Monday, April 30, 2007

and finally….

Well what a blogging evening it has been. And The Eagles are going to have the final word. This song just began to play on my P.C. as I was replying to a comment my sister left for me. This song is not significant because of the words or the melody, but links me to a time.

The Eagles, Victim of Love reminds me of staying with my sister when she was at university, and particularly her final year. I have not heard the song for a while and it made me smile remembering wonderful times and hearing a top song!

Anyway, here are the lyrics, I cannot find a link to a media file of the song but try and get a copy if you can.

The Eagles
, Victim of Love

What kind of love have you got?
You should be home, but you're not
A room full of noise and dangerous boys
still makes you thirsty and hot

I heard about you and that man
There's just one thing I don't understand
You say he's a liar and he put out your fire
How come you still got his gun in your hand?

Victim of love , I see a broken heart
You got your stories to tell
Victim of love, it's such an easy part
and you know how to play it so well

Some people never come clean
I think you know what I mean
You're walkin' the wire, pain and desire
Looking for love in between

Tell me your secrets, I'll tell you mine
This ain't no time to be cool
And tell all your girlfriends, you "been around the world" friends
that talk is for losers and fools

Victim of love, I see a broken heart
I could be wrong, but I'm not
Victim of love, we're not so far apart
Show me, what kind of love have you got?

Victim of love, you're just a victim of love
I could be wrong , but I'm not
Victim of love, now you're a victim of love
What kind of love have you got?
What kind of love have you got?
What kind of love have you got?

Weekly Six – 23rd – 29th April 2007

Greetings and welcome to this weeks offerings! Before we start I thought I should provide a third and final note about our bird situation: our injured Starling appears to have made a full recovery. We last saw him greatly improved and feeding well however I believe that he has now lost all signs of the original injury and is therefore is indistinguishable from the other starlings in our garden!

All of our resident starlings appear to be doing well though and there are the noisy sounds of starling chicks emanating from our neighbour but ones eaves, as is usual for this time of year, and it won’t be long before 'family starling' grace our garden with their young every morning for a feed and bath.

This weeks’ weekly six in inspired by Bats. I attended a course on Friday which qualifies me to undertake stage 1 surveys of trees for bats. That basically means I can inspect a tree from the ground, for any signs or symptoms of bats or bat roosts, and determine the potential for bats/ bat roosts as one of three categories: High, Unknown, None. Trees identified as high or unknown categories require further investigation by a licensed inspector.

It was a fascinating course which will greatly assist me in my job and I thought I would share a few of the facts I leant via the weekly six.

If you would like to find out more please follow
this link to the Bat Conservation Trusts’ website.

Fact 1:

There are 16 species of bat native to the United Kingdom and they all rely on trees for either roost sites or food sources.

Fact 2:

The most common bat species in the UK are the Pipistrelle spp. You can fit 100 Pipistrelle bats into a 1 pint milk bottle (calculated via mathematical formula not empirical research!)

Fact 3:

Contrary to common belief bats are not blind; they actually have very good eyesight

Fact 4:

All bats and bat roosts are protected by law. Disturbance of a bat or bat roost carries a fine of £5000 per bat and could incur a 6 month prison sentence.

Fact 5:

Bats in the UK can live for up to 40 years, and make up 30% of Britain’s mammal population.

Fact 6:

Bats are protected due to their serious decline in recent years, attributed predominantly to a loss of their habitat.

Please take the time to visit the
BCT Website. There are also county bat groups throughout the country. I am planning to join my local group and hopefully get involved in some bat surveys. I think it will be another great way to get out and about and enjoy our beautiful countryside.

Precipice Walk

Thursday, April 26, 2007

An Orbital View

From this my orbital view
The earth revealed in portion
With visionary skew
Indulged in pious notion

I conceive an earth restored
Cleansed of all offending
Our living globe, our gaian
Unique in its creation

Now volatile, now tranquil
Achieving equilibrium
Now exquisite now intricate
Witness Orb in majesty

A matriarch, merciless
Yet infinite in nurture
From this my orbital view
I strain to shape our future

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This is an infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope showing the Rosette Nebula. The nebula is a star forming region over 5,000 light years away in the constellation Monoceros.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ.of Ariz.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Weekly Six – 16th – 22nd April 2007

Greetings and welcome to this weeks pickings! Before I start I would like to provide an update on our resident Starling. I mentioned in last weeks ‘weekly six’ that we had an injured Starling sheltering in our garden, and we had taken steps to ensure he could access food and water.

A couple of days later he ventured into next doors garden and we did not see him for a short while however, I am very happy to report that he is alive, well and making progress, and currently residing in our neighbours fabulous thorn hedge, apparently a guest of the sparrows!

In addition the loose feather has come out and he seems to be growing another one and improving in his flight ability daily. So, on that happy note here are this weeks items.

Item 1: Flower of The Week – Wild Wood Anemone, Anemone nemorosa

Anyone who has been out and about in woodland over the past couple of weeks may have noticed this plant growing amongst the bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), the wild wood anemone, Anemone nemorosa.

Apart from being a delicate and beautiful plant wood anemone is, along with bluebells, an indicator species, that is in this instance an indicator of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland (ASNW).

Ancient woods are defined as sites where it is believed that there has been continuous woodland cover since at least 1600 AD. Before 1600 planting was uncommon, therefore woodland present in 1600 AD is likely to have developed naturally, conceivably over several millennia. Important features of ancient woodland often survive in many of these woods, including characteristic flora and fauna, and archaeology.

If you are interested in visiting ancient trees and woodland within your area please follow this link however, this is generally a great time to be out and about in any of the British countryside so pack yourself a picnic and go and explore! Image Credit: Fotosearch

Item 2: Charity of the WeekThe Sensory Trust

For those of you unfamiliar with the Sensory Trust they are a charity that promote and implement an inclusive approach to design and management of all outdoor space with the intent of providing environments accessible by all regardless of age or disability.

I have some involvement with the charity and it really is amazing once you start to explore the possible additions, amendments and interpretations you can make to an outdoor or even indoor venue, just how much can be done to make it enjoyable and accessible to everyone, perceived in a multitude of ways.

They are a wonderful charity and have an active group of volunteers. If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved follow this link or email them at

Item 3: Search Engine of the WeekEvery Click

Every Click is a search engine that allows you to raise money for any registered charity of your choice via internet searches. You simply select the charity you wish to contribute to and set the page as your home page and then every search carried out accrues units transferred into money for your charity. You can even view the level of funds created via this search engine for each charity.

Now on an honest note I have found this search engine to be a little limited at present however even if you only use it to locate Google every time you go onto the internet you are still helping! Why not have a look and see if there is a charity you would like to assist in this simple way!

Item 4: Bird Accessory of the Week

As a nation of bird lovers I know there are many of us who take steps to provide additional food for the bird population throughout the year however not everyone provides water. It is essential that birds can access fresh water throughout the year, not only for drinking but for bathing.

We have a small bird bath in our garden which has become a regular watering hole for a multitude of birds however it has also become a favourite spot for a quick dip and if you have never experienced it, watching a bird take a bath is a delightful sight not to be missed.
There are occasional group bathing sessions, usually involving several starlings and a sparrow, needless to say the sparrow is not required to contribute by flapping wings as the starlings provide a wonderful effort free shower for him!

If you do not have a bird bath, or do not have room for one, a simple tray/ dish/ plant pot base/ of water will be happily received although is you do use a dish of this nature I would recommend the addition of a few stones in the bottom to provide a mode of exit for any smaller passing creatures that may fall in and be unable to climb their way out.

Finally, the addition of any water to your garden will ensure a multitude of wildlife however it is important to provide fresh water as regularly as you can, particularly if it is utilised as drinking water by the birds. Stagnant water can breed disease and if the birds are bathing and drinking from it, they will also use it as a toilet! Thankfully we have evolved to differentiate!

Item 5: Website of the WeekMuseum Finder

I recently visited one of Britain’s many free museums as part of a day out and about arranged by my lovely man for my birthday. There are so many free museums and galleries in the UK and this website can help you find many of them.

A museum visit can be fitted in to a day out anywhere. You can spend as little or as much time as you want exploring exhibits and I am sure that there will be at least one item on display that will touch you in some way.

We visited our museum for just a couple of hours however I have many lasting memories of standing before paintings, Egyptian chambers, shrunken heads, antique instruments…..the list is endless, an the memory will endure as a fabulous portion of a fabulous day which culminated in a Jethro Tull concert. Does life get much better! Ok you do not have to agree with that last bit but have a look at the website and see what there is near you!

Item 6: Bird of the Week - The Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus (and other relatives)

Pigeons inspire a variety of feelings so let us just say if you are not a fan it’s probably best that you don’t read the rest of this item.

I have nominated the Wood Pigeon as my bird of the week however all pigeons are welcome at our bird feeding and watering establishment, and would therefore be included within this tribute, however we are currently only visited by wood pigeons.

All male pigeons are called Walter, their partners ‘Walt’s missus’. We have a pair of wood pigeons that visit regularly but Walt is a daily visitor and has recently begun to brave the bird bath and bird table.

This may sound odd however when you consider how big wood pigeons are along with the comparatively claustrophobic environment that our back garden provides, him visiting at all is pretty amazing! They can achieve 42cm in height with a wing span of 80cm.

Never the less he has fine tuned his abilities and in time has mastered descent and landing in confined spaces. This beautiful and enormous bird eats peanuts whole!

I therefore pay tribute to this native bird, which almost defies gravity, and am grateful for his continued presence adding to the variety of wildlife I am privileged to see from my own home.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy Flowers

Greetings. I wanted to share this image that I came across via the Horticulture Week magazine.

This is a real flower developed by Peter van de Wergen of River Flowers. I am not sure I entirely agree with the process, I like my nature natural however, their flowers are beautiful, and these Happy Flowers are impregnated with natural pigmentations.

For further images follow this link.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Greetings! I went to see Bob Dylan last night; as a result I've had him in my head constantly ever since, as is with all really good gigs. What can I say......if you love Bob Dylan go and put an old favoutite on or better still stick on his latest, Modern Times. If you don't like Bob Dylan.....I have no advice for you! If you don't know Bob Dylan a finer song writer you'll never hear; check him out. And finally go and see Bob Dylan as soon as possible! (You may have to travel or keep an eye out for the next tour! Bob Dylan Tour Details.) All hail Bob.

Ok that's my rant over! Here are a few words from the man himself.

Not Dark Yet (1997 Time out of Mind)

Shadows are falling and I've been here all day
It's too hot to sleep time is running away
Feel like my soul has turned into steel
I've still got the scars that the sun didn't heal
There's not even room enough to be anywhere
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there

Well my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there's been some kind of pain
She wrote me a letter and she wrote it so kind
She put down in writing what was in her mind
I just don't see why I should even care
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there

Well, I've been to London and I've been to gay Paree
I've followed the river and I got to the sea
I've been down on the bottom of a world full of lies
I ain't looking for nothing in anyone's eyes
Sometimes my burden seems more than I can bear
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there

I was born here and I'll die here against my will
I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don't even hear a murmur of a prayer
It's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Afternoon Tea.

I am making this post to summarise a lovely evening I had on Thursday with my sister and nephew. We had tea, reminiscent of the teas we used to enjoy with our Paternal Grandmother as children, and played football, reminiscent of when I was younger and could run further!

At our tea we had cheese, ham and corned beef sandwiches, crisps, pickles and chutneys; the scones were replaced with shortbread (kindly supplied by my Mum and Dad) but I am planning some baking for our next tea.

We also had pineapple and cheese on sticks, a teatime or party treat that has always been a favourite of mine, and they bought these beautiful flowers over for the table. A wonderful date of note.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I thought I would post the lyrics of the song that provided the site address name for my blog. The song is by the Crash Test Dummies and is a particular favourite of mine.

there were two knights and maidens
They'd walk together
Out in the gardens
In all kinds of weather

The knights always pestered the maidens
To love them together
Out in the gardens
And they could watch each other

The maidens had other plans for the two knights
They'd give them potions
And make them see dreams and lights

The knights took the potions gladly
They laughed at their visions
But outside the garden
Tigers smelled them together

The maidens had other plans for the two knights
They'd give them potions
And make them see dreams and lights

The knights only laughed at the tigers
They thought they were visions
Out in the garden
The maidens watched them together

Ah but for the two knights
Ah but for maidens
Who gave to them dreams and lights

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Weekly Six 9th - 15th April 2007

Those of you who visit my blog regularly may have noticed the introduction of a new feature called the Weekly Six? Well it lasted for 3 weeks and has been absent since due to a somewhat hectic social schedule.

However this time has provided me with an opportunity to review the feature and I am happy to say it is being re-introduced, but will have a little more scope. The Weekly Six will be a mixed bag of 6 items that I wish to discuss and I sincerely hope that you enjoy reading them!

So without further ado, here are this weeks pickings.

Item 1:

Bird Food of the Week - Niger Seed,
Guizotia abyssinica

I am an avid bird feeder and watcher and have been experimenting with different bird seeds to find the best one for providing high energy food, with least waste. I have found two that are a favourite with a multitude of birds, although the finches and tits prefer the more expensive one, but have recently tried a third, Niger Seed and am amazed by the results.

I have hung the feeder, which has very small holes to allow for seed removal by the smaller birds only, in our tree cotoneaster and we have had two gold finches perched on it almost constantly ever since! I highly recommend it to any bird fans.

If you wish to find out more about the seed itself please follow this link.

Item 2:

Bird of the Week - The Starling, Sturnus vulgaris

Not everybodys' favourite bird, they can be very noisy and tend to overcrowd a garden however, I have recently become guardian to an injured starling and I wanted to share the tale of his (or her) amazing stamina and determination with you.

Four days ago we noticed a starling in the garden with an injured wing that appeared not to be able to fly; a fact later confirmed when it walked up the spout of the watering can to get to the bird bath which stands at a mere 30cm off the ground!

There is a wing feather part plucked which is impeding it's movement. I did consider trying to catch it in order to seek veterinary attention however decided that the shock and fright would probably be too much for the bird and having once looked after a pigeon with a similar looking ailment felt confident that with food, water and shelter the feather would work it's way free and the bird would grow another one!

Whilst going through the above mentioned thought processes I suddenly noticed something pulling itself up the outside of our dwarf conifer by it's beak and to my amazement realised it was the starling! Once he reached the top of the tree (1.75m) he lined himself up with the bird table and glided onto it!

There have been multiple acrobatic feats by the bird since this first occurrence and he is now hiding in various parts of our garden and popping out intermittently to grab food and water from the bird table. His method of getting to the bird table is unchanged!

I am confident that he will make a full recovery and in tribute to this bird would like to share a verse of mine from a poem previously posted on In The Pink.

'Starling siblings land formatively.
Squabble over seed and nut, strung within the plum tree.
Devouring all they strive to satiate, a hunger born of life lived at the fastest pace.
Brave in flight with acrobatic skill;
starling always first to try, starling strong of will.'

Item 3:

Bird Hero of the Week - Mac's Niece

Last year my sister had two blackbird chicks in her garden that had made a premature departure from their nest before they were able to fly. The chicks were still looked after by a parent bird but only one who was run ragged! As you will see from the link above the next couple of weeks were a tense time however my sister and nephew not only managed to supplement their diet with fruit, but managed to keep the neighborhood cats at bay until the chicks were able to fly! An amazing commitment that I felt deserved acknowledgment!

There are more blackbirds nesting in Mac's Nieces garden this year, lets hope they don't get adventurous before time!

Item 4:

Charity of the Week - RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)

The RSPB are a fantastic charity that started in the British Isles but that now have international interests and projects. Please take a moment to look at their website.

Item 5:

Bird Tip of the Week - Fat Balls

This may already be a commonly known fact however indulge me! Last year I purchased bird feed holders for the fat balls which allowed me to hang multiple fat balls in the tree without our resident jackdaw ripping the mesh netting with his beak resulting in the fat balls being wasted on the floor.

We have jackdaws nesting regularly in our neighbours chimney and last year helped support a family of 7, affectionately referred to as 'The Boys'.

A few weeks back a neighbour called out to me as I was leaving for work as she had spotted, from the field at the back of our house, a bird caught in the fat ball netting and swinging from the feeder. I rushed round and the bird thankfully freed itself with no injury and minimal fright however I have taken my neighbours advice and now remove the mesh from the fat balls before I put them in the feeders. If you find the fat balls are too crumbly try storing them in a warmer place or even try another supplier as I have found a good brand that hold their shape even when almost entirely eaten.

Item 6:

Saying of the Week - A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush.

Meaning - It's better to have a small actual advantage than the chance of a greater one.

This link will provide greater detail and also take you to yet another fabulous site care of the Internet (all hale Internet!).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Welcome Home

Monday, April 09, 2007

The First Blossom

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Further to my plea for bloggers to particpiate in the compilation of a list of;
'Books That Bloggers Cannot Do Without' being compiled by Kailana, I would like to invite an additional blogger and take this opportunity to welcome my Mum to the blogosphere via Bowled Over & Out!

Mum to take part please follow this link and leave your list as a comment for Kailana.

You can also post your list on your blog if you like. Looking forward to seeing your list Bowledover. xx If anyone else would like to participate please follow this link.

Friday, April 06, 2007

For Gran With Love.

Image Credit: Fotosearch

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


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