Thursday, 29 May 2008


Those early arrivals were obviously just passing through and since then, with the unsettled weather, I haven't seen one more swift. I did, however, see a beautiful goldfinch on a hedge near Hillingdon tube station yesterday. I was just focusing my camera phone when someone walked past and scared it off. Its brilliant gold wings and scarlet head were a joy to behold.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Slug wars

My copper tape has arrived at last, but not before the loss of two tomato plants, three
fuschia seedlings and two pots of violas. Mind you, the loss of some of the violas was probably
my fault, in that I was a bit heavy handed with the salt. Apparently, slugs don't like copper as it reacts with their slime and gives them electric shocks. That will put slug psychiatrists out of business!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Fox cub

A bedraggled-looking vixen has been scurrying from the cover of the bushes to grab anything we throw out onto the lawn. On Monday night I noticed her teats were swollen and she was obviously feeding a family. Shortly after this observation, a tiny cub tottered out from the bushes and stood in the middle of the garden, gazing curiously at us through the patio doors. It was too dark to take a photo, which makes me think about acquiring an infra red camera to capture nocturnal visitors. Maybe the odd burglar, too!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Swift arrival

The swifts are back! For the last few days, I have kept looking up into the sky and listening out for that familiar, eardrum-piercing tzee-tzee-tzee, but nothing. Then this afternoon, to my great joy, I saw the first three or four. Sibillant swifts, scissoring the sky with their swoops and darts, zizzing like aerial crickets. They are the true first sign of summer.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Peacock and Small Blue butterflies

I was thrilled to see one peacock butterfly warming its wings on the deck, and another rather battered specimen on the appleblossom at the bottom of the garden (the wilderness behind the workshop). Then, correct me if I am wrong, but I think the blue butterfly that landed on the grass is a Small Blue.