Today I got my phoneline back. I still have a landline, which I apprecaite that not everyone uses, as I get a good deal on calls to other landlines. However for the last few days it’s not been working. It had started crackling when we had some bad weather recently and proceeded to get worse as time went on. In the end it just stopped working properly. I could call the phone but upon answering it died straight away. I had a look outside and noticed that the cable protecting the line into the house had been knawed at, probably by some of the local urban foxes. They had managed to totally break through the outer casing leaving it exposed to the elements. Thankfully my phone provider repairs this sort of issue free of charge and the line is now crystal clear.
Apologies for the poor quality photo, I had to zoom in on my phone and didn’t have time to get the big camera our that would have provided a better zoom.
Having restocked some of the bird feeders I had guests more or less straight away with a couple of Thrushes stocking up from the fat balls and suet cake. The one of the fat ball is easier to spot, but there is also one hanging onto the right hand side of the suet cake feeder. It just blends into the background too easily, especially when zoomed in. I was reminded to make sure the feeders were stocked up well as it’s not good for the birds to exhert energy getting to the feeders and not having enough there to replenish and stock up for a while, so as a request, if you’re reading this and have bird feeders in the garden, please keep them stocked up for the sake of the birds this winter.
Well winter is coming so it is time to make efforts to look after some of the local wildlife. To that effect I’m keeping the bird feeder and bath topped up. I had noticed a problem with one of the feeding stations and that no matter what, it wasn’t attracting any bird. I think the problem was that on one occasion there was a damp issue with the seeds and that they now avoid it permanently. I’ve therefore purchased a new (not too expensive) bird feeder that should have better drainage and access to the seed. It should also be easier to clean out. It’s meant to look like a lighthouse and I can see that, though obviously not in the colours. I’m hoping that it will be a beacon to any birds that want sustenance over the winter.
I’ve been doing a fair bit in the garden since getting back from holiday. It’s amazing how having 2 weeks away can lead to such a lot of work needing to be done. Currently I’m harvesting potatoes as the main plants have more or less died now, so there’s not going to be significant spud growth now. I also took advantage of the fact that some of the potatoes were sown in older raised beds that hadn’t been lined by putting the soil into trugs, brushing down the raised bed and then lining them. I’ve still got a couple to do, but they will be done when harvested or before sowing next year. While doing this I was visited by this tame fellow who seemed happy to hope around on the emptied raised bed (mainly for food purposes) but sat on the spade and was quite happy to be within a meter of me.
The front lawn has not really recovered properly from the baking hot summer and there is still a lot of dead grass on it. As the heat of the summer is now over, and taking advice from Gardener’s World, I’ve raked up the dead grass and roughed up the soil quite vigerously and have sown a box of quick growing grass seed. I’ve watered it in and now have to wait to see if I have rescued the lawn, or just provided some extra food for the local birds.
The Goji Berry plant that I bought earlier in the year has started to flower. I am therefore hopeful that I’ll get some fruit from it in due course. My major concern is that they will be taken before they are ready by the local squirrels. They do seem quite picky about what they will take as they tend to ignore the blueberries and the blackcurrant, but it will be a case of waiting and seeing if anything survives.
Obviously with the BBQ over the sun has come back out. This is especially unusual give it’s a public holiday today. I’m still not up for much so the planned long walk is cancelled and I’m just chilling at home. I’d recently cleared out a load of unwanted plant growth in one of the garden water features. I’m not totally sure what it is (note to self to look it up) but it was spreading and taking over too much of the surface. Anyway, I wanted to check how things were looking and to take the opportunity to fish out any more bits that had come loose. Surprisingly I was fishing out something else instead. This damselfly had landed on a leaf that didn’t quite support it and was struggling in the water. With the edge of the net I had I got it onto the frame and then encouraged it to move onto the edge fo the half barrel where it could dry off. It took a while but eventually its wings were dry and off it flew.
As I’ve mentioned a few times it’s been an unusually warm summer this year and I saw this unexpected fellow on my walk around the local duck pond (yes its still there but reducing to a puddle day by day). Strictly speaking it’s not a snake but a slowworm which is neither a snake nor a worm but a legless lizard. They are totally harmless. I’ve seen 3 or 4 over time as they only tend to come out when it’s very warm. I helped it back towards the bushes and out of the road as drivers were not going to notice it and that would be a bad ending to a very rare trip out for it!
This morning started like any other morning. Woke up, had a coffee, did the usual stuff that one does in the morning that I will spare you the details of! I loaded the car up with what I normally take to work, locked the front door and got into the driver’s seat. It was at this point I was suddenly knocked out of my ‘every day routine mode’ as suspended right in front of me, at head height, no more than a foot away from my face was a spider. Thankfully I’m not worried about spiders, at least of this size so there was no sprinting out of the car and I had time to appreciate the wonderful web that it had built over night. The photo doesn’t really show it very well but you can see it better at the bottom half of the picture against the darker background. After a quick check with the spider that it didn’t have the required insurance to drive me to work, the spider left the car, the web was cleared away and I headed off to work, back into the normal daily routine.
The photo above is probably a little baffling as it’s totally unclear what it is. It looks like a blob of something on a wall. In fact it’s two things. For me it’s the remains of a bulb from a flowerpot outside my back door. To the squirrel I that was sat on the wall with the bulb in it’s mouth it’s the leftovers of it’s early breakfast! I was less than impressed and as I opened the door I was hoping that in it’s surprise the squirrel would scarper, dropping the bulb in the process. Instead I witnessed a squirrel doing a sprint across the garden with a bulb in it’s mouth bigger than it’s head. I’ve learnt my lesson though and the pot is now in the garage where it can overwinter and it will come back out in spring for what is left to bloom.