Friday, 2 May 2014

Goodbye to the Mill and good luck Jemima Puddleduck!

So it's off again - Stafford first, then Liverpool, then Italy. . .   feeling rather weary.  I spent every hour I could spare out in the garden trying to battle the enthusiastic weeds, already several feet high with the precocious spring.  What with goose-grass, ground elder, nettle and buttercup there was hardly a plant to be seen.  I bribed myself with a glass of wine and a piece of chocolate for every square meter dug and cleared, but even so, I had to leave a big chunk for next time, when the weeds will no doubt look like something from outer space!  But it was hard to abandon the garden with the magnolia looking ethereal and almost impossibly white, and the lilac just beginning to open up.


One of the riverside trees has collapsed face down into the water after the recent storms, but it's still alive and greening up horizontally!


The riverbank has been a mad disco for ducks - the little brown females scuttling around with the Mallard drakes purposefully in full pursuit.  I don't think ducks have much in the way of grey matter - always remember my mother reading Jemima Puddleduck to me when I was small.  She had no sense at all when it came to nests and was almost stuffed and roasted by the fox.  The wild places around our garden are always a favourite hiding place for the more experienced parents. But this year one of the females decided to construct a nest and lay her eggs in the short grass, only inches from where everyone walks their dogs.

Spot the duck!
She tried very hard to be invisible, but today she's gone and her eggs as well.  Hopefully next time, she'll be wiser.  So long as the fox didn't get her too......

1 comment:

  1. Do you ever stand still?

    As to Jemima an unfortunate case of survival of the fittest. Or not?

    Down this way masked plovers build their nests in the most open piece of grass they can find. Then, unlike ducks they rely on naked aggression and dive-bombing to drive predators away. It seems to work quite well except ovals and lawns look desirable to them and their strategy fails against council workers mowing with tractors...
    Still occasionally you will see a small section of a park closed off behind a temporary barrier when a sharp eyed council worker spots a nest.

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