Friday, May 18, 2012

Life In The Garden

It has been a wet and windy day so I spent most of the day sat at the dining room table looking out into the garden.It was a day of surprise visitors and watching new behaviours of the gardens wildlife inhabitants.They seem to like the garden with its eclectic mixture of plants,flowers, fruit trees,bamboos,and grasses.The Dogwood has grown these lovely pale green leaves and has dainty white flowers.This Ladybird was lulled to sleep by the nectar.The Lupins behind make a nice darker green contrast.
There is a national decline in House Sparrows according to the RSPB's big garden bird watch results.We have loads of them here.They nest in the space under the many roof tiles in Kettlethorpe.Their chattering song punctuates every day here.Here are two birds pecking the bugs off the Gooseberry.They land on all the plants,even ones who stems are too weak to take them.They are cheeky and very sociable even if they break a lot of plant stems by accident.
The bird feeders attract the neighbourhood Squirrels.This one climbed up the feeding station to get to the fat balls.The sunflower hearts in the cage are safe from their greedy paws.I saw one climb all over it and try to bite his way through the mesh.The pigeons had eaten most of the seed in the feeders so it was a lean day for the Squirrels.Three visited today at different times.
The first bird to find their way into the sunflower hearts was this Blue Tit.He is small enough to hop in,grab a few hearts, and fly off to eat them in peace.
They are safe from predators and have been happily feeding all day.One Blue Tit now has been hovering at the conservatory window pecking a spiders web off the glass in the conservatory fascia corner.
This is a local Cat who was after the Catnip.He got distracted and sat staring intently at the grass for ten minutes.I could not see anything moving.The birds are too quick to be caught and the feeders are positioned off the ground.
Whilst ginger kitty was in the greenhouse another Cat came walking along the path.They jump onto the water buts to walk along the left hand fence.He stopped in his tracks and i thought the soil is moving.being pushed upwards by an unseen force..
It was the mole.I found where the hole came out and moved the soil.A little while later the soil came up and I saw the nose and black face of a Mole.Face to face, he disappeared down below.We have had a good six months without any mole hills.He has been busy excavating and has pushed up a lot of sterile soil.I think the tunnel runs parallel to the concrete path.This is a side tunnel used to push excess soil out.The trouble is it kills all the grass underneath it.I tried to get a photo but it has proved fruitless so far.I am amazed I actually saw his little face.He is cute in a helpless way,but a devil for the garden if he continues to excavate.We will see how much havoc he wreaks this coming week.
I saw this Newt chilling in the pond today just under the surface of the water.They are terribly shy and hide if they see me coming.I find they come out more at night hence my regular torchlight safaris shining the light in the pond.
I saw three Frogs today happily sitting in the pond.They can dive down anytime under a thick layer of pond plants and murky algae bloom.Last night I thought that looks like a snail swimming across the pond.I did not know Snails could swim!It dawned on me it is a Water Snail.They are like the cows of the pond eating algae bloom and decaying matter.They have been attracted to the pond and apparently breed prolifically.You can buy them online from Pond plant suppliers.I have no idea where they came from.They obviously like the small pond.The algae bloom is shrinking so they must be doing a Stirling job.
This Pigeon was so layed back he was plumped up over the birds water bowl.He must have felt comfortable and safe to chill out there.
I saw the House Sparrows today eating the seed heads from the spent Dandelions.They picked out individual seed heads like candy floss and hungrily ate them.
Here two Sparrows eat the seed heads.I have never seen them doing this before.Cat told me a few days ago that she had seen them doing it.Its amazing how just sitting and watching the garden could be so absorbing.
The last photo is of a male blackbird who hid under the Dicentra after being attacked by a feisty female Blackbird.He just sat looking at me, then her, and stayed still for five minutes as she fed on the suet block on the bird table.Maybe he is a young juvenile just starting out.He obviously did not like the confrontation with the lady blackbird.
  I love gardening to grow fruit,vegetables,shrubs,and flowers.I also like to attract wildlife and to see it so close to home is amazing.The natural world never fails to amaze and surprise me in all its wonder.

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