I was so knackered last night I went to bed at 9pm before L, who was upstairs watching Russel Howard's Good News (judging from the giggling that kept issuing from the study). This is an essential use of space if you have teenage children as it means you get to watch the programmes you want in peace and aren't subjected to Jimmy Carr's 9 out of 10 cats, for example.
I felt better this morning, refreshed and rested, and was up and out early to bring in the moth box before the sky opened and more rain fell. I had gone out to the check it last night, forgetting that wherever I go, Poppy goes too, and sure enough, she came along and started EATING MY MOTHS!!!!!
I had to explain (sternly, which she pretty much ignored), that the moth box was not some elaborate and expensive means of procuring her a selection of mothy snacks. Luckily I managed to rescue the moths that were fluttering (half-chewed and soggy by this time) about on the ground, but then had the problem of having several small damp moths sitting on the fingers of one hand, while with the other I tried to restrain a very excited Jack Russell puppy. It was not easy.
Ted learnt very quickly last year that moth are not for chewing. I fear it is going to be a longer road with Poppy.
Anyway, despite the weather and coolness of temperature, the garden was alive with small fluttery people whizzing about the light and this morning the box contained 60 moths, which seems a lot for the time of year.
There were all the usual March suspects- Common Quaker, Clouded Drab, Hebrew Character, Small Quaker, Oak Beauty and March Moth. In fact, there were 25 Common Quakers and I now understand my mothing chum Martin's exasperation of a few days back when he said he would cheerfully scream if he saw another Common Quaker.
I am feeling much the same.
|Hebrew Character (bet you thought that was going to be another Common Quaker, didn't you?)|
When I got home I went back over all the species I know we have round about and listened to their calls on the British Library's useful recordings database until I found a match: Greenfinch, which was both satisfying and pleasing, because although I glimpsed them very briefly in the garden a couple of weeks back I haven't seen them since. But they are clearly still here. It demonstrates nicely what a useful skill being able to ID a bird from it's song is.
I suspect the reason they've not been feeding in the garden is that the mild winter means that food is more plentiful than usual (as per the RSPBs Garden Birdwatch Survey's findings).
Here are some snaps taken at home this morning....
|Mrs Sparrow, off the nest briefly for some lunch|
The other good bit of bird news here is that a male chaffinch has just arrived in the garden, so I am hoping he will be a Suitable Husband for Bumble. He is Rather Handsome so there's no reason why she shouldn't be smitten, even with her poorly foot.....
|Potential Mr Bumble....?|
The vole's been busy at work in the garden, scarifying the moss by the path to the front door (this makes it sound like he's a new garden employee). Anyway, M is thrilled about it, because patches of our lawns are more moss than grass. Let's hope I can off-set this Useful Behaviour against any potential Vegetable Chewing Allegations that may occur later in the year.....
He seems to be pulling the moss out of the grass between the nettles on the right and the daphnes on the left in the pic below and dumping it on the path. I am wondering if it's actually being used for nest lining purposes, in which case perhaps Mr Vole is actually Mrs Vole and Vole Children are on the way? I'll keep you posted....
The green house is getting a good work out, with various seeds snug in their beds of compost. M's veggies are on the way and my wildflowers are starting to appear too. I did have a small fit this week when the white dwarf buddleia I'd ordered last month finally turned up. Fifteen Quid and honestly it's the size of a 5p coin. M couldn't stop laughing when he saw it, particularly since I found some in the local garden centre a couple of weeks back that are ten times the size and less than half the price. Grrrrr. It had better bloomin well not die (or be eaten by, say, a vole....). It's far too tiddly to survive by itself outside at present, so it has been re-potted into a plant pot and tucked in with compost.
Every night I go in to the greenhouse and talk to all the plant people growing there. Perhaps it's just as well we don't have neighbours....
That's enough rambling for now so I'll leave you with a pic of Poppy. I'm a bit worried she doesn't have eyes any more as I can't remember the last time I saw them....
Wishing you all a Good Weekend,