Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, memories of a much-missed moggie, three adventurous new cats, a camera, a computer and a garden filled with wildlife
Life and Death in the Garden
by admin - 19:40 on 10 January 2012
The garden was a-twitter with the usual cast of small perky birds when I looked through the window of The Rural Retreat this morning – all except for one sad bundle of orange.
Closer inspection confirmed that the lethargic ball of fluff was a male brambling. Even closer inspection, when entry to the garden to replenish the feeders caused all but the brambling to retire a cautious distance, confirmed that our winter visitor was far from well.
No injury was apparent when I picked him up and put him in a more sheltered spot, although several of his feathers were ruffled. As my record of avian rescue is poor (who remembers Cissy the siskin?) I crossed my fingers and left him to recover.
Whether Bess had any involvement in his distress is impossible to say, but when she joined me in the garden, and ambled nonchalantly to the spot where I'd found the brambling, my suspicions were raised. She didn't notice the trembling heap a short distance away.
In the end, all was academic for a few hours later I found what was now an ex-brambling where I'd left him.
Waste not, want not – Mrs Marten will eat well tonight.
However, not everything is gloom in the garden: the first snowdrops appeared today, although they're not yet in full bloom, and several patches of green shoots show there'll be many more in a few days. Spring can't be far away.
One of last year's bramblings
Snappery Update: BBC Radio Scotland works fast. Squirrel James, Andrew and I will assemble at Chanonry Point tomorrow where we'll be interviewed by Out Of Doors presenter Mark Stephen. He must want the sound of crashing waves and leaping dolphins as background noise.
Another of James's speculative emails has borne fruit, for Eden Court in Inverness is keen to stage our touring exhibition in one of its galleries. Dates and rates of commission for book and print sales have yet to be decided but the prospects are promising.
One day we'll be famous.
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