Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The empty nest and other stories

Each year I usually find a few nests somewhere in and around the garden. For three years blackbirds have nested in my old shed. Sadly, the past couple of times with little success. This year, as soon as I saw the nest above being built, I decided to keep out of the shed completely, with only an occasional peek to see how things were going. I didn't want to mention it here on the blog, tempting fate after the disappointment of the past years.

Two eggs duly appeared, and I enjoyed having the parents accompanying me when working in the garden, singing away (the birds, not me).

The eggs hatched and one chick grew up. Then I discovered last week that the nest was empty. Had the chick survived? Later in the afternoon I found where it was - hopping about on the floor of Skip's porch, beside the central heating boiler, the drying clothes, and in and among the gardening tools I had been storing there, to avoid me using the shed!

What to do? Try to catch it? I decided to do nothing, and just leave the outside door open for a while. An hour later I watched as mother Blackie came to the door of the porch and escorted her offspring out and off down the garden path. Result! I wish it a long life.

On Saturday last I spent some time with curling friends Shari and Christian. What a lovely day. On Sunday I decided that a walk was in order and I duly set out, with my camera, to do some Geographing and continue my explorations of the area between Boreland and Eskdalemuir.

Although much of this countryside is covered with conifer plantations, not all of it is. Here I'm northeast of Boreland looking westwards towards the Great Hill, as it's called on the map! One doesn't encounter too many other walkers in this area, and if you like solitude this is certainly a part of Scotland to enjoy.

This stand of beech trees on the side of the valley of the Cow Burn is rather ancient. On inspection some are obviously very old, and indeed the little wood is shown on the 1860 OS six inch map.

What a pleasant walk along this path, beside the Cow Burn, on a hot day.

And this was where I was headed over to the next valley, that of the Black Esk.

Back in the garden today I found that two days of heat have brought the rhododendrons into flower.

This is a relatively new addition. Now, why don't I label things better!

Photos © Skip Cottage

1 comment:

  1. You are having heat in Scotland and we are having record cold temps. in Idaho. My Rhododenrens are not blooming yet. My Azalea had one blossom and the rest froze. We actually had snow last Saturday. Usually by now we are in the 80's (F) On the bright side, we have had much more rain than normal, and as a result of that the shrubs and trees are looking beautiful, not their normal drought stressed selves. Have a good day Bob, and happy gardening.

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