Friday, 21 February 2014


A Golden Rain was a firework popular when I was young - no bangs and shooting things, just a powerful shower of yellow sparks.
Now that spring is underway the hedgerows are full of hazel catkins - another golden rain.

And the feeders are full of goldfinches and yellow siskins, the latter a more delicate bird than the chinky greenfinch, more a chaffinch size. 

We have had a flurry of birds - greater spotted woodpeckers, both sexes, long tailed tits, goldfinches and the siskins - apart from the usual tits, sparrows and other finches, robins, dunnocks, wrens, blackbirds and thrushes. Not long ago, when the squirrels had demolished one of the peanut feeders, I bought a squirrel-proof one. This has delighted the blue tits and they hide inside at the back pecking away, safe from the sparrow hawk. In fact R did see the sparrow hawk catch a blue tit. She looked out of the kitchen window to see the hawk on the ground staring up at her with a small yellow and blue bundle in its talons.

As we have been away for a week I had no excuse and work in the garden beckoned. The dead teasels and grasses were cut down and added to the compost heap. The roses were lightly pruned - they are almost all shrub roses - and the twigs put on the bonfire heap. 
I have been wanting to tidy the lawn grass up but it is all too wet and anyway the time for the annual mower service is here so I will be mowerless for a few days.
It is also becoming evident that I will have to decide about moles. Do I call in the mole man and have them caught or do I just let the garden become a collection of small soil mountains.

Then I went down the garden to the ditch and dug it out, removed the watercress (still thriving) from the top pond making the reed mace as a small island and dragged up some of the deep sediment from the bottom. All the stuff I took out has been left beside the water do small creatures can return to it.
The bottom pond has one or two leaks in it and these were plugged temporarily to enable the randy frogs to continue their mating swim and preserve the spawn.

Now, we have no snow to mention but whilst we were on top of Orcop Hill last week we had a brief covering one morning so I nipped out and did an Andy Goldsworthy with my Wellies. This is not a self portrait - ears a bit on the sticky out size. However, as I look at it there does seem to be a vague resemblance to Prince Charles?

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