No shortages for wildlife here!


‘This item is currently unavailable.’ I am getting used to this message on-line and my supermarket delivery looked sparse this week. Items that I had I ordered were swiped off at checkout. And, looking down my list of favourites, I can now see about a third of my usual items are not available. They suggest an alternative, but even when it is sensible like tinned peaches instead of fresh ones, it is not what I want. What is going on? Is it Brexit or COVID or something else?

The squirrels here have no such shortages and are helping themselves to the abundance of nuts. We have become accustomed to them eating our hazel nuts but this week they have started on my walnuts. I would not mind as much if they were eating them, but they are not. They are burying them in the short lawn grass. All day long they are going backwards and forwards up my tree, pinching a walnut then, carrying it carefully, they cross the flower border to a chosen spot on the lawn and then bury it. So again, I will go short this year. Perhaps, though, I will have the consolation of a walnut tree forest if the squirrels forget where they buried them.

Another consolation is that I have found second plum tree that I had forgotten about. How can you forget about a tree? Not that the orchard is very big, but this tree is tucked away in the corner and is not very big itself. So, after thinking that I had used all the plums, by preserving them in port, the only way forward was to make plum jam or throw precious plums away. We made six pots of jam. I even got the setting point correct this time. It hardly seems believable that we are getting ready for autumn, but according to the weather forecasters the mellow season began on the first day of September.

Thinking of the next few months I have ordered some logs. They cost half as much again as last time (Brexit or COVID or something else?). The man who delivered did not have to do any lifting or carrying, instead he had a large remote control strapped on his chest. He only had to press the buttons for the grab to obey his commands and the whole bag was lifted off the truck and over our hedge onto the lawn. It was left to Mr T to use an old-fashioned wheelbarrow and cart them all away, trailing backwards and forwards. The robin followed him to pick woodlice off the logs, there is plenty of food for the birds here.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

There is plenty of free food for the wild creatures here.



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