Thursday, 11 July 2013

Fledglings and flowers

Forgive me, it has taken about 4 days to actually write this post! Various activities have been keeping me busy and for some reason blogger has been refusing to save or publish my post. Not sure whether my internet is playing up or blogger is. Either way it is frustrating! In the end I had to copy and paste the writing and photos into a new post and delete the old one. I do hate technology sometimes!

Anyway our hottest July since 2006 is upon us. I wonder if it will hold up?! Last weekend was a scorcher and most of it was spent in the garden and in the pub. Unfortunately for moi, I was the wrong side of the bar and serving pimms left right and centre. Torture!!

Friday consisted of breakfast in the early morning warmth, lunch in a lovely pub garden and... our pup having his manhood taken away!! The latter resulting in a very grumpy Bracken. Whilst pup wasn't having a very enjoyable morning, I was. Sat in the glorious sunshine, watching the housemartin chicks which I thought must be nearly ready to fledge. They were sticking their heads right out of the nest and when a parent returned to their cleverly crafted abode, the chicks would go crazy! Meanwhile in the nest a couple of metres along, another pair seem to be canoodling or possibly incubating? A bit late, I thought there was a pair doing their thing back in early June but nothing came of it. Hopefully this time they will be successful. Anyway they seemed to be having some sort of domestic because their were lots of bubbling and chattering noises and one appeared to be holding onto the other, keeping it from flying away from the nest. Interesting behaviour to observe.






With the sun dappling the garden flowers in speckles of light and the swifts screaming playfully through the garden, so low I could hear their wing beats, I thought; this is utter bliss! This is pretty much all my day consisted of, how lucky am I?! :)

Honeysuckle against a cloudless blue sky

Rose, petunia and lobelia in a lovely pot painted by my cousins for my mum

Hot lips - great name for a plant! (it is some variety of salvia I do believe)
 Friday evening I went to work and mum had to deal with Bracken being a weirdo. Even more than usual due to his brief time under anaesthetic.

Saturday morning and after breakfast al fresco we sat for a bit longer, enjoying the morning rays. To our delight we had the pleasure of watching the housemartin chicks fledge! It simply amazes me how they just take off and that's it. They can fly! I think they tooed and froed from the nest for the day, but by Sunday I think the parents were already preparing for their next brood! Throughout the day I took a few more photos of the garden flowers.

Female Bombus lucorum I think?!

Female bombus lucorum??

Nasturtium

Pup looking sorry for himself

Poppy

Valarian going to seed

By Sunday morning pup seemed to have got used to his cone collar. He also seemed more like himself so thought he would be up for a decent walk. We have to keep him on his lead for 10 days! We are already going a little crazy. Just so annoying that he can't be running around in the long grass and splashing around in the ditches as per. But it is to make sure his wound heals with no infection so we'll have to bear it for the time being.

Female scorpion fly

A rather rotund donkey :)

Beautiful poppy


 Before I went to work on Sunday evening we had a delicious roast and we ate our own home grown Kale :)



The glorious weather continued and on Monday I did some more voluntary work for Kent Wildlife Trust. The task in hand was... Ragwort management. All the other volunteers had warned me of this task. I rather enjoyed it though. I got a weird sense of satisfaction when I pulled up a hefty one with lots of root in tact. It seems odd to pull up plants that are the home of the cinnabar moth caterpillars but I was informed that if ragwort is not managed then there is a considerable fine for the charity.

In addition to the laborious task we also saw 4 broad bodied chasers near the newly created ponds! Very exciting because I had never knowingly seen one. Another new species for the day was a pyramidal orchid! I have never really looked for them but I was SO excited to see one! Thanks to Kevin, the warden who pointed out both the orchid and the chasers to me :) I was gutted to not have my camera with me, as the chasers were posing nicely on some wild roses!

Well folks, I hope you have all been enjoying our fine weather and enjoyed reading my post :)

18 comments:

  1. Some beautiful flower photos there and so pleased you were able to see the House Martin chicks fledge :) Hope the pup recovers soon.

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    1. Thank you :) He is pretty much back to normal, he just has to keep his cone on for another 3 days! Then he can stop inflicting pain on our legs when he blunders into us!

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  2. Poor old Bracken, mind you a dog with out his bits is a more pleasant and calmer dog.
    I love the Housemartins, round our way the juveniles as soon as they're fledged an adult bird flies them up to reservoir and teaches them to drink and catch insects of the surface, with amusing results.
    Your "post" issue is a Blogger issue not your internet connection, what I do is when the message "an error occured whilst trying to save/publish your post" I hit the "ignore" bit I then wait until it tries to "save" it automatically again if it saves ok without the message appearing then I hit publish button, it takes a few goes and is frustrating, the other way is to preview the post before publishing and after a preview then publish but it can still happen (preview failed to load etc). Very frustrating.

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    1. Yes well we thought it might calm him down... I guess it takes a while because he is still his manic bouncy self!!

      The housemartins must do a similar thing here over the strawberry fields where there are probably enough fruit flies to feed the HMs for the whole year summer!

      Thanks for your advice on post issues! It is really very temperamental!

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  3. LOVE those baby martins! How lucky to catch the fledging moment. Our second batch of sparrows have just gone too. Cleo (cat) brought one in to her room through the cat flap and left it for me (alive and unharmed). It was very lively, independent and noisy as sparrows are and took ages to catch and return to the garden.

    Ted sends his commiserations to Bracken and says he knows all too well how he feels but it does go away eventually!

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    1. Wow, a cat who didn't play and kill it! You obviously have her well trained in bird catching etiquette :)

      Aw, Bracken says thanks to Ted. He says he just wants to run off the lead and not have the silly cone on his head any more. Oh and he certainly doesn't want to be making any return trips to the vets in the future after what they did to him!

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    2. Ted is impressed that the cone has remained in place at all because he ditches them the second he gets home. At least the hot weather might take the edge off wanting to run- Teddy has been flaked out in the garden all week :-)

      Cleo has asked me to say she is more of a mouse person, in case any cats reading this think she is a sissy when it comes to hunting :-)

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    3. Bracken has managed to split one of the edges by consistently running into things and us of course! We have taken it off for a while to let his neck have a bit of a breather! I'm glad Cleo isn't much of a bird catcher :)

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  4. A lovely post Lou. I really enjoyed all of the photos you posted - especially the valerian going to seed and that fab scorpion fly. Hope that your pup can have his 'cone of shame', as it's called in Up, removed soon.

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    1. Thanks Tim :) not long for pup now!

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  5. I wish my broad Bodied Chasers would be as obliging! Also very envious of your House Martin fledglings after the down tools disaster here. I think I like your Scorpion Fly picture best - gorgeous.

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    1. They are impressive looking dragons aren't they! I will have to take my camera next time!

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  6. Terrific photos. I love the House Martins, and it's marvellous that you saw them fledge. Poor Bracken, he does look sorry for himself. I expect he'll make up for lost time when he's fully recovered from the op!

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    1. Thanks Wendy :) Pup will definitely make up for it! I'm sure he is more disobedient than before, or maybe we are imagining it?!

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  7. HI Lou Mary Lovely set of photos and wonderful that you saw the Martins fledge. I loved the poppy shots. Bracken looks meserable. Margaret

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    1. Thanks Margaret, I'm just about to take a look at your poppy post :)

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  8. Poor ol' pup ! Hope he is recovering well :) Lovely photos Lou - particularly like the poppy . Looks like your martins have done well and keeping themselves busy. We have some idiots that knock nests off around here because they are unsightly and messy on their house. Give me strength!

    Tom

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    1. Thanks Tom he is certainly back to being the bounciest pup at his training class! People are so inconsiderate of nature! How would they like it if we knocked down their houses because they are unsightly ruining the countryside!

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