I was going to cover the month to the end but ’twas getting a bit long so I’ve split this page. The twenty eighth was a rather long walk to Turnerwood that led to a lot of pics. Once every four years there’s the twenty ninth, of course.
As always click the pics to see ’em bigger.
Links open new pages/tabs.
Those were the days …
I was born in 1944, so my earliest memories are of the late 40s and the 50s. I remember detachable collars on men’s shirts. My father had ’em, a clean one every day. I also remember them being washed, ironed and starched. They were held in place by studslink, one at the front to hold the collar and shirt together and one at the back holding the collar to the shirt. Apparently they’re still a thinglink. They were ‘boil washed‘(Dunno how one boil washes but that’s what was done … I’m told) and heavily starched.The rest of the washing was done in a large barrel shaped thing with a posher (or posser or dolly) to agitate the clothes. When we lived at Lismore Road we had a basement that, at the back of the house, opened on to the garden. This basement was where the washing was done and probably the ironing as well, although I have some memories of an electric iron plugged in to a double socket on the light above the ground floor table. We had a wringer, a large floor standing thing that was only retired when I was about 12 or 13 when we got a washing machine – a top loader that had an electric wringer attached to the top.
Looking back I think my mum worked probably just as hard as a Victorian scullery maid from morning ’til night. In addition to we boys and my dad she had her matriarchal mother to cater for, as well as occasionally her brother. Did my dad, and most men, work Saturday morning, or is that a false memory?
Cooking and eating the results thereof was very like this songyoutube link. and also took up a fair percentage of her day.
More about my younger life later.
On with the arse end of Feb, don’t forget to click on pics to see ’em bigger.
The tufted duck pair are actually two pics ‘shopped into one.
A couple of ‘ponderamas’, using the Huginlink pano prog.
Birds seem to think that spring is here.
Great tits are treetopping and chirruping merrily away; grebes are patrolling their patches; robins are being territorial.
The rabbit is nibbling away within easy dashing distance of the thorny hedge – this one’s right on a popular dog walking track.
Pussy willow is beginning to show its furry catkins.
I do like these beautiful birds.
This great crested has taken to squatting on a plank wedged in a corner of the pond – I’ve seen it there several times. I think it’s the latest arrival, possibly one of last year’s brood, can’t be sure as identification of individual birds isn’t easy, specially with the fairly drab winter plumage.
This is the other grebe, who’s making his/her home at the west end of the pond. I think (s)he’s the adult remaining from last year’s family.
The kestrel was perched on top of the high wall of Brunton Shaw’s recently expanded wire rope works.
Seagull numbers fluctuate wildly, sometimes there’s only one or two around and the next day we seem to be hosting hundreds. They divebomb surfacing tufties – presumably intending to snatch whatever food they’ve acquired underwater. Last year I often noticed them attacking kestrels but this year they seem to have left that task to crows.
Today’s lichen pic.
Thrushes, when they’re not at the top of a tree singing merrily, are usually hunting worms in the shortish grass of the rugby field.
Another treetop singer is the great tit. I think this is probably the same one as that above – from the other side of the same tree.
Ivy fruit is a valuable winter source of food for a number of birds; this is a female blackbird.
Had to include this picture of the sky over the pond. I’ve titled it ‘Devil Eyes’.
a male tufted duck, this one has its neck fully extended;
the gull demonstrates where the term ‘gull wing doors’ comes from;
one of the pond’s grebes passing.
The crows are ‘mobbing’ a kestrel, I watched for a few minutes as they chased it through trees away across the nearby allotments. For any furriners here’s a link to what ‘allotments’ are.
Another tufty – this is ‘gimpy’.
I’m sure that I’d have called this a sparrow a few years ago – it’s a dunnock.
One of my old favourites – a teasel.
Bet this dog wanted to come out and play – looked so sad.
Back home found this beasty behind the washing machine.
Sat 27th Feb
Yet another of those female hazel flowers – the last for this year, I promise.
A solitary goosander. There were two, both male, but I never got a decent shot of the other one. Both flew away about ten minutes after I photographed this one.
What bird lays eggs in February? Whatever, this one was doomed.
Robins are singing all around.
Courting great tits in the pollarded willows – they’re more vegetarian in the winter but still hunt insects. There’s plenty of midges around even though it’s only February.
Thrushes outsing(Is that a word? ‘Tis now) robins but aren’t so often heard.
The cow parsley, wild carrot or whatever it is, has fractal flower/seed heads – individual florets are like smaller versions of the whole thing.