Blue – But Not

DSC_0011Weather’s been cold this past couple of days with showers of dampening rain and hail. So, lacking a degree of motivation,  I’m sitting watching the news on TV (Prince Charles meeting with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams)…

… but not paying a hundred per cent attention. Because the two super-parent blue tits are catching my eye, ferrying food to the brood in a nest box I made (out of re-purposed scraps of wood) with our children many years ago. The fledglings inside must be at least chilled and the parents torn between keeping them warm and keeping them fed I guess. The birds land on the denuded top of the Leylandii hedge, tip heads and scan for trouble (so many cats in this cul-de-sac), fluff their wings and whirr like cartoon creatures into the nest box some four or so metres away.

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Ours is a tiny front garden but one of my loves (dare I say passions?) is encouraging wildlife, whether at home or up on the plot so this sight is especially pleasing. But the sheer dogged determination and duty-driven dedication of these tiny birds is exemplary. Their plumage is bedraggled: the results of hard work (seeking well-camouflaged caterpillars in cold, wet weather conditions cannot be easy) and little rest. Where do these birds sleep? In the box with the youngsters? Or nearby in the neighbouring bushes? Maybe we will be lucky enough to actually see the young ones leave the nest: the nest box is certainly close enough to the downstairs window.

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There is an RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) campaign going on at the moment, trying to reverse the trend of concreting/slabbing over front gardens (so as to have parking spaces). If every house loses these fractions of green and the rain goes straight to run off, it is believed, this increases the likelihood of flooding. There is an undeniable logic there, even if it is deeply tucked away. Our front garden is best described as rugged: a higgledy-piggledy hotchpotch patchwork of yellow pimpernel, aquilegia and geranium with a contorted hazel bush and an osmanthus (highly scented white blossoms just gone over).

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