Funny things happening


“Can you give me an idea of the results?”
That was my friend in Yorkshire talking to the radiographer. She was lucky enough to get an appointment at the specialist clinic.

“I don’t get paid enough to give a diagnosis,” he replied.

She said that this clinician looked sad and serious, and she should know as she was a nurse herself in her younger days. She thought she would cheer him up.

“I’ll give you a tenner if you tell me!” She smiled, she knew this was not possible, she was trying to lighten the moment. And it worked, they both laughed as she went on for the next test.

The birds here take searching for food very seriously and will do anything to get it. Ants are a favourite this month. The males and queens seem to be hatching out at a rapid rate and they are easy to tell because they are bigger and have wings. They are in the greenhouse and on the warm path in front of the house – so that is where the birds are. Garden ants are at an important stage in their life cycle this month. Males and female with wings hatch out and I can see them everywhere coming from brickwork on the front south wall and coming out from the warm flagstones in the greenhouse.

The blackbirds and robins are on the front filling their beaks; sparrows and finches are in the greenhouse. But the greenhouse is dangerous. You see we close the door to keep the stray rabbit out (yes, we still have one) and the birds get in through the heat sensitive automatic window flaps. All is well until the sun goes in and it gets cool, then the flaps close and the birds cannot get out. We had this before when the rare spotted flycatcher (or in this case ant catcher) got trapped. There is not a lot we can do except keep an eye on them and occasionally open the door.

There is not a lot we can do about the fruit cage either. Our cherries are ripening and the raspberries are ready. The birds love them and at the first chance will eat the lot. We keep the fruit cage door closed but even so they sometimes squeeze in and head towards their feast.

My neighbour came the other day. She was lucky enough, like my friend, to get a doctor’s appointment. She wanted me to take a photograph of the back of her injured leg, ready to upload to her doctor for the phone appointment. Now that would have been strange and very funny to us a few years ago.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star)

The birds get in the greenhouse to eat the ants when the automatic flap opens in the sunlight


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