Off Topic – Scenes in our little wood

There is a little wood at one end of our garden with a stream running through it.

img_20180531_144448596 And over the other side of the little stream there are several old trees and decaying tree stumps.

It’s rather overgrown across the stream, ideal for wildlife.

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Close up of the base of the old tree stump in the photo above

We wondered if anything was using the holes at the base of this old tree stump, so David set up a wildlife camera – and found that rabbits have taken up residence, running in and out of the holes at the base of the tree.

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The rabbits have made a path at the side of the tree up to a grassed area where Heidi, our cat, sits for hours on rabbit watch waiting for them to come out and play. Unfortunately her ‘play’ is a little rough for the baby rabbits and we have had to rescue a couple.

Snow Scenes in the Garden

The snow from the beginning of March had nearly all gone, with just a few areas in the back garden still covered in snow, when it started snowing here today. We’ve had snow flurries all day but it’s all gone now.

This is what it was like at the beginning of March in the heaviest snow fall we’ve had since 2009. This view is from the kitchen of the decking where the snow had piled up in front of the patio doors.

Heidi looking at the snow

The photo below is of the end of the garden next to the field.

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the garden over the stream

And this close up shows how the snow had blown into drifts along the back fence.

The view from the front window – blackbirds, chaffinches and sparrows. At one point there were six blackbirds and lots of little birds – I tried to get a photo of all them together, but they kept flying away.

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Below, a close -up of a nuthatch on the fat balls.

Nuthatch

We had a couple of rare visitors too – first a woodcock

And then an otter – the first time we have ever seen one in the garden. I watched it come up from the stream, dripping wet early one morning. It made its way to the back door and had a look at Heidi’s cat flap! She was scared stiff.

Library Books

These are the latest library books I have out on loan, borrowed from the mobile library that visited here on Tuesday. I didn’t have any authors or titles in mind but browsed the shelves, choosing each one purely on instinct – hoping I’d like each one:

Lib bks Jan 2018

Garden Friends by Ed Ikin. This is a beautiful little book subtitled, Plants, animals and wildlife that are good for your garden. It’s full of information and photos and drawings, with chapters on plants, animal and insects that can help improve your garden, on dead wood, composting and planting by the moon – apparently there is ‘more than just hippy wisdom behind paying heed to the moon and its potential influence over your garden and wildlife.

Circle of Shadows by Imogen Robertson – historical fiction set in Germany in 1783. I haven’t read any her books before and as this is the third book in her series of books featuring Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther, I’m hoping it won’t matter that I haven’t read the earlier books. The two English sleuths investigate the murder of Lady Martenson at a masked ball. There’s alchemy involved and automata – mirroring the luxury and artificiality of the German court.

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks. I’m a fan of her books so I have great hopes for this one. It’s inspired by a true story, but is a work of imagination. Set in the island now known as Martha’s Vineyard in the 1650s this is the story of Caleb, the son of a Wampanoag chieftain, who ‘crosses’ into the culture of the English settlers.

The Prince and the Pilgrim by Mary Stewart. This is a companion book to her Merlin trilogy, but I’m not too sure that I’ll enjoy this one as much. It’s not about Merlin and Arthur. Instead we have Alexander, nephew of King March of Cornwall seeking to avenge his father on a journey to Camelot in quest of justice. It leads him to the Dark Tower of the sorceress of Morgan le Fay.

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny. I hesitated before deciding to borrow this book, because it’s the 10th Chief Inspector Gamache novel – and I haven’t read any of the previous books. But I know that several bloggers love these books and I’d recently read Kay’s post on the 13th book – Glass Houses – describing Louise Penny’s books  as ‘some of the best and deepest character studies I’ve ever read‘ and  ‘filled with imagination and beautiful descriptions and pathos and terror.’ So I had to bring this one home to see for myself.

Set in Quebec, Gamache’s friend Clara’s has asked him for help as her husband, Peter had not come home on the first anniversary of their separation as he had promised. Gamache uncovers a deadly trail of jealousy and deceit.

If you’ve read any of these books do let me know what you think about them. If you haven’t, are you tempted by any of them?

Saturday Snapshots

Last Saturday I posted a photo of the little Japanese Maple still bearing its flame red leaves. We’ve had some high winds this week and this is what it looks like today – what a difference a week makes!

Japanese Maple 23 Nov 2013Just a few leaves are still clinging to its branches:

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The rest are on the ground or have blown away.

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For more Saturday Snapshots see Melinda’s blog West Metro Mommy Reads.

Saturday Snapshots

Autumn in the garden:

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The leaves are falling from some of the trees now, but our little Japanese Maple is still bearing its flame-coloured leaves.

Autumn trees Nov 2013 P1090305The Wych Elm leaves are a glorious golden colour.

Autumn leaves Nov 2013 P1090313And in our little wood the ground is now a carpet of rustling brown leaves.

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Finally, here’s D up a ladder doing repairs to the roof – I had to watch because falling leaves are one thing …

For more Saturday Snapshots see Melinda’s blog West Metro Mommy Writes.