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The Birds and the Bees


The garden is full of young birds shouting to be fed by their parents. The Blackbird only appears to have one to feed, but it can be heard all day long yelling orders for more food. This photo was taken in the old apple tree near the goose shed. It is fuzzy as quite a way away and as you will see the young was flapping it’s wings to attract attention. Interestingly the most in focus part of the picture is the bit where the adult looks as if it has a Rowan berry in it’s beak to feed the young with!

This picture has the young waiting – patiently or not.

Other young in need of feeding include a Rook on the front grass. These two, adult and young I think, are gleaning under the bird feeders. Looking a bit disgruntled with the Collared dove!

When I photographed the Blackbirds I was actually off to the field to take some photos of the bees that were on the Hollyhocks. The photo of these growing in the edge of the field is nowhere near as colourful as it looks in real life, but you get the idea. These were self-seeded from the stems of Hollyhocks in the front garden that were cut off and then thrown, literally, along the edge of the field, hoping they might grow. Strangely there are a much better range of colour than there are in the front garden!

Other plants banished to the field include the Day Lilies which were here when we came and took up a whole bed under the window. They harboured snails and I was not enamoured of them, but they look good up here! A large Phygelius which also grows like a weed in our clay soil, is slowly trying to take over the field. Two or three of these up here, so it might stand a chance of doing so!

A couple of general views of the field, mainly to show the skies and clouds.

The Teasels which are self-sown and were a large clump succumbed to the wind a bit and I will have to do some propping up, though the bees don’t mind if they are all askew.

The main reason for the day on the field was to pull up some at least of the thistles before they seeded again! Of course almost every head was occupied with flies, bees, butterflies or beetles! Makes you really guilty when you do have to take some out.

Bees and butterflies on Hollyhocks and Buddleia on the field.

Our menagerie has shrunk to just the two girls, Lily and Gracie the Geese, the three Peacocks and just the two remaining chickens. The Fox had the majority of the chickens though some died of old age. These are the last two, both now named by OH. This photo reminds me of the ones that used to be in vogue as wedding photos. The couple stand in the Church porch with the view looking outwards to the sunshine. Fanciful I know! The real bride and groom stand closer together!

This is Christopher Cockerel, he is breed unknown but a really beautiful combination of colours. There was a real Sir Christopher Cockerell, hence the name, he was the inventor of the Hovercraft (OH knows these things!).

And here he is with Myrtle, named by OH for Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films as the hen is very talkative and bleats on all day!

Myrtle is a friendly soul and has her beak into everything, Christopher is a nervous wreck, he always has been, perhaps from being the bottom of the pecking order when there were lots more cockerels. He can’t seem to understand that he is now top-dog as there are no more. He runs away at the slightest provocation, here I merely bopped down (another dialect word but you get the idea) to take a photo and he was off. No sticking around to protect his female!

This year the trees are laden with fruit, whether they are the Rowan as here, the Hawthorn or the Apple and Plum trees. The Plums will need some propping up, the weight of the fruit has bowed the branches as they are only young trees. One of the Rowan trees already has a broken branch from the wind and the weight of the fruit, or perhaps it was just a pigeon landing on it and being the last straw!

This variegated Maple grows a few plain green branches which need to be cut out. One shown on the right hand side was due for a cut, but tucked in the crook of the trunk and plain green branch is the tiniest, neatest nest, so it will have to stay for now. Whether this is occupied or not I don’t know as it is too high for me without a ladder.

As usual I have rambled on from the intention of showing a few photos of bees and flowers, so thank you for reading this far!

Can’t really finish without a photo of the two girls Gracie and Lily!

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a lovely blog HSG. have you notices some of the bees are solitary bees and carry pollen on their hairy bodies rather than in pollen baskets? apparently that helps in identifying them.

I always love your blogs and seeing the 'menagerie'. We too have baby birds and the sparrow hawk also has young to feed. She hunts most days through the garden.

7 Jul, 2020


I would love to be able to identify all the bees and the moths that I disturb when I am weeding Seaburn. The bee on the Teasel is certainly well covered in pollen.
We too have the Sparrowhawk as a regular visitor and would love to know where she is nesting. OH cut the grass yesterday and said that some unlucky Blackbird had obviously fallen foul of milady! Another scattering of pigeon feathers up on the field is probably her too.

7 Jul, 2020


It's a joy to see your hedges full of flowers!(and insects...) I can always notice when I really really like a pic because I find I'm smiling, and the hollyhocks did it for me!The lemon one is especially nice. Christopher Cockerel is a very fine fellow indeed - no need to tell us he's a bit of a cowardy custard, his good looks make up for it. Its good to hear your fruit trees have done so well. I am setting up in competition - my newly planted Russet apple had an apple on it, but it fell off in the June Drop. I did try biting it but my teeth curled up...

7 Jul, 2020


Plenty of activity going on in your garden, great to see it all, do your birds eat the fallen apples and if so do they end up a bit wobbly because of the fermentation in the fruit

7 Jul, 2020


I really enjoyed your blog, HSG, your photos remind me so much of countryside rambles in my native Cambridgeshire which we visit rarely now there are no parents around. Those endless skies!
I have memories of visiting great aunts who had very small smallholdings with menageries like yours so I have been happy to meet your boys and girls too.
The insects are fascinating. Watching them is a good way to forget what you went out to do!!
We are off to Norfolk soon for hols. Can't wait.

7 Jul, 2020


Honey your blogs make me smile, always interesting, make me want to come and meet your boys and girls, I already feel as though I know them, I do like their names especially Moaning Myrtle, big Harry Potter fan here, I swear I can hear her squawking, Christopher is a very handsome chap even if he is a big softie, lol....
Lovely blog and photographs but where were the peacocks whilst this photoshoot was going on.....

7 Jul, 2020


Thanks Stera, the Hollyhocks do look a picture and are obviously better grown like these, close together. I have trouble with them in the front garden, being so top heavy the wind tends to knock them over. These ones are holding each other up it seems. Somewhere buried in there is a Blackcurrant bush which has fruited really heavily. It was a self-sown (bird present I expect) plant from the front garden. I had no idea if it was a flowering currant, black or red currant! I have two growing up the field, food for the birds I thought, but the man who brings me his wood-chip has picked one bush full and made Blackcurrant cheese, so he is happy! He has most of the apples as well for his children, the cookers mostly go to my Son for the hotel he works for as Chef as we don't really eat many.

8 Jul, 2020


Our birds don't eat the apples Davey, but the Blackbirds and others will eat them later in the year, when I remember to put some into store for them. As they rot on the ground the butterflies will be on them, and wasps of course.

8 Jul, 2020


We are so close to the Norfolk/Cambs. border Anget that it's just a skip from one side to the other! We originally came from further across Norfolk - Cromer, North Walsham, Wroxham way, so the Fens are much more open than I was was brought up with. I don't know which bit of Norfolk you are heading for, but enjoy yourself anyway and if you are anywhere near either of these two, spare some time to have a look.
and Didlington Nursery, Field Lodge, Didlington, Thetford IP26 5AT
Both are well worth a look, proper nurseries rather than garden centres - no shop, one has a cafe - but proper plants!

8 Jul, 2020


You are right Lincslass about me missing out the Peacock boys who are in full voice at the moment. With the lifting of the lockdown there is a start of building works again, so lorries and more traffic as well as the tractors of course, all of which make noise and start all three of them off! As the land is subject to so much movement here new properties have to have pile-driven foundations and the thud-thud of them being sunk has driven them frantic.
One of the menagerie who always seems to miss even being mentioned is the poor rabbit! He is a little Polish dwarf rabbit that was left behind when my Son's ex moved on. He was a dark dove grey, but just recently has turned true rabbit colour in places, perhaps old age. He must be about seven or eight now and I do feel sorry for him, no company and he doesn't act like a rabbit. He doesn't like grass or any wild food, won't run away if you put him down while you find his outdoor run and is extremely fussy on what dried food he will eat! Of course OH gives him cake, along with everyone else, and he eats that quite happily. I must include him next time I put some pictures on.

8 Jul, 2020


What a wonderful blog, as usual. So full of allsorts of interesting stuff, I always read it more than once to be sure I don't miss anything. Thank you, I love it all, no favourite bits, just completely great!

8 Jul, 2020


Thank you for the suggestions. I shall try and take a look.

8 Jul, 2020


Thanks Sunnydais and Homebird for reading and commenting on the blog, it's always good to know that people enjoy my rambling on!
Have a wonderful holiday Anget, it's been raining here for a few days now so we have probably had our quota for a while and your holiday will be dry!
Update on the rabbit, information I gave was wrong, he's not a Polish, he's a Netherland dwarf and apparently they live for 7-10 years, so he might be about for a while yet.

9 Jul, 2020


It was nice to hear about the little lonely rabbit- maybe wild rabbits visit him when nobody's about! There can't be many rabbits who get homemade cake...

9 Jul, 2020


Oh bless him , he sounds spoilt to me Honey, I don't remember hearing about him before, I also read your blogs a lot, when you mention any of them I scroll back up for another look at the photo's..

9 Jul, 2020


Loved reading your blog, seeing all the wildlife and hearing about your menagerie. Very entertaining and uplifting. Made me smile a lot.

9 Jul, 2020


Always enjoy your blogs, Honeysucklegold. looking forward to more about Myrtle and Christopher... does the little rabbit have a name?. perhaps he's a Fiver, (Watership Down). makes me smile to think of cakefed stock! Any bees who frequent your hollyhocks will be well dusted... It's a joy just to stand and listen to them busssing and bummmbling. I really enjoy your quiet, casual reportage.

9 Jul, 2020


Perhaps they do visit Stera. OH did mention that he walked down towards the chicken run to put everyone to bed one evening and saw a rabbit sitting in the middle of the path. As we are not too bothered about whether the doors to his run are latched, he thought that ours was out. But no, it was a young one, hence the size, that sat it's ground and just looked at him! OH calls him Snuffy or Snuffkins, I call him Bunny (original) or Bunnykins (also original), so the poor thing is probably confused!

10 Jul, 2020


I don't think I have ever mentioned him before Lincslass, you see he gets overlooked! He was one of two that were left behind 'temporarily', one died and we were left with this one which we thought might be claimed again - but no, he doesn't even get mentioned when they call. He did get moved up into the barn from the lean-to so that he would see more of what was going on, and get more tame. At least he gets spoken to more now, rather than just when he was fed! He gets put out in a run when the weather permits, but quite honestly he doesn't need a run as he never tries to run off. Two days ago OH went out to let everyone out of their sleeping sheds and found that Bunny's hut door was open. He appeared from under my car, so I think the door wasn't latched properly, he leant on it and fell out,confused in the barn and headed off towards his outdoor run - but who knows?
The word leant came up as not spelt right on here, so I suppose it's another dialect word!! To me it means the past tense of 'to lean' against something.

10 Jul, 2020


Thanks Numbersfarn for ploughing through to the end of my blogs, they tend to grow. I sit down with the intention of writing a short blog with a few pictures, then think I will just add this picture and that one, then another! As long as you find them entertaining I don't mind, when someone tells me I rabbit on too much, then I shall have to cut them back.

10 Jul, 2020


Thanks Lori, you always read and comment on my blogs, so thank you for that. Little rabbit should have a posh name, not what OH and I call him (see above) one of the Watership Down names would have been perfect - might confuse him even more now if I add yet another one!
I was really impressed by the Hollyhocks myself as I had just barrowed the long stems up the field and in mad, elderly woman fashion - just threw in abandon along the hedge-line! That conjures up a picture of witch-like person in long skirt madly communing with nature - not far off actually, I have been known to lie up on the field and watch the clouds. Usually it's more from sheer exhaustion of pushing a loaded mower-trailer up to the bonfire and running out of breath, rather than the communing bit. Going back to long skirts, which I do wear occasionally, I find that they are fine on paths etc., but gather sweetheart/cleavers seeds (Galium aparine) and leaves as well as grass heads and general muck! You spend so much time getting them all off, how on earth did women manage in the past? I will try to remember to include Christopher and Myrtle in the blogs, now that they are the remaining two!

10 Jul, 2020

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