure what he was thinking, but he didn't peck or struggle, and I'm sure his heart began to calm down.

When we got back out to the yard I just put him down on the ground, stepped back and he flew off, probably none the worse for wear. Dick Dastardly would have sacked me on the spot.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If You Do Nothing Else Today, Follow The Links In This Post

I often add links to other blogs to my blogrolls in the sidebar. I use a little widget thing to do this that sits on my toolbar, when I do it offers me a choice of the three blogrolls that I have. One is headed "Tales", the next "Wildlife and Environment Blogs" and the third one "Best Blogs In The World Ever" (it appears on this site as "Regular Reads"). This final one is the blogs that I read on a regular basis (at least weekly, if not more often, daily in most cases).

I've added a blog to this today, one that I have been regularly reading for a while now, and haven't gotten around to adding. I have now.

I am posting about this because I think you should go and read a couple of posts. Before you do however, note that some of the other posts might be a little NSFW, nothing extreme, but without looking through the blog as a whole they could be taken out of context the author, is both honest and candid.

The posts I am referring you too, follow. The reason, because both made me cry.

Read this one first, and then

This one next. (also follow the link at the end this one).

Playing With My Pump

I've mentioned that we haven't seen our fish for a while. Prime suspect in their disappearance is a Heron who has been around a lot recently, and may very well have made a meal or more out of them. It is also possible that the conditions in the pond are not that suitable. I spent some time cleaning the pond out at the weekend, removing a significant amount of detritus and dead weed. I'd been thinking for a while that the oxygen levels in the water may well be low, and looking for a solution other than oxygenating pond weed (there is already quite a bit of this, and it's making the pond very crowded). The solution is a solar powered pond pump from Smart Solar. It arrived this morning, and was up and running in under an hour. Now I'll just have to wait and see if any of the fish make a reappearance!
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Monday, June 09, 2008

Frogs Hunting

Next time I spend an evening watching our local frogs hunt, I must remember to pack the bug repellant because I got eaten alive by the mozzies. That said it was amazing to watch these two guys trying to eat as many mozzies as were trying to eat me!
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Saturday, June 07, 2008

I What?

A while ago I wrote a post about why I wouldn't have an iphone. Now if the rumours are true then I might be made to eat those words, because on Monday supposedly the next generation iphone will be announced by Apple's CEO.


Today is the penultimate day of my leave, and on Monday I'll have to go back to work, boo! It is a glorious day though and I managed to have nice walk with the dog this morning before it started to get too hot, and snap the photo above with my cameraphone, a Speckled Wood butterfly.

I've also spent some time in the garden this morning, and have pulled out the old broccoli that has now finished, and replaced it with some fresh seeds, as well as some leek seeds, and our last two sweetcorn plants. The broccoli took up so much room, that hopefully all of this will fit in the same place! I've also planted some more radish and some perpetual spinach for our summer salads, as well as harvesting some lettuce for lunch and dinner today (see below).

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Now I have chores to do, so enough blogging and on with those!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Today Is...


Our anniversary. I've been on leave this week, which I normally do, the week of our anniversary. Often we will go away somewhere for a few days, but with my GF being ill, and money a little short we decided to pray for good weather, and go for a picnic lunch later in the day. Part of her illness means that she feels worse in the mornings than later in the day, so until picnic time arrives, and because it's our anniversary and it should be a day of leisure, I am sitting watching the birds in the garden, and also keeping an eye-out for our pond fish.

As you can see from the photo above we have a clan of starlings who are making for considerable entertainment at the moment. They haven't quite yet mastered the suet feeder, but their greed to eat the suet means that they are having to learn fast. A few days ago I watched one, with on leg of the feeder, and the other on top of a nearby post. A better image would be imagining someone trying to get into a boat that is not tied securely to the dock, slowly the boat moves away when one leg is in the boat and the other on the dock until...SPLASH. Well this is what was happening to the starling. Replace boat with suet feeder and you can probably see what was happening. The starling though, instead of putting both feet on either the feeder or the post, or even flying away, kept eating faster and faster. Eventually the gap became to great for him to maintain a grip and he drop off, fortunately remembering that he could fly before he hit the ground!

There seem to be more birds about in our garden generally now. When we brought the house, the previous owner told us all about the birds and how he used to feed them, but most of the first six months we were here we saw very little (and given it is the same six months of the year now, this is even more puzzling), anyhow that was then and this is now. We have our starling clowns, the goldfinchs that nested and raised at least three young (although we are certain that the dead one we found was one of theres'), as well as a whole range of other garden birds:

House Sparrow,
Wood Pigeon,
Collared Dove,
Blue Tit,
Long-tailed tit,
Coal Tit,
Great Tit,
Carrion Crow,
Black-headed Gull,
Herring Gull,
Common Gull,

and other visitor who, whilst nice to see close up, even if he is a bit camera-shy, a Heron. He's the reason I am watching the pond, because we haven't seen any of our pond fish for a few days, but the Heron has been around. We know definitely he has had one of them, and also a frog, because he left behind the evidence, but what we are not certain about is whether he has had more / or whether we have any fish left. So I'm keeping an eye-out for them.

Anyway enough for now. Enjoy your day everyone, we will be picnicing later!
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