Miscellany and detritus, from the writer of Is This Mutton?com

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Happy Event for the Pigeons?

I am hoping that our lovely wood pigeons are expecting, or have had, a happy event.

Just to recap on "the pidgies," this plumptious pair have been living in the trees beyond our garden for the last few years. I first spotted them about three years ago when we got rid of the Leylandii trees. We had unwittingly destroyed their home. They spent that winter roosting miserably on the fence. 

Over the last year I've become very fond of The Pidgies and feed them every day. I have to be careful that no cats are around and John is very insistent that I only give them seeds on the patio and not the artificial grass.  I love the way they run across the garden as fast as their little legs will carry them when they see me with the seeds.

Pigeons mate for life, like swans.  They seem very fond of each other.  Before my suspicions of the happy event, they would arrive on the fence every evening and groom and kiss each other.

I can tell them apart because the female has a limp.  I call her "Limp Pigeon."

About three weeks ago I realised that they weren't flying together. They would visit the garden on their own, for a brief period of time.  And I had seen them both with twigs in their beaks.

My imagination has had them building their ramshackle nest and they're now incubating one or two eggs.
Grooming the plumage n

The incubation period is 17 days and the youngsters fledge between 29 and 35 days.

A couple of years ago the pidgies were visiting with a scruffy looking youngster.  I'm hoping to get some photos this time round.

I'm surprised that programmes like Springwatch never feature wood pigeons. I know they're perceived as pest by farmers, but they have an interesting story and endearing ways.

Here are some photos of the plumptious pair.

Kiss Kiss


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Parcels rainin' down

There will be a few deliveries today. My heart sinks. I work mainly from home, so we both make full use of t'internet to order anything we may  or may not need.

First I have to make sure I am showered and dressed by 8am. There's nothing worse than the door bell ringing when you're not decent.

I try to avoid sorties into the garden lest I don't hear their feeble knocking on the door. 

There is a bell, but it seems too much trouble to press it.

I pointed out the bell to a regular delivery man, who said belligerently "it doesn't work."  I gently pressed it; the bell screeched, and he just shrugged.

I suspect they are paid by how many deliveries they attempt, not how many are actually made.  Many's the time I have rushed downstairs from the office to answer the door to find the delivery man already backing off down the drive without having waited.

The no-shows, when you have specifically requested delivery on a particular day, are particularly galling. You stay in all day, even though you're champing at the bit to get to the post office or buy some bread for lunch. With the risk of an evening delivery you now have to stay in all evening too. And then they don't show up!

Sometimes the attempts to deliver are just as bad. One regular driver had the habit of throwing our parcels over the back fence, until I found a sodden package containing a dress that was now ruined because we had been away for a few days.

Last week a skirt was somehow squashed and forced through the letter box. The skirt was fine, but had I wanted to return it, the returns note would have needed ironing.

For the purposes of today's expected deliveries I may put a large sign on the door pointing to the bell and asking them to press it - hard.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Plum glut

I am overjoyed. The two year old plum tree has delivered! I have a huge glut of plums. I collected two bowlfuls last week and stewed some;  I have been eating them with Greek yoghurt and a little honey. Very tasty! They are also fine eaten as dessert plums, although J is a little suspicious.

The cherry tree will never deliver cherries unless I get another tree but it looks pretty enough with its blossom in the spring.

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