Saturday, 12 September 2015
OF MICE AND MINT AND LOKI
I love the wildlife in our garden - well some of the time. I was sitting on a seat in the sun reading a book when I saw movement by my foot. A small bank vole had come out of a crack in the paving and was preening its whiskers. I stayed very still and after about a minute it noticed me, did a double take and shot underground again.
The other evening, late, after the birds have left the feeders I saw something on the peanuts high up on a pole. It was a field mouse - gingery back and white front. It had its back to me chomping away and I crept to within six inches before it noticed me and dropped to the ground. The photo
is not very good but will have to do.
The applemint is out of control on the banking near the buddleias and by the cattle grid but it does not matter much there. I have just picked a handful to go with our perpetual spinach, an onion and stock R is converting into soup.
Finally done the veg/fruit beds and things look much better. I must remember to get the hoe out to keep things right.
The raspberries are pruned and trained in, the blackcurrants thinned and sorted.
The courgettes are coming now and R is thinking up recipes to cope with the flow. There are two courgettes that are beyond hope, however. Now they are two feet (60 cm) long vegetable marrows and growing fast.
One unwelcome surprise during the weeding was to have red ants scurrying over my hand. Fortunately I was not stung.
We have picked our first Victoria plums and have a few damsons though they are not quite ripe yet.
The colour of a damson is special. We know a friend who can eat them off the tree but they are too bitter and acid for us to do that.
Here in Ulverston in Cumbria (England) at the time of the Kossovan crisis the town took in many refugees and housed them in a local empty school. Again the town is looking to help, this time taking Syrians though finding somewhere to house them may not be so easy.
Another happening in the town (apart from the beer festival where 850 gallons of beer were drunk) is the emergence of our own Banksy called Loki. Black and white paintings have appeared in disused doorways and sculptures as seen here on the main roundabout in the centre of town.
To get back to mundane garden stuff - a welcome sighting of a nuthatch this morning on a feeder - upside down of course, noticed because of its streamlined shape, before it got chased away by the female bullfinch - bully-finch more like.
I have scythed much of the lower banking (just before the rain) and we can see the pond better from the house.
I tidied up the red currants and took 25cm cuttings for BR - a slanted cut at the lower end, straight across at the top so they go into the soil easier and the right way up. Put into a slit with a spade and left for a year to root. You can do the same with roses.
And then there are earwigs - in the cut flowers, the veg and fruit and now - found in the lavatory paper roll!