Notes from the garden

A while ago we had a couple of warm, sunny days in the region of EBL Towers and I took advantage of them by sitting in the garden and replenishing my vitamin D. The things one has to do to keep healthy. Life is such a chore.

Anyway, to ward off ennui I also watched the bird life. I am not a twitcher by any stretch of the imagination. Basically there are four kinds of bird in the world: sparrows (brown); ducks (swimming); crows (black); and seagulls (big). For example, our roof insulation comprises mainly sparrows, while the big white flappy things in the fields are generally gulls.

However, I am aware of some variations to this universal avian etymology. The time I spent in the garden recently was largely comprised of watching the great tits. Stop sniggering at the back, boy! To be accurate, tits’ bums. If I have to warn you again you’ll be sorry!

We have a few bird boxes dotted about and there is one on the fence which in previous years has hosted a wasps’ nest, then was abandoned by blue tits and since then nothing else. However this year a pair of great tits decided to nest in it and duly hatched a brood of noisy brats which required non-stop feeding. As the parents were in and out of the box on an endless loop, rather like the Enterprise caught in a temporal causality loop.  The Enterprise was only stuck for 17 days. Fortunately the birds were due to be released as soon as the babies fledged, but it was hypnotic viewing in the meantime.

Rather foolishly I decided to go all David Bailey on them and sat poised with my camera until my arms ached.

Let me tell you – they fly pretty fast.

Either I got a lovely picture of its bum as it headed in


or a blur of flappiness as it dashed out again






or I missed it all together


Finally though one of them deigned to pause






and the next day even posed


Meanwhile the goldfinches and collared doves were more co-operative



Thank goodness nature provides us with entertainment so readily.




Drunkenness and death and harmony

Today was an office closure day, following the Bank Holiday on Monday. The company I work for has a set number of these in the year when they close the office and enforce a day’s annual leave. It can be inconvenient for project deadlines but I didn’t care today because the weather this weekend has been glorious and it continued to be glorious today.

I sat in the garden eating lunch and enjoying the peace of nature around me. The local sparrowhawk swooped down upon a cluster of unobservant sparrows and narrowly missed spearing some dinner. A cat pounced into a shrub and emerged carrying a small bird in its mouth, and looking superior as it tip-toed along the wooden fence. Drunken butterflies whirled madly from the buddleia to the mint and back, weaving unsteadily like the English cricket team retaining the Ashes. Fortunately I did not notice any urinating upon the grass, although no butterfly was able to confirm or deny that particular rumour.

Nature red in tooth and claw invaded my peaceful garden. I admit I didn’t mind. I was in a circle of life kind of mood.

In fact I was more interested in an observation of Sigoth’s that cabbage white butterflies are hard to photograph because they close their wings when they land, whereas the Peacocks and Tortoisehells tend to open them out for display. I watched the various butterflies and Sigoth was right, as usual. It took him ages to get the picture of the cabbage white with its wings open, but at least it kept him off the streets and made sure he got plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

butterfliesDrunken butterflies are a feature of the late summer garden, along with the honking of geese flying south and the chatter of swallows and martins converging on the telephone lines before setting out for Africa. In this way is our little village connected to far continents.

I have been failing to complete some meditation every day and I notice the difference. My brain is whirling like the butterflies. The birds reminded me of our connections to the rest of life and for that I was grateful. You and I are connected even when I fail to update this blog or to keep up with yours. I carry you still in my heart. One day this project will be done and I will have more time for other matters, such as our chats here.

Meanwhile my dears, I send you all my love.