I had a hair appointment on my birthday! It felt like a fantastic present particularly now after this latest lockdown. My hair was the longest it’s been in twenty years. It was definitely time for a chop.
Perhaps I was thinking about hairstyles as I looked out my window this morning? A bit of a wind today and the Laurel bush is waving like a shaggy monster from The Muppet Show. The breeze is rippling through the bronze tint on the Beech hedge and the bobbed Kilmarnock Willow is showing off streaks of green through it’s mane.
Each year I have the discussion about when the leaves will appear on the trees. I always think Spring comes earlier than it actually ever does – perhaps too optimistic? So I look out of my window to check what’s happening in the garden and every morning I try to read a poem. ‘A Child’s Song in Spring’ by Edith Nesbit summed up exactly what I was thinking one day.
Signs of Spring are coming and a blue tit is nesting in the bird box hopefully kept warm by our dog, Molly. Having brushed Molly, we put the fur from the brush into an old bird feeder and recently spotted the birds collecting it to line their nests. In no time at all the feeder was empty. Molly is one very well groomed dog these days!
I recently downloaded an App: Merlin, which is helping me to identify the birds I see in the garden and out and about. I love the way their calls and songs are available to listen to as well. To top it all I was totally delighted to receive a pair of binoculars for my Birthday. I had a sudden flashback to childhood and trying to use my parents’ binoculars and now at last, I have my own! So with the App and the binoculars, I’m pretty sure the pair of birds who scurry around our garden are dunnocks.
So with my newly cropped hair, my binoculars in hand, I’m off for a walk with a spring in my step. Here’s to life as a twitcher!
I’m reading ‘Golden Hill’ by Francis Spufford and ‘Flight’ by Vanessa Harbour. Still reading Muriel Spark’s autobiography.
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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 …
” 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.
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.
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.
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.