Rambling

You might want to come back tomorrow.

This post is just going to ramble on and on. I will tell you why. Fizz and I have been to some really nice places today and when we got back….

Present

Someone had bought me a bottle of whiskey for looking after Fizz while they were away. Hurrah!

We are going to go out in the fields and set a trail cam up in the hope of catching Foxes and then we are going to explore a bit of ancient woodland but there are jobs to do first.

I had to go and buy some food for the birds. I have an arrangement with my landlord, he has a farm shop that sells bird food among other things and I am allowed to help myself to feed the birds in the garden (and he says I can have the nuts for my Badgers but I don’t take much). While he was away I gave all of his bird seed to the sparrows. (they were hungry)

Bird foodI have bought a little half a coconut thing and my plan is to take his empty seed feeder down and put my coconut there and he won’t notice that there is no seed left.

I just needed a little bit of help from the Woodpeckers.

Coconut FeederAnd do you love Woodpeckers? I love Woodpeckers.

Coconut feeder“Of course! He has removed the seed feeder and put a coconut there to focus on the Woodpeckers. What a clever man and what lovely birds.”

I am considered locally to be a bit of a bird Guru but I am not and I have to go to bird experts all of the time for help. It just stems from one silly little thing. My landlord loves Goldfinches and almost as soon as we met we got talking about birds and he told me about this fascination, he had never had them in the garden but he knew some great places where we could go and see them. Goldfinches love sunflower hearts. He has got charms of Goldfinches in his garden now. I don’t actually like them that much myself, I mean they are cool and I am kind to all animals. i like the Dunnock and the Wren, tiny little brown things that you wouldn’t notice. Modest and beautiful.

Don’t worry about the Sparrows they are eating peanuts now and they pig the worms that I put out for the Dunnocks and Robins and the sunflower hearts that the Goldfinches love.

So that is the birds sorted, next we have to do the caterpillars.

I have got five of them now. Although the nettles seem to thrive I have noticed that after a couple of days the caterpillars seem to lose interest. If I give them fresh leaves they charge around like little monkeys, so, change the leaves.

First I have to make sure that nobody is about to moult or pupate.

Treacle-arium

Then so long as I am happy with the situation I just have to pop down to the florists and buy a new bunch of nettles.

Stinging NettlesThis is an Ouch Ouch Ouch moment for me. (“I will take you out in a minute, I just have to look after my bugs”)

I have to count them all off the leaves…

CaterpillarsPut the fresh leaves in…

Nettles

Then all that I have to do is watch them for about an hour.

I gave up covering them. Once they have found their leaves they are fine and don’t try and escape. There is just a little transition period when I disturb them and I have to make sure that they settle back in.

Small Tortoiseshell LarvaeWalkies!

There is something about nature that I find attractive. Plus Dogs need walking even if they are not your own.

FieldSo here is the Fox-cam.

FoxcamI surveyed this area a few weeks ago. I left the camera out for three nights and each night it returned sixty videos (The limit of the SD card) This is a bit of a Fox and Badger hotspot.

I have set the camera right beside an abandoned Badger sett that I think has been taken over by Foxes.Fox earthWhat I would like to get is daytime footage of the Fox. The Badgers opened up this outlier sett in March but they have moved into the next field. If we get some good weather soon we will go Badger watching. There are some nice Elm trees up by the new sett, they didn’t all succumb to Dutch Elm Disease.

We have to be a little bit careful with the Badgers because DEFRA are continuing with their pilot cull in this area. They are a bit cagey about exactly where they are culling but I think that we are safe because they send out sett surveyors first and we haven’t seen them.

They don’t ask for permission to kill your animals they just send you a letter telling you that their surveyors will be on your land at such and such time and there is nothing that you can do about it. They are rubbish at finding Badger setts though and our main sett is on a public footpath, I don’t think that they can shoot there.

The fields are lovely at the moment. My landlord normally lets them out for grazing in the summer and we have either sheep (short grass) or cattle (long grass) but just now they are being allowed to grow for the grass crop. They will be mown as soon as we get a bit of dry weather and some lucky animals will get to eat a wildflower meadow.

Fizz

Clover Red Clover Bluebell Forget-me-notThere is a down side to having such long grass when it is wet…

wet wet wetBut it is more of a down side when you are a midget.

FizzHappy midget.

FizzSo, rambling on, here we are in the forest and it is hard for me to put my camera down.

Chestnut coppice

Chestnut coppice

Chestnut coppice

Chestnut coppiceThis is a derelict Sweet Chestnut coppice, we are in the woods behind the farm. The ferns are mostly Broad Buckler but there are Male Fern and Shield Ferns here as well. Much of the green on the floor is what remains of the Bluebells.

BluebellsThe Bluebells are quietly going to seed now.

Bluebell

Bluebell

BluebellThese seed pods will slowly dry and turn brown, then they will crack open showering shiny black seeds everywhere.

One of the things that I love most about the Bluebells is that the end of the Bluebells isn’t really the end of anything, it is the very beginning of summer.

Yew Tree

Well I better wind this up now and go and get my Fox cam, it was good whiskey.

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2 thoughts on “Rambling”

  1. Well I am dead set against it, along with the vast majority of the British public. I just hope that the public outcry will eventually force them to stop. It is bad politics to upset so many people and make an ass of yourself at the same time. Paterson should have been sacked by now.The government must realise that this policy of culling is never going to work and is hugely unpopular, at some point they will have to do a U-turn and create a fall guy. I just hope that it is sooner rather than later.

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