Friday, 12 November 2010

Much ado about the weather

It's been unbelievably wet and windy here this week.  There has been rain every day and it has been dark most of the time.  This time last week there were still quite a lot of leaves on the trees but in the past few days they have all been stripped off and scattered over my lawn, it looked like a leaf patterned 1970's carpet.  If you can call it a lawn that is, it's more like a patch of grass, weeds and fungus which just happens to be outside my back door and that's just how I like it.  Anyway, the wind.  I have laid in bed every night listening to the trees being thoroughly whipped by the wind, hearing watering cans and other small objects going crashing across the patio.  It's actually been quite dramatic but it was really getting beyond a joke.

This morning I got up to a lovely sight.  Bright sunshine coming through the bare trees.  It was still windy but it had changed direction.  After strewing (is strewing a word?) the leaves all over the lawn it had blown them all neatly to the edges of the wood, just as if Mother Nature had been out there with her garden vac/blower all night.  Very tidy.  Even better it was not raining!  It was however still howling a gale and the trees were thrashing about in all directions.

I did my usual dash out into the garden to see a flock of about 100 Pink-footed Geese come over at about 10am.  I still can't stop myself dropping everything and dashing out to see them, they are just wonderful.  It was still blowing strongly and I stood frozen, battered by the wind, staring upwards with my hair blowing in all directions.  Then after I went indoors the strangest thing happened.  Within about two minutes the wind totally dropped.  It was really eerie, we actually saw it stop.  I can't say I have ever seen anything quite like it.  After a while a breeze came up but not proper wind like it had been.  All very strange.   Another of Nature's mysteries.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A sunny window

It was a horrible day today, the only time it stopped raining was when it was drizzling.  Then just before sundown the rain cleared and suddenly everywhere was bathed in the most beautiful lemon light.  This prompted a mad panic, grabbing my camera, hauling on a coat and unsuitable shoes and running down to the broad as fast as possible. 

As usual there were people in the way.  I waited for them to pass but they decided to come almost up to me then turn round and go back again!  Grrrr I need a delete button for people!

After that I had a go at photographing some unhelpful swans.  Sadly they were camera shy but I did manage to get one or two that were almost good.

If only he had held his head up

Then I photographed an alien spacecraft.  Well, obviously I know they are not but just think of the fun I could have with them!  Check out the local news tomorrow for other sightings....

Spacecraft approaching....

Just leaving......
 Just time for a few more shots, purely gratuitous but it's been a while since this blog has had photos!

As soon as darkness fell the rain resumed.  I think I was lucky to get that little window on such a rubbish day.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Percy the frustrated Pheasant

There is a very frustrated Pheasant in my garden at the moment.  I decided that the smaller birds needed some assistance getting their share of the food.  The Pheasants are basically greedy eating machines and have their own food left out by the gamekeeper, so as much as I like to encourage them they are not exactly 'in need'.  Recently they have been stripping everything I put on the ground for Robins, Chaffinches and Dunnocks.

I have been thinking about this problem for a while.  The obvious solution is one of those posh cage things The RSPB sells but at over 25 quid each depending on which model you would like to spend your life savings on they are out of my reach.  Honestly you could spend a fortune kitting out your garden with just the basics!  I had toyed with stealing a basket from Tesco's and putting it upside down over the food but decided theft was going a bit too far.  Anyway I had a flash of inspiration this morning that the box type squirrel proof (shhh don't listen butterfly) fat ball feeder I have hanging from the laurel tree (he hasn't noticed it) might just work on the ground too.  Obviously it's not ideal but I am hoping it will help.  The bars are too close for blackbirds and thrushes but at least it will keep those greedy Pheasants off some of the food.

So I dashed down to the local shop and purchased another feeder for the affordable sum of £2.49.  I can't understand why they are so cheap but am not going to argue.  It is now proudly sitting under my laurel tree with a fat ball in the middle and assorted seed inside the cage.  I also put plenty of seed down elsewhere for Percy & Co.  No small birds have ventured near it as yet but the Pheasants found it right away.  Apart from Percy (perseverance) they all quickly realised that they were not able to get into it, so got down to the business of munching all the other seed.  However Percy has spent the last 15 mins walking in circles round it pecking at the ground in a most self pitying manner.  His friends found him embarrassing and left but he has stayed alone, walking round and round.  I am sure there will be a bald circle around the feeder when I go out there!