stories and illustration

Young Blackbird in the Garden


I may be wrong, but I don’t think this bird is very old, it has that fat fluffiness about it still.  The blackbirds more or less disappeared until we started throwing out apple cores round the bird table, and now suddenly the garden is full of them. I suspect a nest in the one of the big hedges. They chitter and complain when we appear suddenly, but are almost the tamest of birds; if you leave a door open they are inclined to hop in. I notice that now it is sunny and we are out pottering about in the garden the birds are more inclined to ignore us.  The dried mealworms are a big draw, as well as the apple cores. We have planted some wild flower mats under the bird table, since there is a spare raised bed (the original site was a Flodden graveyard, hence the raising of the beds), as it is no good planting broad beans -they are amazing, then suddenly get a kind of black wilt.  So now looking out of the studio I can see the birds, and soon hopefully a mass of wild flowers as well.  This year something to be cheerful about: there are far more bees around, and today I saw a butterfly. Perhaps the planting the fields of phacelia, aka “Bees’ Friend”, in great mauve swathes last year has been having an effect.


April 15, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bee’s Friend


This crop was growing alongside the edge of the rape field, in profusion.  It looks like a wild flower, and yet it has obviously been planted there for a reason. I never saw it before.  After Googling crop mauve flower, and getting some strange images, I found a website that was selling this plant as a herb.  It is called Phacelia, and is otherwise known as “Bee’s Friend”, for obvious reasons.  If I had known this I would have paid more attention and tried to get a picture of bees on the very strange flowerheads, rather than this dull picture of a field.  However, I found it interesting that this had obviously been planted to help counteract the disastrous decline in bees last year, which meant that even people who produce honey had to buy some in. The flowerheads are rather spectacular:


I think I may go out and take some more detailed and maybe a tad more interesting pictures of this plant, which has been put into the field for such an specific reason. There have certainly been more bees around this year.  The beans in the garden are growing fast, and when I go out to water them in the evening I try not to drench the bees that are buzzing about among the bean flowers.


July 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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