Well, haven’t the birds tucked in well over the past few weeks. I have to say, though, I rather begrudge the number of pigeons who’ve come scoffing at our little Evereste tree. But still, the blackbirds have had their fair share too.
Here’s how the tree looked in early October, aglow in late-day light:
And in no time at all it will look like this:
And like this:
And so the gyre of life, loss and renewal endures; never mind the doom-mongers.
This morning over the garden fence: frosted crab apples and brilliant sunshine. The weather people tell us there will be more frost tonight and tomorrow (temps around –5 C), but slightly milder weather over the weekend.
In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying the frost-art around the garden, and especially the glistening spent flower heads of the Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria). Truly a tree for all seasons.
And then there were the spider installations on the garden shed window:
We also checked on the MacMoos this morning. They seemed in meditative mood, soaking up the sunshine.
Much Wenlock’s Church Green this morning
And finally before lunch there was a quick tramp to the allotment, the wheat field iron-hard, and hard on the feet too, even in boots.
Allotment windfalls – the robins are enjoying them
This morning we woke to thickly frosted panes on the cottage roof lights. But what a change after the dank and gloomy days. The frost came with added sunshine. And blue-sky brilliance. And frosted sparkles. And somehow cold weather doesn’t seem half so shivery when it brings wall-to-wall brightness.
This is the Evereste crab apple tree by the back garden fence. The pigeons and blackbirds have been scoffing the tiny apples. At least half the crop has gone already. It helps that the fruits are much smaller this year so the birds can get their beaks round them. And in between times, the apples that remain make fine beaded garlands, which we can see, looking up through the kitchen’s French windows. It truly is a treasure of a tree.
Back in August and September:
CFFC: Apple Red Colours
Here in Shropshire the fruit tree buds are swelling: soon be apple blossom time.
Bright Square #10
Life in Colour: Pink
It was definitely a case of trial and error. This wood pigeon was far too big and heavy to perch safely in our little crab apple tree AND snaffle the apples. Various approaches were attempted. Finally the down-under manoeuvre did the trick. Success!
Today Becky is using her magic crystal ball to do some conjuring.
Bird Weekly – up tails all
This week Lisa wants to see ‘butts in the air’ bird life.
In recent days there has been a bit of a coup over in the crab apple at the top of the garden. Mama Blackbird has staked her claim to the crop. In fact the other morning I caught her seeing off the male blackbird in a most aggressive manner. No quarter given there then. He went off in a fluster.
Back in early December it was he who was King of the Crab Apples. There had been no frost or snow to soften the fruit, and he was finding the going tough, adopting a fencer’s lunging stroke to slice off shreds of fruity flesh. Once in a while he’d (accidently) end up with a whole mini-apple wedged in his beak, too hard to scrunch in one pincer movement. Next would come a rapid descent to the garden path to sort himself out. Once or twice I thought he was in danger of choking, and wondered what the procedure might be – to unchoke a blackbird. But then he hopped back on the fence and, if birds can cough, he coughed a few times and returned to lunging.
And so now all is clear. There was naturally a very good reason why Mama Blackbird was biding her time, waiting for wintery weather to make easy pickings of the apples .
Apple Sorbet on a stalk. Mine! All mine! says Mama Merle.
Square Up #7
On Saturday night we had high winds and deluge. Rain pounded the roof-lights for hours. The gale buffeted about the cottage. Today we woke to eerie stillness, the sort that only comes with snow.
For the last couple of days this male blackbird has been tucking into our garden crab apples. He has a technique. Using his beak like a dagger, he jabs downwards with great vigour, slicing off morsels. Sometimes, though, he ends up with a mouthful he cannot swallow, which then requires a descent to the garden path where sets about cutting the apple down to size. All part of the morning’s seasonal entertainment at the Farrell establishment.
Lens-Artists: ‘A’ This week Patti asks us for subjects that start with the letter ‘A’.
It does seem perverse to photograph the guerrilla garden’s very colourful crab apples in monochrome. I anyway didn’t much care for the result. Then I started tweaking the exposure and contrast in my editing programme and thought that this was quite an interesting ‘take’ for Cee’s challenge this week of circles and curves. And then I had a look at the photos I’d taken of the dewy grass over in the field – some very gentle curves and glittery droplets, blue or sepia tinted. Pleasing, I thought.
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: circles and curves
This morning with the sun on their faces the crab apples seemed to glow like tiny lanterns. I’ve noticed that as the temperature drops so their colour deepens to a rosy gold. Not that they will last much longer. The blackbirds have been busy foraging. Better enjoy them while we can then.
Time Square #19