Saturday, February 03, 2007

What a Beautiful Day

I woke up this morning with the sun streaming through the curtains. This was a Good Thing, because I had a list of jobs to do in the garden.

The pampas grass at the bottom of our garden has started to be plucked by the birds, a sign that some of them are thinking about nesting. We used to have a huge beech hedge alongside our garden, but the neighbours ripped it out. The sparrows and tits used to nest in there, so we've put up some nesting boxes - two designed for tits, one for blackbirds.

As I ventured out into the garden there was a faint fog drifting across. Through the fog, the sun was a white disc, that you could mistake for the moon, giving the day a slightly eerie feel. On the lawn lay straw and grass in strange patterns, the remains of the kids doing an Art Attack style giant picture. Any sign of what it had been destroyed by our rabbit, who had been playing in it since it was finished.

Nesting boxes securely fastened to the shed, I moved onto the bird table. Might as well make use of the fence the neighbours have partially erected to replace the hedge. I placed a scattering of dried mealworms on it, in an effort to attract robins, blackbirds and other worm eaters to the garden. We have huge quantities of sparrows all year round, plus starlings and an occasional wren, with blue and great tits in the summer, but we're trying to increase the variety.

The fog thickened, mixing with the smoke from a fire further down the street. I hung woven nestboxes in the hedge at the end of the garden, maybe the wrens will like them. The rabbit followed me around like a dog, under my feet, wanting to be involved in whatever I was doing.

Next job was to clean out the rabbits hut, litter trays to wash, food box to refill from the big sack. This was not an easy task, as the rabbit attempted to jump into the bag of pellets as I scooped them out. Old hay, straw, sawdust and droppings go into the compost bin.

From the house comes the sound of my daughter practising the cornet - three weeks and she has passed the standard of the girl next door, who has been playing for a year. The music teacher has revised her estimate of when she will be ready to join the band, from a year down to three months! She soaks up music in the same way she soaks up facts she reads in books.

To the sound of "Twinkle Twinkle" I sweep the patio - more straw for the compost bin. Then the drain to unblock. Every time we put the washing machine on the patio floods. An easier job than I thought it would be - scoop out some mud and grit and problem solved.

So, after that, nothing to do but sit and watch the view; and watch all the birds ignore my new bird table!