Saturday, May 15, 2021

15th May 2021

Bullfinch eating dandelion clocks

There I was washing up and looking out of the window at the same time and this little bird caught my eye busily demolishing dandelion clocks.  Not a very good photo but such a simple and innocent act it brightened up the day.
Dandelions appear the moment the lawns are mown, you can never keep a good dandelion down, I believe they are grown as proper flowers in America, but their bright yellow faces bring thundercloud faces to many male gardeners in this country.

Rod left some lawn unmown round my small patch of bluebells as well, they grace the verges round here also, when we are all dead and gone, wild flowers, their seeds lurking in the soil over many years, will raise their banner of stubbornness and flower, the raw nature of life.

Even Chernobyl, 33 years now since that terrible event, is thriving...

But today, 33 years after the accident, the Chernobyl exclusion zone, which covers an area now in Ukraine and Belarus, is inhabited by brown bears, bisons, wolves, lynxes, Przewalski horses, and more than 200 bird species, among other animals.

Today I am feeling rather sad, they are coming to collect my old desk, I have had it now for forty years or so, bought in Calne from an antique shop it glowed golden in the evening sun last night but giving it away to another life seems practical.  It will go to a young man who will be working from home, his parents come to collect this morning.  My loom  went to a lady who has a craft summerhouse in the back garden.
It reminds me when in my twenties, newly married and carrying my daughter, I had to get rid of my horse, Sue.  So naively advertised her in the local newspaper as 'free to good home'. Foolish action, as the replies poured in.  So in the end she went to a children's home in the Midlands, to be petted and loved by them.


  1. How strange I drove through Calne yesterday on my way to Devizes - and guess what - it was to collect desk!!!!

    Re Chernobyl - much has been written on how nature has recolonised much of what has been left there; nature will tolerate the slightly increased 'risk' of mortality for the benefits of non human interference. James Lovelock - he of the Gaia hypothesis - wrote well about this too.

    1. Think that is called coincidence, many years ago I lived in Calne. Small town, famed for its bacon, though they were quick to take down the old ugly factory.

    2. Do you remember the beautifully carved, stone pig-heads on the walls of the sausage factory? I was offered them all for free when they demolished the place, but sadly I had nowhere to store them. There were far too many, and each one was an individual.

  2. Your horse was lucky to go to a good home and not passes around the houses. We were so careful rehoming our 3 and they are still in those homes. The farrier was good in recommending two and Maggie went to a friend in Scotland.

    I am sure your desk will be loved and used, and your loom sounds like it's gone to the right place too.

    It's wonderful that Chernobyl has been naturally re-wilded and I am glad it is safe for the wildlife to live there. Photos from early Lockdown showed how quickly, without traffic and hundreds of people, animals will colonise.

    Trees would be the first recolonisers here - sycamores (we have a huge one in the paddock) - I have been picking up last year's opportunist seedlings from between the cobbles in the yard, and of course amongst the stone chippings. Hundreds of them. Then there are "yearlings" on the bank and under the hedgerows and even older ones in the bit of hedge by the gate.

    Lovely Bullfinch. We have them here too, going beneath the feeders to pick up seeds and bits of fat ball.

    Here in our lawn I have wild violets, primroses, lady's smock and tiny rushes. On the Primrose Bank there are lots of Dandelions which the insects are enjoying. I am gradually removing the latter though as lots across the paddock too, which I think is going to be Rosebay Willowherb central this year, along with the bottom "wildlife" paddock. Never mind, I love them and so do the bees. At least we don't have the dreaded Himalayan Balsam . . . I don't think!

    1. Been clearing this morning the sycamore seeds from the what seems to me the vast driveway of stones. Sycamore is so prolific with its young, there would be a tiny forest of them growing here, unfortunately there is no membrane under the stones, so wild plants and perennial plants seed away happily.

      As for the desk, auctions are online now and getting stuff to them costs money, so it seems easier to give things away and let people collect. They were thrilled with it and there were others lining up so no hassle.

  3. That is a cheering photo of the bullfinch Thrlms - they are such lovely birds.
    You are right about dandelions - no sooner is the lawn mown than they are covering it again - and such a pretty flower too.
    I like the story of your desk. Better it go to someone who sounds as though he will treasure it - when we are gone these things will mean nothing to anyone unless our children want them so better it go now than end up in a sale room being bought by some dealer.

  4. I remember when young and my first husband and I had dealer friends. Going to an auction with one of them and I said I would bid on something, and John said, you won't get it, because the dealer's ring will outbid you, closed circles of rogues ;)

  5. I also always admire the little flowers that keep growing in the garden and by the side of the road, they are the ones that no one wants and yet they pop up and come back.

  6. Hi Yael, yes here in England the road side verges are coming into flower, my favourite time of the year is when cow parsley smother the banks and everything is turned white. Most fields are barren of wild life but there is a movement to plant wildflowers in strips in the fields and the roadside verges as well.

  7. I was just imagining the response to your ad for the horse. At that age we all probably would have done the same. Some lessons are easy to learn.


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