How I avoid hayfever

This is how I avoid hayfever in our garden. By completely eliminating a lawn. Luckily I don’t have an allergy to tree pollen. Over the years the trees have grown big, but I like having my own personal forest glade with bird life and small mammals like hedgehogs and of course cats who patrol the garden and mug my hubby for fresh cat food. At least that stops them getting interested in the birds…. Tweet tweet tweet pounce! I’m sitting here with a busy road just yards away and although I can hear the traffic it’s not as loud. I can hear the tsee tsee tsee of birds singing. The flap of wings as they look for bird food in the garden. The rustle of vegetation. At the moment I’m sitting on a bench in warm dappled sunlight. I guess this type of garden is good for capturing CO2 and for feeding the birds. We got very few cherries this year but the blackbirds are gobbling the ripe ones up high in the tree. In previous years we’ve made the effort to climb step ladders to get them but this year we are being generous!

A few years ago we rented the garden from the previous owner of our house. She then decided she wanted to build on it, and while she sought planning permission we were not allowed on it except for a four foot strip of path alongside the house, she even painted a line along the length of the path to show where we could go! Luckily she was refused planning permission so after three years we bought the garden off her. But the damage was done. Everything had grown enormously and out if control. We have struggled to get it back to some sort of tidiness.

I’ve been very busy with the election and the mystery play over the last two months so I haven’t been able to sit and chill. But today is dry and sunny, came and ate breakfast out here and since my WiFi seems to reach this far I thought I would write about the garden. No sneezing, my eyes are not running and I don’t feel like I can’t breathe, bliss.

Later I will do a bit of pruning. There are a few stray Ash and Sycamore saplings that need removing. Also I want to try and let a bit more light through.

Gardening, never-ending……

Cherries

DSC_2062

Loads of ripe cherries

High in the tree

Out of reach of human hands

But not from beaks you see.

Blackbirds, pigeons and magpies

Each have their fill

Of sweet red cherries

They have the skill,

Of flying high above me

Pecking at the fruit

Eating all the ripe ones

In their aerial persuit.

Sweet red cherries

Small and round and neat.

I go without

And the birds get a treat!

Wild fowl

We just went for a walk round the small lake at Westport and decided to feed the birds. Mostly pigeon and Canada geese with a mix of a few others and some swans and ducks. I fed the pigeons by putting the food on the top of a fence. Once they were confident I tried holding the food out in my hand and they pecked the food while standing on the fence, finally they all took turns standing on my hand and pecking the food out of it. I only did it because I knew I could wash my hands afterwards.

The management of the lakes are now with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the whole place looks more managed but wild if you see what I mean. Colourful poppies and other wildflowers surround the visitors centre. Drifts of nettles feed butterflies. I saw an electric blue damsel fly skittering about them. I also saw a peacock butterfly and a cabbage white.

We were sitting up on the balcony at the visitor centre when we saw a large carp in the lake. It’s pale colour meant it was visible from above. Looking at its size compared with some terns sitting on a piece of wood in the lake it must have been about 18 inches long.

An enjoyable afternoon.

THUD! Patter, patter, patter……

Untitled41_001

On my kitchen roof

Bouncing around,

Pesky magpies and pigeons.

I like them,

Don’t get me wrong,

But just as I’m about to

Pour a coffee

THUD patter patter,

Or get the bread out of the oven…

THUD patter patter

Delicately lining up some icing

THUD! Patter…. Patter!

Do you have to?

You make me jump…

THUD!

Blossom and pigeons

DSC_1836My picture of pink blossom today, photo bombed by pigeons! I might turn the top half of the photo into a painting, the pigeons just add some movement to it. This year the blossom has been amazing. My cherry blossom is starting to fade and blow off the tree. I don’t know if that’s due to cold nights or drought as the weather has been very dry. There are thunder storms due later in the week. I guess that will remove the blossom.

X

Dawn chorus

Untitled43_001

I came downstairs about an hour ago and the sweet, loud, melodious song of birds was filling the air. At this time of year in the spring it seems louder and more beautiful than ever. Fizzing through the air like ripe electricity. A great pleasure to listen to.

Then cutting through it the insistent alarm call, not of a blackbird, but a ruddy car alarm! The bird song quietened for about five minutes, a car engine started up in the street, and traffic noise commenced. But soaring high above it the melodies of a Blackbird and its mate have resumed. Liquid notes rising and falling in complicated trills… And that ruddy car alarm again!

Ducks

DSC_1835it’s not often that you walk down the road in your local town and see a duck and a drake walking down the road in front of us. Crossing by a taxi rank. There is a river called the Trent that runs through the town, but it is in a culvert until it comes out near our local football ground.

When people say hello to each other in Stoke they say “hello duck” where in other places it might be “hello chick, or hello dearie”.

So we hope the ducks found the river or flew off to a park. I didn’t know who to contact and neither of them were injured. Just taking a walk….