Sunday, 31 August 2014

Snuffle shuffle

Not a lot of action in the garden. The apples are ripening nicely and the new damsons out the front seem to be bedding in nicely, but apart from that, not much.

Most evenings I go out for a walk - about a mile and a half round the block to round off the day. More nights than not I encounter foxes in the streets, including a couple of fine looking juveniles a couple of nights ago. They clearly aren't frightened of e although they do give people a wide berth. If they are off street and working their way through gardens, the progress of the security lights flicking on tells me where they are.

In the past I've seen bats, too, usually catching moths drawn to street lights. And owls are often heard, though never, so far, seen.

A couple of nights ago, I thought I saw a badger in the distance crossing the road, but it was unclear enough to make it possible that it was a cat. I've seen badgers before up here, but not for a few years. Last night there was no doubt: a badger scuttled across the road, coming out from the shadows by the back entrance to the zoo and heading into a garden. I didn't see it again after that but I am pleased that they are still out and about.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Another year older

It has been a funny old year since my last post.

The reason I haven't written is because there has been nothing much to write about. It seemed to rain continuously from September to March and for whatever reason there has been a distinct lack of activity in the garden.

There has certainly been a much less diverse selection of birds, although I was pleased to see three juvenile blackbirds on the back lawn yesterday, which may indicate a reduction in the number of predators or might just be chance. The buzzards are in the skies, including juveniles, but I haven't noticed any sparrowhawks or kestrels around and I think there have been fewer magpies.

I seem to have seen a greater number of house-sparrows too and fewer dunnocks, and the local ravens have been around more often too. I haven't seen the woodpecker this year.

Foxes have mainly been spotted in the evening on the street - we had no snow so I couldn't keep track of activity in the garden in winter. I haven't seen any fox cubs around this year anyway.

Both of the new apple trees are fruiting (only the Katy did last year) and, though I was worried about a lack of bees when the apples were in full blossom, a couple of weeks later the rhododendron in the back garden and the thyme in the front were crawling with bumble bees and honey bees. Three damson trees are now in the front garden and I am considering adding a plum and a greengage in the back.

Finally, there seem to have been plenty of frogs in the back during the evening so there is obviously plenty for them to eat.