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Watch Your Fingers

Indian Balsam

Indian Balsam

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is nothing we like better here, than having a good moan about something. Preferably about a problem or issue that there is no reasonable solution to, this gives us a completely free reign. Well, as you can guess from the picture, we’re going to whinge about Indian Balsam. Well, no that’s not true, we’re going to whinge about people who whinge about Indian Balsam.

Let me ask all you environmental addicts out there something. We know for instance that squirrels bite the ends off acorns before they bury them. This stops the acorn from germinating. Good for squirrels – bad for oak trees. Squirrels are just parasites. They do nothing for the tree that provides them with food and shelter. The Jay also collects and ┬áburies acorns, but the Jay buries them undamaged. Any acorns that the Jay doesn’t need are left in the ground to germinate and sprout into new trees. So, the question is, of the Squirrel and the Jay, which is the most environmentally friendly?

Let’s use a bit of vision here. If nature invented a creature (as in – us) that took advantage of almost every plant and animal on the planet, could it not be that the appreciation of the beauty of her works as well as their utility, was built in to us specifically so that we would collect and spread those denizens of her kingdom who were rooted to the spot?

We invited Indian Balsam to come in – and now suddenly we can’t wait to get rid of him. It’s no wonder the guy in the picture looks ready to bite your hand off, is it?

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Jay Walking

Jay in the garden

Jay in the garden

This is actually, one of Jackie’s pictures. The bird table is in the back garden and the kitchen window looks out in that direction. One of Jackie’s self imposed tasks is to keep the bird feeders topped up. Our birds are very fond of Jackie and wouldn’t like her to feel unappreciated so they work hard at emptying the various feeders, to make sure that she always has at least one to refill. The bird who shows the most concern for Jackie’s emotional needs is the Great Tit. The minute she hangs a filled seed feeder on the hook on the bird table, two or three of them will appear and start to empty it, throwing seed right, left and centre to get the job done.

As soon as they have a reasonable amount of the seed spread over the ground at the base of the bird table, the Lower Story Clean-up Squad will put in an appearance. Members include the Stock Dove family, an occasional Wood Pigeon, the Back Garden Blackbird and, when the Blackbird isn’t looking, a Robin or two – and of course, we must also mention an assortment of Chaffinches and Sparrows. These last few days they have been joined by the Jay. We have seen him around before, but he is usually too shy to stop and chat. In the Autumn he gathers acorns, his favourite food, and hides them. He’s not above stealing a squirrel’s hoard, if he spots him in the process of hiding some.

I guess that by now, the cupboard is bare.

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