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It's wild!


Not quite such a cold wind today, so went out to do some weeding of the various bits of the garden, paths, nooks and crannies that are being taken over faster than I can keep up – even with the enforced staying at home.
While I was out there I realised just how much colour there was in the weeds that I was planning on removing – guilt starting already to kick in!
I had dug over the hard packed earth and incorporated the sandstone blocks to make into a rockery of sorts last week. While doing it there were loads, and I mean loads, of little ground nesting bees looking for the holes that I had disturbed. Telling myself that I couldn’t leave this heap of soil for yet another year, I pressed on and thought they could at least not be disturbed again.

It’s sort of getting there! The old boat base was level when we put it in, spent ages making sure, but when filled a month or more later – well you can see the result! This was put in just for the frogs that are in the garden, not that I have seen one in it, round about and under the stones nearby, but not in it. Now it is covered with a slight oil slick where the pigeons bathe in it. When they fly into the window and leave an imprint of their wings and body on the glass, it’s dry, powdery and grey, but if they bathe, it’s oily! But the water was for wildlife, so I suppose I can’t pick and choose.

This side of the boat pond is a Campanula which is now covered with a wire hanging basket after I saw the peacock grazing it down to the roots, and the pigeons like these too, so perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea.
Another plant that gets grazed, this time by the geese is a miniature Tradescantia, really sweet little leaves with small purple flowers. Two round the back covered with more hanging baskets to recover and this poor thing which was near the water tank and didn’t escape the girls beaks! Nothing to do with the flowerpot it’s in.

Back to the weeds, these ones are the purple dead nettle which are really pretty and the bees love them, not as much as the larger white dead nettle, though these will have to go as they are amongst the Iris tubers. Plus some yellow Lamium which is good ground cover, but will take over if you let it.

This little patch of plants are growing against a couple of steps and not one of them was planted, they all are self seeded. Thyme, Euphorbia Wulfenii (have to move that) three different violets, cowslips, one of the cultivated bird’s eyes, moss, grape hyacinth and true weeds.

Another bee, this one a bumblebee which was just emerging from yet another hole in the ground, this one in the grass – laughingly called a lawn!

Perhaps another blog tomorrow as I got carried away and took photos of most of the trees that have recently been planted up on the field to encourage wildlife and give shelter to the Pheasants and Partridges. Only quandary now is do I leave the nettle beds so they have somewhere to nest, how many Dock plants must I leave and how much long grass?
Meanwhile we have company in the barn, this is the open front barn, full of junk and stuff waiting for the dump to re-open, ‘useful stuff’ and goodness knows what else. Mainly it’s a barn to park OH’s car in for the winter so he doesn’t have to clear the windscreen in the morning, and for the Peacocks to roost in.

One of the Peacocks up to roost during the day, sulking as it was windy, they don’t like the wind, and there was a tractor on the field beside us – they don’t like them either and sitting in the barn he can make much more complaint as the noise echoes around beautifully!

One of the other visitors we have is the Barn Owl who sits on this jutting out support (goodness know what it was for) and leaves an absolute mess over the old chest freezer where we keep all the wild bird seed, fat balls etc., away from the mice. Who knew that Owls squirted quite as much and quite as far?
We have put an old rabbit hutch up on the top shelf just in case it wants to stay.
We also get presents of Owl pellets dropped onto the freezer top.

The other visitor we get daily now is the cock pheasant who comes to feed off the peacock food tray. Together with pigeons, collared doves, Jackdaws, Robins and even the squirrel has his fill from the tray.
I am pleased to see the pheasant, he just needs to bring his lady friends and tell them they can nest on the field in safety. He is getting tame and no longer flies off in a panic if he sees you, just wanders off a way and waits to see if you are going his way.
Bad pictures, I’m sorry, but taken through the window a fair distance away.

One last photo of the not so wild inhabitant. He might look resplendent, happily sun-bathing on the grass – butter-wouldn’t-melt look and all that. But… I know that under that large body is a patch of bald grass that has been churned up by large feet that jiffle about and make more bald patches.

Interesting note: I didn’t know until I wrote it down that jiffle is a dialect word and may not be understood by the vast majority of people in the civilised world, but I left it in anyway, you could always look it up.

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I like the purple dead nettle too. I always try to leave it in. Pity about the burrowing bees...hopefully they will find new places to nest. Its impossible to work in your garden without upsetting any creatures. My Molly (Jack Russel Terrier) loves pulling out worms and playing with them. It upsets me, but she’s a dog! Lol

2 Apr, 2020


lovely blog hsg, I've never heard jiffle but I knew what you meant immediately.
I wish we had barn owls nesting near by but at least you have the barn for them. We see them regularly flitting along the hedgerows .
the bees will dig new holes so don't feel too guilty, I had the same problem last year.
I too have yellow lamium and as soon as its flowered I pull over 90 % of it out so other things can get some breathing space.

3 Apr, 2020


Thanks Karen, glad I am not the only one that leaves weeds to flourish then wonder why I have so many. I am sure that Molly means no harm, perhaps her instinct goes back to a wild fox, who eats worms! Not that I would want her to do that as domestic animals have a horrible habit of bringing that sort of stuff up again - usually not outside!

I would just like the Barn Owl to stay Seaburn, it sits there presumably to look for mice roaming about in the barn, so poison bait is now a no-no, having spent a fortune on a really good bait that actually works, I now can't use it, just in case! We have loads of various sorts of ground nesting bees and I used to decorate the lawn after it was cut with sticks to show them where their hole was, after I had cut off the tall stems they navigate by. You can see what a sad old lady I am going to turn into!!
As for the yellow Lamium, I brought it with me and planted it under the Leylandii hedge, one of the few things that doesn't mind the shade and dry ground, but as you say it needs drastically pulling out after flowering to keep in check. I have planted some on the field under the hedges where it can run rampant all it likes.
Meant to say that jiffle is a very descriptive word, so may resonate with the brain anyway.

3 Apr, 2020


I agree about weeds, they are only wild flowers after all and look very pretty. They stray into my garden from the fields and hedgerows and I leave some of them alone in odd corners.

I love your barn. I wouldn't mind one like that myself (if I had the room for it), I'd be able to keep all sorts of 'handy' stuff in it. I am awful for hoarding lengths of wood etc :D
but I wouldn't want to share it with any birds lol …

I have seen lots of Bumble bees this year already but never seen them emerging from the ground. I haven't got lawns though.
I saw a baby toad yesterday. I haven't seen the big ones for a while but they must be around.

I hope you do write another blog, I enjoyed this one :)

3 Apr, 2020


Good blog, and a very high-jumping rabbit will be grateful for that hutch !
Love that final photo.. do you collect some colourful moulted feathers from him ?

3 Apr, 2020


We like the barn too Hywel, but it is handy for hoarding! At the back are some doors that my Sister needed to get rid of and thought we might like, various chairs we really don't need, some bags of cement that have probably set solid they have been in there so long, Barney's old parrot cage, plus some more cages - wood of course, plastic trays, buckets and who knows what?
It has a shelf/mezzanine floor where the peacocks climb up their ladder to, then up again to roost on the beams. Of course the floor is full of 'stuff' too!

Never thought of that Terra, a high jumping rabbit. We have wild ones about here, the outside lights come on at night and there sits a rabbit! Perhaps they are weighing up how to get up there!
We have three peacock boys and when they start to shed feathers in about July, it looks like carnage, feathers lying everywhere. Sometimes they get sold, given away or just collected.

3 Apr, 2020


Brilliant blog, you have so much going on and so much wildlife!

You're right about not being able to pick and choose which birds to have, we don't mind our couple of wood pigeons but we have had half a dozen ferals coming in recently. We're trying to make our feeders smaller ones, and top them up little and often. This week we have had a pair of huge crows starting to build a nest on the very top of our conifer, which I am not happy about at all, never had crows before and I worry about baby doves/blackies/pigeons.

But, nature is nature, so we'll just have to hope they're all safe.

3 Apr, 2020


Another wonderful blog! It was interesting to see the owl pellets - I've read about them but never seen one before.
I looked up jiffle and it means just what it sounds as if it means - but in America Google says it means to steal a kiss inconspicuously!
I love the barn too - if we had one of these it would fill up with all sorts of stuff very quickly...but pretty certainly wouldn't contain peacocks or a barn owl. Does that keep you awake screaming at night? Quite frightening until you realise what it is.
We have the yellow Lamium too - very pretty just now but it does tend to rampage everywhere give the chance.

3 Apr, 2020


It's true Sunnydais about the Crows and them being predators of small fledglings, but then so many other birds are - Magpies and our Sparrowhawk and now we have a squirrel who will also take small birds. One year we had a feral cat which sat and waited for the baby Moorhens to bounce down out of their nest in the Beech tree, and ate them one by one! It's a cruel world. We have Jackdaws building in the redundant chimney stack. So noisy, it sounds as if they are in the wall at the head of the bed in the mornings. Weird thing is there seem to be three of them!

4 Apr, 2020


Thanks Stera, I can always seem to count on you to read and comment on my blogs, so I appreciate that.
The Owl pellets appear most days, full of tiny bones and fur, regurgitated to be got rid of! We also sometimes find some smaller ones out in the garden, from the Tawny or Little Owls - Must see what's in them next time, then I will know, or have a better idea anyway.
I don't know where the owl goes during the day, it not in there. It sits in the barn at least part of the night, if you go out and the light comes on, there is a ghostly white shape glide out of the barn! We rearranged the rabbit hutch so that it now has a huge (nearly gave OH a hernia getting it up there) tree stump which has a perfectly round hole going all the way through it. Another present from the tree surgeon, he know I like that sort of thing! This has been arranged so that from the front it looks like a tree hole and leads through into the hutch where there is more room. Now all I need is for it to decide it would like to stay.
My OH was born in London and finds some Norfolk sayings weird! Jiffle to me is perfectly normal, "You'll get wrong" he thinks really weird. It just means you will get told off for something. When I tell him I 'bop' down, he tells me that's not right either - it's only squatting and I think sounds better anyway.

4 Apr, 2020


Funny how words and phrases can change their meaning in different parts of the country. I hadn't hear those two expressions at all.In Sheffield "just now" means this minute, or at the present moment,or even a very little time ago, but 50miles away in Staffordshire it means In a little while - which was a source of much misunderstanding between me and my landlady when I first moved there - she was asking me to do something just now, I tried to comply - and the more I tried to do it immediately the more she insisted I should do it just now...we realised eventually.

4 Apr, 2020


It's great isn't it Stera and will be a sad day when all the dialects die out. Even across a small area of Norfolk the phrase 'see you later' has different connotations. To us it always meant 'later in the day' further afield it meant 'later at some point'. Another bit of confusion like your example!

5 Apr, 2020


Fascinating blog Honeysuckle, you could write a book:-)

7 Apr, 2020


Not sure I could subject myself to that much scrutiny Bornagain. It was a long while before I passed this site onto my daughter, she was astounded that her Mother was writing blogs - I'm a bit of a technophobe, no mobile or laptop for me and anything slightly electronic is fine while it works, slightest hiccup and I'm screaming for help!

7 Apr, 2020


You have described me, nothing is as frustrating as technology and at the moment it is rather important as it allows us to keep in touch. Then if too many people want to keep in touch, that too can be frustrating as one I can waste a day, or the greater part of it on my laptop which I still haven't got the hang of:-) Is that an idiom used in the Fens?

7 Apr, 2020


Certainly is a phrase from here and describes me too. Lots of things I don't get the hang of - mobiles phones, laptops are just two. Even the remote control has it's moments when in my hands. I do carry a lot of static electricity and lots of electronic things just don't like it, others just bite back, I get lots of electric shocks of things like lift buttons, metal posts and the last car I had.

8 Apr, 2020

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