Surveying the land

English: did you know that squirrels like beer...
Did you know that squirrels like beer? I did not know that. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Usually a term used to describe (in the dictionary – as a noun) ‘an act or instance of surveying or of taking a comprehensive view of something’. I am applying it in reference to my amble around my garden: amble: a verb – ‘to go at a slow, easy pace; stroll; saunter’, something I do quite often in the gardens throughout the year. I’ve grown to love and appreciate my gardens in the last few years whilst reflecting upon all the work I have done to get them to where they are now. My little surveys reveal the things I need to do to keep on top of things. Currently my thoughts are centred around spotting bluebells which have escaped my notice especially in the areas in which I have been working to remove them but also in other places they might appear. It was late on Saturday morning when I took a stroll along the path by the greenhouses and the first thing I noticed was a bluebell growing in the patch in front of the small greenhouse. I fetched the small garden fork and dug it out. Then I saw another and some more in the same general area. I have been expecting more to show as the weather gets warmer and I’ve not been disappointed! Having dug about thirty and removed them I thought that would be the end of it but no, there were some growing in the small plot nearby too. I removed them. I checked over the whole flowerbeds by the greenhouses to make sure I had removed all that had shown themselves. I spent a little time digging out a few more bluebells in the unfinished part of the corner plot where I have been working recently. I went indoors to prepare a meal. It was around three o’clock when I decided to take another amble around the garden and my keen eyes spotted a couple of bluebells in the flowerbed by the patio. I didn’t take any immediate action but noted where they were for the next time I would be working in the garden. I hadn’t much intention to work in the garden on the day because I wanted a rest from it and the weather forecast had been for rain anyway, though it didn’t rain until much later in the day. I spent a little time filling the seed dispenser for the birds as E seems to have forgotten to do it. On Friday morning I saw the strangest thing when looking out of the window into the rear garden. I saw ‘our’ little grey squirrel running along the top of the garden wall holding a slice of bread in its mouth! I never knew squirrels liked bread (and beer apparently) but I guess they will eat anything if hungry. We had been putting out nuts for them but hadn’t seen much of the squirrels lately due to the cold weather. Anyway the squirrel was being pursued by a jay who wanted a piece of the action but the squirrel was having none of it and kept out of the bird’s way. Funny what you see in the garden if you take the time to look.

Shirley Anne  


A frolicking

The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) ...
The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) is an example of wildlife. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday I guess was the best day of the week just passed though Saturday came a close second. It stayed sunny all day long and for most of the day I sat out on the patio, only returning indoors for lunch. Later in the afternoon E joined me. She said she had things to do which kept her inside the house but I took that with a pinch of salt. I keep telling her that she should make the most of being outdoors whilst the weather permits. We sat and chatted which is nice. It has been a long time since we chatted together for any period of time and it was always a bone of contention with me that we didn’t talk enough. E was always too busy but lately she seems to have changed and is more open to just sitting and chatting. Anyway we were out on the patio, she was facing the sun and I was facing the opposite way looking into the garden as I’d had enough of the sun in my face. I mentioned quietly that a squirrel was hopping about on the perimeter wall beneath the trees. She turned around slowly to look. After a minute or so it disappeared into the ivy growing up the tree. Now I eat nuts and every day I have a handful of them and E suggested I get some and put them on the wall then sit back and wait to see what happens. However, I went indoors and brought out a packet of hazelnuts which E had bought some time ago with which to make something but they had now passed their sell-by date. I wasn’t going to use nuts from the packet I eat! I put some in a couple of places on top of the wall and returned to the patio. We sat there for a minute or so then the squirrel appeared, ate a nut then disappeared only to return again a minute or so later to repeat the routine. After a while we didn’t see the squirrel and we went back into the house but soon after E called to me to see the squirrel again appear on the wall then another two appeared up the tree frolicking and playing about. There were three of them, then four, then five. We were beginning to think there was an army of them. We watched them from inside the house for around forty minutes as they darted about among the branches. We knew there was a nest in one of the trees and we often have seen a squirrel in the garden, on the walls or up in the trees but to see so many at once has been a rarity. There are quite a number of trees in the area behind the house so I suppose it shouldn’t be unusual that we have so many squirrels too.

Shirley Anne

Time on my hands

This last weekend saw me with plenty of time on my hands. It has been a very wet and windy couple of days, the kind of days nobody like being outside in. I was stuck indoors hoping for some dry weather so I could carry on with the work in the garden but I suppose it was better that I rested. I wasn’t really feeling good but I usually try to work those feelings out of my system by getting involved in something. As it happened I did next to nothing, even playing my guitar didn’t change my mood like it usually does. At least today I have some electrical work to keep me occupied for a couple of hours. I can only hope that the week will improve. The weekend wasn’t completely wasted as I gave some thought to what I plan to do in other areas of the garden once I have finished the present project. Having all this time on my hands has seen me looking out of the window a lot and something I realised whilst doing that was the fact that we haven’t seen our two squirrels lately darting up and down the huge tree and into the garden. Either they are keeping a low profile while they rear their offspring or else they have abandoned their home. I am not sure when squirrels breed or when they give birth so it could be that the female is still pregnant and keeping out of sight. It is the season for owls though because I hear them in the night when they sing out with that distinctive hoot. Perhaps the squirrels have become owl food, who knows?

Shirley Anne