Monday, 19 May 2014

Nature Watching

The weather's been glorious here so we've all been out in the garden a lot more. The grass is finally cut; potatoes for our annual potato growing project are earthed up; peas are staked and beds are weeded. It's always reassuring to know that there is learning happening during these every day life skills projects and The Girl told Boykin all about why potatoes need earthing, saying she knew "because we did it last year" :)
Her own little garden is being very well cared for and today she will be measuring the space for the path that she is making. When the car is fixed (new exhaust backbox and a pair of rear shock absorbers), we'll pop to the garden centre and buy some more bags of gravel to complete it. Luckily, I already have some of that stuff that covers the ground to stop the weeds growing through the gravel. It's been at the top of my cellar head for abut 5 years now 'cos I knew it would come in useful one day ;)
All this gardening has given us plenty of opportunity to watch the wildlife around us. Our next-door neighbours have a varied selection of birdfeeders on their washing line and we are always delighted to see the different birds that feed there. As well as the more usual jackdaws and starlings, we have also seen a woodpecker, a pair siskins, a jackdaw and lots of tits and finches. This is a massive improvement on the limited number of bird species we saw when we first moved in here. We have a couple of robins that bob around our garden and I know there is a thrush's nest too. Boykin really enjoys watching the birds and using his bird book to find out what they are.

He was quite chuffed when we went to  a local NT plant fair and got to see some birds of prey. This is a merlin.

Boykin wasn't very happy earlier this week though, when I pulled back the black plastic covering the old compost heap. He really doesn't like insects and I excitedly called them over to see all the tiny ants hurriedly trying to move the much larger white eggs back into the heap. No photos sadly :(
He was however, very interested in the bee nest that The Girl discovered in the bench where she keeps the stuff for the rabbits. There's a very small pile of hay in one corner and we all spent some time watching an adult bumble bee and two very much smaller bumble bees crawling in and out of the hole they'd made. They totally ignored us and buzzed about quite happily.

The weather has been so good that The Girl even got to do some wild swimming with friends :)

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