Flowers from a bush in our garden, tentatively matched in the Spring 2021 issue of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Magazine, page 13 in the Nature Spy section.
It says ‘Blackthorn is one of the first native shrubs to burst into flower around mid-Marsh.’ (I think it means March) ‘Its fluffy white flowers, tinged with pink, provide vital nectar for the first of the years butterflies, bees and flies. See how many different insects you can spot feeding on the blooms.’
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.
I just read a really sad post on Facebook. A woman had friends round in her garden and someone said her garden was ugly. It was full of flower borders and a neatly cut lawn. There were pots on the lawn and it looked like a proper cottage garden with ox eye daisies.
Unbelievable how unkind people can be. I replied to her post:
“Looks amazing, if you have birds and small mammals you are doing the right thing. I’d rather your garden that something covered in decking! Ours is full of trees, squirrels, hedgehogs, the occasional fox. Loads of birds. Don’t let them get to you.”
I thought about it. We need to make more space for wildlife not less. Somehow patios and outdoor rooms have become the norm. How much money is spent on concrete? Lease think about making a small place in your garden for wildlife.
We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.
The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.
We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.
There is a frog in our pond. We had frogs several years ago, but they disappeared. Now they have come back. They are sharing the pond with some goldfish which seem to be OK. I wasn’t sure if they could co-exist? Do frogs eat fish? It’s funny seeing them breathe the water making tiny ripples with their movements. It’s a real wildlife garden and pond.
I went out this morning to go to the Orme Art group. We were supposed to do limited pallette paintings, white, red, yellow ochre and black. I cheated and used some cerulean blue in the background. I want to add harebells, a beautiful bell shaped flower found in the countryside. The image is an amalgum of a photo from a magazine that I’d taken a photo of and a photo off the Internet. I’m not sure if I will finish this or any of the other paintings at the moment. Every time I feel better I do stuff, then I feel ill again. I guess I’m trying too hard. But I wanted some really strong paintings for the exhibition. I hope they look good. Anyway I’m having a rest for half an hour.
About 9 years ago I had an hour at our local wildlife sanctuary as a treat for my birthday. One of the highlights was the chance to fly this owl. Unfortunately I can’t remember what species it was, but it was a magnificent bird.
The sanctuary takes in birds and animals that have been in private hands and then the owner has not been able to look after it, either because the bird or animal got too big or was too expensive to look after. I just love how flexible it was, turning its head round on its shoulders. I think we will have to visit again soon.
For pets, cats are my favourite. But I have met some lovely, friendly, mad dogs in my time.
I do think cats are more fastidious than dogs. The idea of taking a dog for a walk and having to clean up after it does not appeal. But if it is your friend I suppose that is part of the obligation and responsibility.
I dont understand people keeping large cats as pets. Apparently there are more big cats, like lions and tigers, in captivity in America than there are left in the wild .
Don’t talk to me about hunting and poaching animals. As far as I am concerned people who kill lions, tigers, or wild dogs for trophies, or catch big cats to sell on to people who use their body parts for medicine all need imprisoning for a very long time. I think they are evil.
Cats and Dogs can be utterly beautiful, but also very strange. Dachshunds, Devon Rex cats, Maine Coon, Rottweilers, so many breeds, shapes, sizes.