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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  buries 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?

Yellow Fidget

Yellow Hammer

Yellow Hammer

It was pouring with rain this morning and it was close to coffee time too, so The Dog and I agreed on just a potter up the road to the village green and back. A good part of the way is under the shelter of the trees that make up the other side of our wood, so we could avoid getting absolutely soaked. Just as we reached the end of the drive, the squirrel, who was also just popping home for coffee, appeared in the road. The Dog was busy checking ‘The Place’ by the gatepost, where every passing canine leaves their calling card, so she didn’t notice the squirrel about six feet away. I stopped, tightened my grip on the lead and looked at the squirrel. The squirrel stopped, looked at The Dog going about her own affairs, and looked at me. He raised one eyebrow, shrugged, then disappeared into the hedge. I released the tension on the lead and we wandered off into the rain.

For these last few days we’ve had the excitement of a Yellow Hammer and two chicks trotting around at the foot of the bird table. The chicks look just like sparrows and it’s only that they constantly harass their parent that gives them away. We must have taken a thousand pictures of the little family group or the brightly coloured parent but in not one of them have the birds been in focus. In frustration, here is one of the least blurred.

Really, they are such fidgets.

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