A Feathered Nest

Who says swans are graceful?

It’s getting harder to mow the top lawn. It’s not so bad when the female swan is sitting on the eggs, but the male is very aggressive, and I decided to leave the bit nearest them

This morning we watched Mrs S get up from her beautifully soft nest, carefully turn and then cover the eggs. She stopped to take a drink from the ‘Miniature Heroes’ water container that the neighbours have thoughtfully  provided, and then advised Mr S that she was going to cool off and it was his turn to sit in the heatIMG_8892.JPG

At first he looked a bit surly. But she wasn’t stopping so he stomped over, resignedIMG_8891.JPG

He hesitated, looking at the nest


He looked at me. I nearly backed offIMG_8896

He looked at the nest again. She made her break, waddling down to the riverIMG_8895

And then, in a very un-swanlike manoeuvre he sort of ‘flumped’ down over the eggs, arse in the air, and settled himself in. It was less than gracefulIMG_8910

Of course, he soon recovered his composure, and looked sereneIMG_8915

My neighbour tells me that swans, like dogs, cannot sweat. When they are hot they open their mouths and they pant. They have picked a particularly sunny spot to nest in, and I imagine that she really needed to cool off. I was tempted to join her…IMG_8901.JPG



‘Little bird’ mornings

Saturday was one of those mornings at home when all the little birds were out in force – sparrows, tits and robins – flitting around in the dappled sunlight under the box tree. There must be plenty of seed heads in the garden for them to enjoy, and I was pleased to see that the grass is recovering after the neglect of a busy August, and that this year’s frogs are starting to look for winter hideouts

The chickens have finished the last few blackberries in the front garden. We haven’t eaten many of the berries ourselves, as the girls love them so much and it’s so much fun to watch them indulge in a healthy delicacy. They’ll enjoy some warm mash in the mornings this autumn as the temperature drops

Percy says Relax
Percy says Relax

Percy is happier now that it is not so hot. He picks his way over the pebbles at the pond’s edge to lap up the water, a proper tiger who doesn’t mind getting his feet wet. Charlotte and I watch him when he’s asleep on the sofa, snoring and dreaming, even though it makes us feel slightly stalker-like

The brick shed now has a new window and paintwork, though I still have the rotten door to replace. Baz says the cheerful green gloss on the windowsill (‘Garden’ by Little Green) reminds him of Granny Dale, his maternal great grandma who would from time to time choose to paint everything the same colour, an outrageously loud pink or a bright green like this. I think I would have liked her

Any more dry weekends will be used for mowing and tidying the garden, painting the windowsills and the front door and fixing guttering etc. There’s just nothing better than a borrowed autumn day spent getting the house and garden ready for winter …