Tuesday, February 19, 2008


This is what we saw. There must have been millions of them swooping around. You could hear the wingbeats as they flew over our heads and as it became dark, they flocked closer to where we were watching and seemed to fall out of the sky into the reeds. The field was black with them and the sound was incredible. It was like static when you walk under an electricity pylon - excited chatterings rather than birdsong.

It was a really fantastic evening and there was the most beautiful sunset too. As we walked along the track back to the car the dying sun was reflected in the icy rhynes. Stunning.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Digging for victory

This weekend we've been digging. The earth was just the right consistency at last so we both had a go and between us we dug over the top patch, well, the half that isn't covered with black compost bags.

All the neighbours were there too. In fact, in the photo of J you can see Moira next door, clearing weeds from around her new pond. I'm looking forward to her pond being finished, I'll get the benefit of gazing at it when I'm idling in the sunshine in the doorway of my hut.

This weekend was really good actually, I spend most of Saturday helping allocate fruit trees to their new owners as part of Transition Bristol's Virtual Orchard scheme. Incredibly busy! We all made cakes as well and made as much of a celebratory event out of it as possible, bearing in mind it didn't really get much above freezing in the yard we'd hired. I bought a plum and an apple tree for our tiny back garden so yesterday J and I went to buy huge pots to put them in. They look great. The idea is that they'll be portable if and when we move house. The time is ever closer now that Roo's only got one more year of school. It's a scary thought because we've lived in our house for so long and we love it dearly, but it's always been in the wrong place. Our surroundings are so intensely urban. What I'd really love to do is to pick the house up and plonk it down again on the edge of town instead of right in the middle. Incidentally, I've a cousin in Australia who did just that. Her house was loaded onto a lorry and moved about a mile up the road! Amazing.

This evening J and I are planning to go down to the Somerset Levels to see the starlings roosting and hopefully doing those swooping and dancing patterns in the sky. It looks like being a lovely day for it so J is taking a day off so we can take a little trip. I'll try to get some photos if we end up in the right place.

Happy gardening (and birdwatching)