Goldcrests and hedgehogs – the eye of faith

A few days ago, something outside the window started bouncing and caught my eye. Two tiny birds were spirally jerkily. I think they were fighting since, after about ten minutes of playing hide and seek, the winner seemed to be in sole possession of the field. This fellow haunted the bushes and windows, peering in at me and darting off, he resembled nothing so much as a yo-yo, and he NEVER stayed still for a second. I am a point and shoot photographer with a simple camera. I tried, I really tried. Look carefully and you may spot one camera-testing Goldcrest.DSCN7215 DSCN7209

A week ago we began to put out some hedgehog food, though there had as yet been no signs of them. The plate was emptied on the second night and it looked like the kind of slightly muddy clearance that the hedgehog makes. On the second night there was a clearence around 10 pm, so on the third night I sat and watched from inside the house shining a torch at intervals through the glass back door. He came; I saw him/her. Night-time photography by the aid of torchlight through a glass door is not my forte either. Here is a picture of a very dirty back door with a reflected torch. If you look with the eye of faith you will see, in the middle of the patch of light on the left, the gleam of a hedgehog eye. In the enlargement below you can at least make out the plate of food. Believe me there is also a hedgehog eating it. DSCN7224 DSCN7224_2Spring is here. These primroses started flowering in November, this is surely their peak now. DSCN7234 - Version 2  Clematis macropetala a never-failing spring joy. DSCN7247


Random happy day

It is cold and not very inviting outside, but I am happy to walk to the Post Office with another book order from Amazon. On their UK website it mostly shows as out of stock. I have posted 14 copies to them altogether. They can have as many as they want, I just wish they’d order them in time.

Outside spring is knocking on the door. Primroses are out, snowdrops emerging and the cyclamen, planted last year and a gift from my childhood home, are already flowering.

DSCN6904DSCN6902 - Version 2DSCN6907 - Version 2At lunchtime we walked our Christmas tree through the village to the local zoo, where the DSCN6909 - Version 2 lions are unable to resist them.Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 15.25.49

This afternoon there were loud road-drilling noises on the road in front of our house. On investigation we discovered two very cheerful men from the Council busy digging out and spot filling some of the gargantuan potholes in our road. It really needs (needed four years ago) a new surface, but anything is better than nothing. After some joking, we took them a cup of tea and biscuits.

When one of the men returned the tray, he asked if I would be interested in selling my Nissan, Sunny. Now this is a battered, venerable (L Reg, 1993-94) workhorse, that goes on passing its MOT year after year and does all the heavy mucky jobs as well as getting me to Lindy hopping and other delights. It is scratched and dented, held together with gaffer tape, and grows moss around the windows. This guy collects these cars! I had to turn him down as I plan to run it until it eventually dies (which might be after I go, at the present rate).DSCN6916

Tonight I have a book group meeting to discuss Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son by Roger and Charlie (the son) Mortimer.


Chaos, crocus and broccoli

The site for the new greenhouse has reached (I hope) the lowest point in its development. We have removed the old green plastic affair,DSCN4916and begun to clear the area.


Then we made some more mess,DSCN4951

and attempted to cut the root of an old philadelphus in half.DSCN4953This is not a bright idea, but this shrub is one of the original ones and has such sweet-smelling flowers I am reluctant to dig it right out, even though the root will make it hard to get past the new greenhouse.

In the meantime every crocus in the garden is out, not to mention some early tulips and the garden is awash with primrose and miniature daffodils.

crocus Blue Pearl

crocus Blue Pearl

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Finally, I can’t hide my pride in our first broccoli. This was cut and eaten on February 22nd.

purple sprouting broccoli

purple sprouting broccoli