Unicorn

When did I first find out about Unicorns? In a book, probably. Something about myths and legends. Always a white horse with a horn from its forehead. The closest thing in reality in nature are Narwhals, a type of cetacean with a long modified tooth sticking out forward from its head.

Unicorns are often depicted in medieval paintings, tapestries and manuscripts. Apparently the only way you could catch them was to have them lay their head in the lap of a virgin? They were a lovely idea. Perhaps the idea was influenced by antelope? It’s something I might investigate.

Hanging basket

It’s mid October and the baskets just keep flowering. This ones on the garden shed, another sheltered spot. I would recommend ordering them from a small nursery or farm, they generally end up filled with more and different flowers that have matured more by the time you get them. I usually ask for lots of colour and the lady that plants them up will put in lobelia, begonias, fushias, trailing petunias, and other flowers I can’t remember the names of. Then we fill our own baskets with pelagoniums, small sunflowers and trailing tomato plants (this year). I hang baskets one below another. Then set up pots on the wall and the ground. Finally we’ve grown a few, like this one, on the shed. Those have had nasturtium seeds put in them and have given a lovely late flowering display. In all the sadness of this year they have given me great joy.

Hedgehog photos

The hedgehogs are about tonight eating catfood again. I quietly opened the back door and saw one of them eating the catfood I’d left out for the abandoned cat. When it realised I was there it slowly scuttled off up the yard. When I looked again later all the cat food had gone. When the abandoned cat arrived I gave him a couple of pouches of wet cat food to make up for him missing supper.

I love out hedgehogs, I’m hoping they will weigh enough to survive winter. I think they are living in the back of the shed. My hubby says he hears snuffling in there late at night.

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Some of this years pears

We bought the pear tree as a small sapling from Woolworths about twenty years ago. It’s grown since then and every year it has had a bigger crop of pears on it. This year there must have been fifty. The tree has tipped over because of their weight and possibly the wind, so we’ve had to prop it up. The bark is cracked and coming off in places, and it suffers from black spot, but the pears are delicious. Some of them rotted on the tree, possibly from being pecked by birds. We’ve got most of them off the tree now and are sharing some with friends.

Bee photo?

Bee?

I don’t know what species it is, I can’t get very good closeups with my phone but I think it’s a Bee, however it could be a hover fly? The back end of it doesn’t look fuzzy enough. But it has yellow and black bands on it. So does anyone know?

Whether bee or fly, at least its something that pollinates plants, and that’s what we need to protect in the world. Imagine a world without pollinating insects? There would be a lot less fruit and vegetables unless we were to hand pollinate or create machines that could do it. But we don’t need that. We need to protect what we already have! Banning pesticides that kill bees, like nicotioides. Farming responsibly and safely. Its a difficult balance. But we must make it happen.

At last, a courgette!

My vegetables didn’t do well this year. It sort of fizzled out in August and nothing grew much apart from the pears. But I spotted this growing last week. The weather is due to get cold in the next day or so but I hope if I give it a lot of water and some feed it might grow a bit more before the frost gets the plant. There are more flowers on it.. I also found a few baby tomatoes in a hanging basket. Green, but maybe they will survive for a while.

Two old codgers

Hubby and I, helping in the local allotment. We are helping a community project clear a couple of old allotments of weeds so they can be used for growing produce. It is slow going to get rid of so many weeds. We are trying to take out the cooch grass and convolvulus (bind weed). However we are leaving some flowers like poppies in situ. I wasn’t feeling well today so I only managed a bit of work. Its going to take a while to get on top of it. Hopefully by next spring it will be planted up and ready for a good summer of growth. One thing that is already there are apple trees with masses of apples on them. We were allowed to take a few home with us.

Dragonfly

My friend found this in her house today. She said it was like her spirit animal. I loved the idea. She let it fly free. I wish I had seen it. I’ve had to adjust the exposure and colour to try and make it visible because it was a very dark image originally. The structure of a dragonfly is amazing. It looks like the bones of a spine with a skull and wings.

In hedgehog news….

We have been seeing our hedgehogs for about a month and a half now. They either feed by the back door or in our shed late at night. My hubby goes out most nights to look for them and they will be on the aths round the garden eating worms they have grubbed up or in the shed. We’ve got sand on the shed floor so we’ve seen their paw prints. They were using it as a latrine but that seems to have stopped. When they eat and drink they often knock the bowls over. We put out hedgehog food but they much prefer the dry and wet cat food that the stray/abandoned cat has. (we are still trying to get him in the house). There was one big and one small hedgehog, but after over a month of nightly visits they are both big now! It’s great to have wildlife in the garden.

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Back yard work

Our back yard

Today we had the task of replacing the plants, hanging baskets and pots in the back yard that we had taken down to have a new fence put in. The next door neighbour had allowed us in to get at his side of the wall so we’ve helped him by clearing back the brambles and Ivy and cleared his path so he can get to the back gate.

Now the pots are back I can see which ones have suffered from drought and the cold. They were all crammed together in our garden (on the other side of the house) but it was cold last night so some things have wilted. We have a real microclimate in the yard and it’s always a bit warmer there. Hopefully they will bounce back in the coming days.