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Wednesday, 5 May 2010

A long Overdue Thank You and a Quick Nesting Bird Update

So the pot might have seen like an ideal site but it being on the ground with no foliage cover was plainly a bad idea (seems the birds that choose to nest in my garden aren't of the very clever sort see postings from last year, a further search for collard doves in my search widget in the right hand column will point you in the direction of how that story turned out).
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Anyhoo!! Last evening while preparing dinner I saw the inevitable getting ready to play itself out, a local cat was obviously aware of the family and was canvassing the joint for a quick and free meal, so I chased it away and took a circle of chicken wire that normally stands around my strawberry tower and placed it around the nesting site.

I'm hoping with this in place I have at least increased the chances of the adult's survival and maybe the chicks as well when they fledge. It should create a somewhat safer approach to the urns opening.
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I took this picture this morning and I swear not five minutes later the same culprit from yesterday showed up all sneaky to try his luck, well I again frightened him off. My eldest of course told me I should not move from the window all day, as if !!

I have done all I can do, its up to the little birdies to use their wits now to out smart the cat/s in the area, of which there are many that use my garden as their personal highway.

Now for a long overdue thank you for two awards given to me by two separate bloggers.
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Thank you Tanya of Allotment 4 You and Jo of The Good Life
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I am most sorry for my delay in receiving these awards but life sometimes gets in the way at times.
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So to receive this award the rules are:
  • Besides linking back to those who gave it to you,
  • I also have to list 7 random things about myself:
  1. I wanted to be a vet when I grew up, all the subjects I took right up to leaving high school was to that aim and somehow I became a nurse?!?!?
  2. I can't swim.
  3. My favourite colour is GREEN.
  4. I have trouble remembering my age (I generally have to think of hubby's and then take way 3, which of course makes me look like I am fibbing if I was asked by an official).
  5. I also have trouble remembering the date of my wedding, I can remember the year and the month but the day escapes me every time, so I have it stored on my phone and in my wallet.
  6. I was once a member of Green Peace.
  7. When I do a cartwheel now I see ***stars ***
  • Now to pass these lovely awards onto some of the many blogs that I enjoy perusing.

Maureen of Allotment Heaven
Ali of
Ali's Allotment Plots

Read's Allotment Retreat
Helen of Back Garden Allotmenteer
Steph of The Green Grower

Mrs Jones of From Weeds to Seeds
Gardening Mum of Little Garden Helpers

I'll be sure to pop along later and leave a little message on your blogs to let you all know I have passed these on to you, well unless you see it first :)

PS I have updated my other blog to if you would like to take a peek.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Its Been A Yucky Week, Blech!!!!

OK gone is the confidence and bravado I felt in my last posting, this past week has been plain yucky with very little productive activities achieved.

So I'll just get to the point....

Monday

Started off promising and I was full of plans for the week but something was amiss, the little one seemed to be having trouble staying awake and kept wanting to sleep on me, somehow my mummy radar was a bit askew and I didn't really take stock of the situation till just after noon when I realised all I had gotten in her all day was a half cup of herbal tea and four mouthfuls of porridge (her favourite). Around 1:00pm I suddenly realised in her current state that she would not have the energy to walk with me to pick up her sister from school and was just planning to call the school to let my daughter know she will have to walk herself home (don't worry we have a password set up for these sort of situations). As I was about to make the call the poor thing woke with really bad stomach ache and crying for tea to settle it, so with this heavy writhing four year old in my arms I went downstairs to attempt to make a cup of tea (at the back of my mind with my mummy radar finally working at 100% efficiency, I knew what was coming). So while I struggled to get a tea cup out of the drawer I suddenly felt her tummy start to convulse against me, which had me quickly sprinting to the sink with me begging her not to throw up on my shoulder.

So that was her lot for the next few hours, not that she had anything to throw up as her tummy was rendered empty after the first to times. Sometime late evening I got her to eat a couple slices of dry toast and drink a cup and a half of fennel tea which seemed to set her right for a full night sleep.

One of the things I promised myself was to create one item per day for my Blogshop, I am pleased to say I did achieve this Monday night all be it quite late when I went to bed.

Oh!! I almost forgot to fill you in on the review of another saved winter squash which was opened this most eventful day for dinner.
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Crown Prince

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It was marginally hard enough to get into, had to ask hubby to help as I simply wasn't up to wrestling with a squash that afternoon. There was very little skin and a lot of flesh which was neither too wet or dry, It was beautifully sweet but not sickeningly so and held its shape when roasted. I also sauteed it and added it to stews later in the week and it also did not melt away. Everyone enjoyed it, it stored very well, changing its colour slightly during storage from a slate grey to more of a washed out peachy orange hue. I will definitely grow it again but from next year though as I have new ones to trial this year.

Tuesday

Not much to add except that I spent a lovely sunny spring day flat on my back on the sofa with listless four year old on my chest slowly getting back her appetite wanting mummy to cuddle and watch one inane Disney movie after the other, oh the joy that is being a mummy.

Thankfully little one was pretty much back to her old self by dinnertime, 24+hr bug confirmed and is on its way, wish I knew where it came from, (although I have a sneaky suspicion that with all the lovely weather we have been having and the resulting increased outside play and pretend tea parties that ensued over the weekend prior to tummy upset, something unsavoury may have been put in the mouth when pretend play may have become too realistic. Hmm! It probably won't hurt to have them wash all their tea party toys with soap this coming weekend).

I did get a photo of a cheeky squirrel sunning itself on the garden fence.

And here are the last photos of the early spring flowers, the resulting rain and wind at the end of the week have finished them off now.


Anyhoo!! I completed another item for the shop, yeah for me, I'm sticking to my schedule (gave myself a pat on the back, as I climb into bed after 1:00am again).

Wednesday

Spent all day in London with the family sorting out new passports, would normally be able to do this via the post but my government are issuing new machine readable passports so for the first reissue we needed to be there in person for an interview and to have our photos taken by some special camera.

The whole day was shot and so was I, the loft studio didn't see me that night.

Thursday

Can't blooming remember what I did Thursday, I better check my camera and see if I took any pictures.....

Ah! Yes! I took some pictures and check to see what was germinating, which was nothing much to report, except a few radishes and an emerging bean in the greenhouse. I also cut and fed the lawn which was just in time for some afternoon shows that came later that day. I must remember to go over it soon and root out a few large leaf perennial weeds and maybe scrape out and make some sort of dent in the ever growing patch of moss.

Anyway here are some photos I took that day:

Forget-Me-Nots in full bloom

Lady's Cockoo Foot with no competition blooming as you would never see it in the woods.

Water Avens heavy with blooms.

I love daisies, these are growing in the lawn.

Ladybugs are still very much about.

The first of the Speckled Woods are here again.

Busy Honeybee.
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Pictures Of Things To Come:
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Iris in bud


Granny's Bonnet in bud


Wild Strawberries fattening up.


Apple blossoms in bud, not much on the tree though, so a poor harvest I think this year.


Weeds to come, all be it pretty ones.


Germinating Dwarf French Bean in the green house.
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Oh! I did make it to the loft and caught up with my quota and made two items for the Blogshop, plus made it to bed at 12.30, result!

Friday

Although being official laundry day, my hubby was home so while he looked after the laundry and the little one, I stole a couple hours at the allotment, my intentions were to plant out the young onion plants and water whatever needed watering.

On arriving at the allotment's parking area I found some discarded chicken wire and lawn surround, which after checking with the person who had thrown it out, I bagged it for myself.

I will use the surround around some of the beds next time I visit and I used the chicken wire to quite crudely cover the newly planted onion plants against bird and fox interference.

I didn't have enough young onion plants to fill the half a bed space but another plot holder had some extra onion sets going spare which I gladly accepted to fill the remainder of the space available.

Items made for shop = 0 :(

Saturday

My eldest and I woke with a sore throat, mine was mild and hers was not too bad, so off to drama classes the three of us went. Well by the end of the day the eldest was feeling a lot worse but mine still felt like just a tickle that I hoped would simply pass me by.

While at Drama classes I got this cool shot of a dandelion seed which appeared to be floating on the wind, (but it isn't anyone has ideas on how I got this shot, I'll reveal the answer after a few of you leave comments on your guesses).

Went to bed early ie 11.30pm as I planned on visiting the local carboot fair on Sunday with my eldest if she was up for it, (it was the first boot fair of the year in my area). So no items were made for the shop again, now down 2 items for my week's quota :( :(

Sunday

Both my eldest and I awoke by 08:00am with very sore throats but still wanted to cycle to the fair, the weather on the other hand had a much different idea, with very heavy rainfall forcasted and playing out all day, bummer.

My sore throat gradually worsened to a general feeling of unwellness and by the evening I was in bed with fever as well, thankfully my eldest improved as the day went by.

Shop item quota down by 3 :( :( :(

Monday

I awoke to a less sore throat but a general feeling of lethargy and some lingering fever spells, so spent the majority of the day asleep under lots of lovely covers. Thankfully my eldest had no further complaints and seemed to be over the worst of it. I also improved as the day went by and by the evening I felt a lot more like my normal self.

Decided to have an early night as I would have to wake early to get eldest off to school so shop item quota now down by 4 :( :( :( :(

On a happier note, I am pleased to share with you the news of a nesting pair of birds in my garden. I first noticed activities as much as three weeks ago, when I spotted a male great tit checking out this old terracotta urn I have sitting as decoration in the herb patch.

About a week later I spotted him again going in but I didn't see any nesting material in his beak so wasn't sure if he was going to set up a home there or not.

Then last week both my mom and I spotted him visit the urn at least three times in a 80 minute period and I deduced that he was probably feeding a brooding female partner.

Then yesterday while my mum stood at the kitchen window she said there were now two birds visiting quite regularly (which is just what i needed to force me off the sofa and into the land of the living - a good dose of wildlife watching).

I got a few pics of them leaving and entering the nesting sight, please enjoy them. I will try to get a recording of the chicks but can't make any promises as I don't want to freak the parents out. But hope to at least get a video or series of photos of the emerging fledglings in approx 10 days time or so.

video


Well its Tuesday morning and I am feeling much better, I'll take a wander in the garden later and see what has benefited from all the rain and hopefully sow some seeds. Maybe even visit the lotty this evening on my bike ride to water seedlings that are still covered and so would not have benefited from Sunday's downpour.
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Flower garden this morning, all green now that early spring flowers are on their way out.

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