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29 March 2020
Well certainly I have more time looking at the garden now

as work is confined to my home office and the old adage with nature; “sit quietly and they will come” applies.
There is comfort in these times with nature and the seasons continuing as they always do. Each day Spring nudges a little forward with every blade of grass, flower and bursting bud. I heard the first chiffchaff today and it will soon be followed by many brethren of different colours and songs.

From my window I can see a mistle thrush on her nest in the big larch. If I use the binoculars I can be really intrusive without causing any harm. This is important as birds are just settling down and any disturbance may cause them to desert or allow predators in so please keep your distance. Interestingly she has chosen exactly the same spot as a pair 4 years ago. I can’t believe they are the same birds, but it must be the perfect place, a mass of lichen covered larch twigs which will form a green canopy as the needles come out in April.
Mistle thrushes like a fairly exposed position while they are sitting, being very territorial, but need  cover once the eggs have hatched.

Long tailed tits have also chosen the same spot as last year deep in a tangled blackthorn, shielded by the emerging flowers. Other early nesters are song thrushes and, unfortunately, I do not think this nest will survive being very exposed, hence the photo as I stumbled across it by accident.


Gardening for your soul 

There is comfort in growing one’s own food and I am sure there will be some very well looked after and productive gardens this year.  It is humbling to have a garden for exercise, fresh air, wellbeing and a bit of space for the family. Planning is in short supply currently and sowing seeds and preparing the vegetable garden keeps that inner hope of better times to come burning.
The tomatoes, chillies and sweetcorn are now poking their heads out of the seed trays in the greenhouse, while outside the potatoes broad beans are sown and awaiting the warmth. It feels good to know, its now up to nature.


 
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