Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Fox Poo and Soggy Bees- It Must Be My Birthday

I have spent today largely washing fox poo off Poppy and rescuing a drowning bee from our pond.

This is not an unusual sort of day for me; it is not the first time I have had to spend an hour scrubbing a stinking dog clean and nor is it the first time I have plucked a wet bee from the pond.

It is, however, the first time I have done both on my birthday.

Poppy picked up her dubious perfume while we were out on out first ever Bee Walk. I saw 3 buff-tailed bumbles, 2 red-tailed bumbles and one who could have been a carder bee, but as Poppy was busy trying to eat him at the time the main focus of my concern was to retrieve said bee from her mouth before said bee was no more. I vaguely clocked a stripey bottom as the bee buzzed off in a dazed and soggy sort of way. There were about 7 others, all flying higher than head height so I couldn't tell who they were. Still, not a bad start on the whole.

There were lots of fox poos to choose from in the vineyard- there must be a healthy population only I rarely see them. We hear them at night sometimes but they don't venture into our garden (thank goodness, as that's where the girls live). Poppy (of course) picked the smelliest.

While we were out I saw my first chiffchaff singing in a tree. A fairly nondescript little bird, but I was pleased to see him nonetheless. I also spotted a pheasant, who luckily saw us while Pop (who was in the lead) was busy looking the other way. The pheasant shot off like a turtle on speed but couldn't help letting out a frightened 'phew! that was close!' when he reached the safety of the longer grasses, which rather defeated the object of his flight in the first place and made both the dogs look round for him. Not high on the fast uptake stakes pheasants, are they?

When we got back I washed Pop under the hose,which she hated. 
'Huh!' (I told her) 'let that be a lesson to you. If you don't like the hosepipe, don't wear fox poo perfume.' Small chance, I feel, of her heeding my warning....
She spent the next ten minutes scraping herself all along the patio.





Doubtless this was an attempt to get the smell of shampoo off and replace it with her more normal perfume of soil, leaves, sticks, chicken poo and anything else she can get hold of, but it was while she was doing this (Ted keeping his head down and hiding beneath the table as he knows all too well what it means when The Hosepipe makes an appearance) that I spotted the bee drowning in the pond....


Soggy bee


I scooped him out and put him on the grass, only to have to rescue him again when he very nearly toppled back in. He was obviously disorientated. By this time the dogs had followed me up to the top of garden, Ted taking up refuge under the seat that wraps round the apple tree this time (evidently to avoid being used as a towel and therefore the risk of also ending up smelling of shampoo...) and Pop was standing on the top looking for him......It was Quite Funny- she had no idea where he was.

'Has anyone seen Ted?'
'Ah! There you are!'
I decided to take the bee down to the picnic table where I got him some honey, which he seemed to like. Well, it was Waitrose finest so he clearly has expensive tastes....


Digging in


(don't look behind you now....)
That was forty minutes ago and up until fifteen mins ago he was still there, so he was feeding for at least half an hour. Hopefully the snack will give him enough energy to make it through the night.

So that's been my day, interspersed with lots of lovely cards and messages from friends and family. M gave me a Witch Hazel tree, which I have wanted for ages; the dogs gave me some seed balls containing seeds that are good for bees and butterflies (how clever of them); L gave me a butterfly ID book, Denise sent me some beautiful narcissi from the Scilly Isles that smell divine, and my lovely friend Mrs M gave me a shabby chic designer bird des res, which will be going up in the garden this weekend.



Happy Days!

CT x

26 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday and thankyou for a lovely post.
    Briony
    x

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  2. Oh the fox poo. It's a truly unique smell. So funny looking for Ted! I do hope the bee makes it. Great pics of it feeding on the Waitrose honey. I wonder if it would turn its proboscis up at any other brand? What lovely presents CT! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! xxx

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    1. Fox poo- ghastly stuff. I think Pop must've been reading your post about Jack...
      Perhaps Waitrose could use my bee pictures in their latest advertising for honey?
      Thanks for bd wishes Em x

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  3. Happy birthday! Love the story and photos of the dogs, but especially love the bee pics. Is a bee's "tongue" called a probiscus? I think I can honestly say I've never seen a bee's tongue - thank you!

    I volunteered once to monitor frogs and toads in this area and am thinking of posting some naturalist-type entries on my blog again. Your blog is very inspiring that way. Glad I found it.

    Take care -

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    1. Hey Casey.
      It is a proboscis, and you should definitely put some naturalist type entries on your blog (I have to be careful every time I write/ say that out loud because I'm never sure which is the right one. My family think it's hysterical that I often end up saying naturist instead- I just can't get it to stick in my head). I would be fascinated to read about the wildlife in your neck of the woods. Looking forward to it. And thanks for bd wishes and your kind words too :-)

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  4. Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!! Dogs are so funny with their antics aren't they! Your little bee looked very soggy, I hope that he is OK. xx

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    1. Thanks Amy :-)

      Yes, dogs = funny and disgusting in equal measure! x

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  5. Happy Birthday :) Well done on rescuing the soggy bee - hopefully he'll survive after all that lovely honey :)

    You've got some lovely pressies there :) Very envious of the Witch Hazel!!! The butterfly book is lovely (I was very naughty and couldn't resist buying it last year) and the seedballs are great (I had the bee one for mother's day) :)

    Have a lovely evening and enjoy the rest of your birthday :)

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    1. I'm wondering how many nature ID books/ publications/ types of seed we've now got in common- quite a large number I suspect!

      Thank you re bd wishes x

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  6. Happy ( if smelly) Birthday!

    You were kind to invite the Soggy Bee to your birthday party. I hope he enjoyed the honey!

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    1. A smelly birthday is exactly right- she stank all night!

      Love the idea of a bee party- guess you'd be constrained in the party food though: honey, and yet more honey :-)

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  7. Belated happy birthday wishes to you CT. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who stops to rescue things. I often find bees, beetles and other creatures on the coastal path just waiting to be trampled on, so I always stop and help them along...of course I can't be sure which way they were heading so they may be secretly cursing me!
    Lovely presents and naughty Poppy, fox poo is such smelly stuff. I just love the bee pictures...so cute.

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    1. Thanks Suze. Yup, you and me are definitely rescuers of small winged folk :-)
      The smell had gone by this morning, but she went and rolled in it AGAIN tonight :-( Naughty, naughty. x

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  8. What a wonderfully kind Bee Whisperer you are !
    Hope things wen't well ~ if not at least he had a lovely last meal.

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    1. Ah, thank you Willow. Fingers crossed for the bee :-)

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  9. Many Happy Returns of the Day!

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  10. A belated Happy Birthday for yesterday, sorry I missed it.
    Ted has learnt his lesson well. Next time Pops will be under the table with him for sure.

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    1. Ta muchly Jess :-)

      Ted has learnt....Poppy has not. Same treatment again tonight, but more on that later... x

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  11. Happy Birthday - at least it was . . . different! You had some lovely pressies, and I too, am envious of your Witch-hazel (I have one listed for When We Finally Move). Well done for rescuing that bee and feeding it right royally. I am sure it was very grateful.

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    1. A memorable birthday for sure :-)

      Can't wait for the witch h to flower in the winter- I bet it will look fantastic. Keeping fingers crossed here for your move and eventual purchase of witch hazel yourself. Fingers crossed too for the bee :-)

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  12. You had some great presents and I hope you had lovely day - even though you had to wash off the fox poo from Poppy. When I brought Harry back from the dog groomer yesterday (smelling very scented) the first thing he did was roll along the patio! He obviously didn't like being so clean, either. I had to smile at Poppy looking for Ted, too.
    Poor little bee, I'm glad you managed to save him.

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    1. Thanks Wendy :-)

      Yup, a lovely day (even allowing for the stinky dog). They do loathe smelling sweet don't they?

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  13. Happy Birthday! Sorry that Poppy's present wasn't the best! I love the picture of Teddy avoiding Poppy!
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah :-)

      Yes, she timed that perfectly didn't she?! x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x