Sunday, 30 January 2011

Wassailing

Photos Copyright: Maggie May

I recently wrote about a walk round the allotments.
They are not normally open to the public and usually there are locked gates on all allotments and only genuine tenants get a key.
On that occasion though, there was a function for the public to attend because of the celebration of Wassailing.
Although I am not a bit interested in the Wassailing ceremonies, I do appreciate that there is a communal orchard there and in the autumn the produce is sold off towards the maintenance etc. On this occasion, there was a cake stall. I am all for small communities getting together to support this kind of activity.
There was also some Morris Dancing which my son, Sam, usually takes part in. However he is struggling with back and ankle problems at the moment so he likes to attend these functions but doesn't aways feel up to taking part.
I am, at present, making a green rag jacket for Amber, who has passed the one I made for her last year on to her younger sister, Millie because it is a bit tight. The new one is going to be a much bigger size.

While I was at the allotments, I took a photo of these teasels and the catkins.
There doesn't seem to be much going on in my own garden, but on closer examination, I see snowdrops peeping through.
Some of my shrubs have been severely damaged by the bad winter and only time will tell whether that damage will be permanent. I feel it is never a good idea to chop things up without giving them a chance to recover.
I keep having to remind myself that there are at least two months left that we could have more snow and severe frost. Heres hoping that Spring weather is really on the way.
This weekend was The RSPB Great Garden Birdwatch.
Although I watched for the required hour, only three house sparrows and a wood pigeon came to my garden. At one time my garden was teeming with birds.
Have other people noticed a decline in garden birds?






25 comments:

mrsnesbitt said...

I too took part in the birdwatch - what a great afternoon! I'll be posting some results later!

Celia said...

Lovely photo, I have teasels and dried cattails in a vase in my bedroom. I'm about 4700+miles 7723km)from you but yes, the bird population has declined quite a bit here.

KLo said...

I very much enjoy the birds that come visit my birdfeeders. It's been a difficult winter here in the northeastern United States, so we make sure to keep the feeders nice and full.

It's funny, this post reminded me that you and I live so very far apart. It's amazing how well you can relate to people through a computer, then realize ... wow. : )

rosaria said...

Beautiful photos! I want to know the answer to the bird question too.

Working Mum said...

We do the RSPC Birdwatch and we have loads of birds in our garden. In fact. our biggest problem is how to stop the cheeky pigeons scaring off the millions of goldfinches!

Nora said...

There was a great birdwatch here too. I can't identify too many birds, so I didn't participate and I don't have a good view of my little square of nature anyway. I would like to get a identification book on birds, because I always feel so very ignorant. I also want to get one on wildflowers.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for your garden. Like you said, we have two months of winter left, anything can happen. I just hope it doesn't.

XOX

Eddie Bluelights said...

I agree that the bird population has declined remarkably over the last say 10 years. The sparrows are very few now due to the devastating desease that almost wiped them out. Starlings sometimes come in small flocks into the garden. Blue Tits and Great Tits are just as plentiful I think, and so are Blackbirds. But the bird which is multiplying VERY rapidly is the Magpie. They are everywhere and they rob other bird's nests of their eggs. So the Magpie could be one factor of the diminishing bird population. Gope Sam's back and ankles recover soon. I am taking a short bloggy break ~ Luv Eddie x

Dimple said...

I was just commenting today that although we have had many chickadees at our feeders, I haven't seen a nuthatch or a jay for a long time...

Snow drops, you have snowdrops?! mine are still snow covered!

Wendy said...

Wassailing? My goodness, wasn't there a song about that? I forget what it means, will have to look it up!

Like your pics. Sorry you don't have many birds. We do in some yards, but as you know, not in mine this year.

Wish spring would hurry up!

Hilary said...

I've not had a bird feeder out this year because my one and only tree succumbed to a fungus over the past couple of years and had to be cut down. I am seeing lots of birds around the parks and other folks' feeders though. Sounds like a decent way to spend your day.

Teacher's Pet said...

I enjoyed the visit to the allotments. I'm glad you included the link in this blog. Your photo of the teasels is a great one. I haven't seen these before, and they are quite interesting.
I feed our birds here. We have a variety of them....and some of them will leave here and return north when it warms up in that area. I enjoy feeding the doves...and they seem to say thank you each morning and evening.
Hugs and love to you, Maggie.
Jackie

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's something we don't see round here, allotments, but where I come from near Wigan, there are lots of them because it's such a built up area.

My husband is very interested in birds and is particularly fond of our garden birds including the 2 woodpeckers that visit several times a day.

CJ xx

Akelamalu said...

There are two different lots of allotments near to where we live and they frequently sell off excess produce.

Spring is definitely on the way - all my Spring bulbs are showing. :)

Suldog said...

Good for you, Maggie. Always give things a chance to bloom again. Without second chances, where would any of us be?

cheshire wife said...

I have noticed that our Spring bulbs are coming up and we even have some snowdrops opening.

The number of birds in our garden varies depending on whether or not there is a cat a on the prowl.

Lakeland Jo said...

I feed the birds in the garden most days- there seems to plenty of them. They gobble quickly. I love watching them buzz about

ladyfi said...

Wonderful photos of the promise of spring. Over here in Sweden the garden birds are numerous!

Clare Dunn said...

Beautiful. Love your work!

xoxoxo, cd

Busy Bee Suz said...

Such beautiful photos.
Here's hoping that spring visits you sooner than later!
xo
Suz

Happy Frog and I said...

There are allotments opposite my house and I am on the waiting list but quite far down unfortunately. Great photos. I think I must have stolen all your birds as my garden is absolutely teaming - sorry! x

Sam said...

I have heard several people talk about the decline in sparrows and I can tell you why - they are all in my garden! I guess they like the food I give them.
I saw a heron a few months back standing straight up on the apex of a roof - after goldfish probably. I tried to take a photo but of course it had gone by the time I got my camera out!

The Mighty Sam

secret agent woman said...

Wat kind of tree is that? My Harry Lauder's walking stick is loaded with catkins, but this has much straighter branches.

I think I have even more birds than usual - maybe because I put out so much food for them.

SandyCarlson said...

What a great place. Thanks for taking us round!

Suburbia said...

They (the birds) know we're watching!!!

I used to do that survey when we lived where birds bothered to go (unlike here!) and found it most frustrating that, although the garden attracted all sorts, on 'bird watch day' nothing seemed to land at all!

Your catkins are lovely, such a promise of spring...

RNSANE said...

I rarely see any birds in my yard. Of course, I am close to the ocean so, when I'm driving around, I do spot gulls and, occasionally, I see hawks flying about.