When will it stop?
There is a dark shadow over our garden. A creature, looking
as if it has flown in from the set of Jurassic Park, landed on our Shropshire
damson tree. The thin branches were quivering up and down whilst the bird flapping
its huge dark wings, balanced, and stumbled unsteadily.
It was a heron who is very interested in our ornamental pond
where fifteen bright fish have lived minding their own business undisturbed for
years. The fish have become quite tame. They seem to hear our footsteps and come
up to feed on the floating pellets we give them. Our fat hen follows and if she
is lucky she pecks at some fish food.
But this was not a normal time and the next thing we saw was
the heron paddling in the pond making huge stabs with its dagger-like beak. A harmless
goldfish, that had lived with us for ten years, was stabbed. It was not eaten
but it died of its wounds all the same.
At dusk and in the pouring rain Mr T ran out and threw a net
over the pond. In the morning the heron was standing on the net eagerly
piercing anything that innocently swam past. Two more nets were secured over
the top. We do not know how many fish have survived; they will be hidden at the
bottom of the pond until it is safe.
A lot of creatures are interested in our pond. Sometimes a
cat comes for a drink and small birds bathe. Once a moorhen nested there and we
often have ducks swimming about.
One of our outside taps has been leaking where the hose was
attached. Off I went to the internet to get some ‘duck tape’ only to realise
that it is really called duct tape (a bit like the fork handles joke). In any
case I was wrong on two counts because it was not duct tape that we needed; it
was PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene!) tape. Now we need a clip to tighten it and
I learn that it has the apt name of jubilee clip.
Whilst all this has been going on I saw two robins with insects
and grubs in their beaks. They are going towards the dovecote. I think that
this is the pair that nested in a box near our kitchen window, but they
deserted for some reason. They started again and are now feeding young tucked
safely on the ‘ground’ floor of our dovecote.
Then just at the end of the following day we settled down to
watch TV only to see a huge bird on the patio, with long legs and dagger beak, marching
towards the fishpond.