Birds · Garden · wildlife

Wonderful Wildlife!

Tadpoles! We have tadpoles in our wee wildlife pond! I think there’s a newt and many minibeasts we’ve yet to name.

Watching the birds visiting the pond has helped us enormously in this life of lockdown.

I’d have never believed how useful the steps of the pond are. They’ve had the tiny feet of bluetits, robins and blackbirds stepping down them like the owl hopped down the books in Bagpuss. Two dunnocks tailed each other along the pond edge darting back and forth.

As I write a pigeon is emerging from the long grass beside the pond, waddling about, ducking its head watching, watching before dipping in.

And we try to count the tadpoles; twelve, thirteen? Who knows?

 

One visitor to the garden I’m afraid I don’t welcome quite so much are snails. I’ve supplied them with too many tasty dinners! That doesn’t stop me admiring their beautiful shells or their ability to travel and sneak into my little polytunnel and greenhouse.

I’ve just finished reading the book ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by Anthony Doerr. It opened my eyes to the scientific beauty of snails but still …

Couldn’t resist including this poem here.

Old Shellover

” COME ! ” said Old Shellover.
” What?” says Creep.
” The horny old Gardener’s fast asleep;
The fat cock Thrush
To his nest has gone;
And the dew shines bright
In the rising Moon;
Old Sallie Worm from her hole doth peep:
Come!” said Old Shellover.
” Ay!” said Creep.
I am reading ‘Seal Morning’ by Rowena Farre.
Birds · Fairies · Seasons

A Winter’s Ramble

Yesterday I wrote this blog post and then thought, with so much going on in the UK at the moment my wee blog seems more insignificant than ever. Then I read the news on the BBC website this afternoon and saw this small item. ‘Cottingley Fairies Hoax Photo Sells for £1,000.’ Talk about coincidences. So, it may be a ramble and a potter along but here’s something different to read.

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This year the holly tree in our garden has an abundance of berries. Does this mean it will be a hard winter ahead? Has Nature made her preparations to feed the birds? Blackbirds, blue tits and wrens among others are swooping into our garden and like them my mind flutters, darting here and there.

 

The Latin name for holly is Ilex aquifolium. I’ve been trying to learn the Latin names for some of the flowers and trees in our garden using this beautiful book.

As I search for it on the bookshelves I see Cicely Mary Barker’s  book of ‘Flower Fairies’ and cannot resist looking up ‘The Song of the Holly Fairy.’

This reminds me of a book I found in a second hand sale this year, ‘Airs and Graces’ by Erica James. In it she uses the poems of the flower fairies as epigraphs.

A distant memory from childhood finds me looking up the Cottingley Fairy photographs. Taken over a hundred years ago, some were recently put up for sale. Although the photos were fake, one of the girls always maintained the final one was genuine.

Who knows? In this time of dark winter days perhaps we need the magical and the fantasy world. It is a time for enjoying the music and dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Time to tuck up with a good book.

First though, I’m going to make sure our new pond isn’t frozen so the birds can have a bath and refill the bird feeders. Just in case there aren’t enough berries.