Today as I was sitting out on my bench in the weak winter sun,
I heard a humming and then a loud buzzing. Eventually I saw a big bumble bee.
It is a queen bee that has been hidden from the cold winter in a hole or
crevice. She has come out for a bit of a break and for a quick top up of food. She
went to our crocus flowers which offer timely pollen and nectar.
Earlier in the week I was looking through our sunroom glass
door and saw a little brown movement almost at my feet, but outside of course.
At first, I thought it was a mouse foraging for the crumbs we sometimes drop
when we eat our lunch outside. But no, it was not any kind of mouse. When I saw
a pointed beak, I realised that it was a wren. The old part of our house stands
on a black ‘curtain’ and there is about an inch overhang of the brick edge. The
wren was working along this sheltered edge looking for creatures hiding the
winter out on our south wall. She searched and ate completely unaware that I
was on the other side of the glass and watching her devouring this hard-won
Then there are the spotted woodpeckers. The male with his
red ‘cap’ at the back of his head has been coming to our bird table all winter.
But now he has found a mate he is drumming the trees and telegraph poles, with his
powerful beak, warning other woodpeckers to keep away. They are both hunting
for larvae under the bark or in holes in trunks. Their easiest option though is
still the bird table and they are both now visiting regularly for the bird ‘pudding’
filled with suet.
We too are all wondering about our own food supply. My
on-line order has been delivered without cucumbers, peppers, or broccoli. Luckily
our spinach is almost ready in the poly tunnel and our last year’s surplus
tomatoes are still in our freezer. We also have some remarkable lettuce which
has survived the frosts and is delicious in our cheese sandwiches.
Mt T has gone out this morning to sow some turnip seeds but of course these will not be ready to eat for many months.
(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)