Wednesday, 24 November 2010

One picture tells all…

Over the weekend we spotted a grey squirrel in the garden. Seen on occasions tentative, followed by a quick leap towards something, followed by a run around everywhere this squirrel was not dissimilar to how I’ve been.

Before I give a brief update there, I’d first like to extend huge thanks again to everyone who left comments on my last post celebrating four years of blogging. It was unexpected to get comments from new visitors too. That was a surprise :-)




So why am I like a squirrel just now? Lol, no… I’m not storing stuff. However, I am jumping and running around exploring somewhere new. As mentioned in Blogaversary comments, last Friday was also an exciting day for the PC that I have blogged on for my whole blog life. It was getting a serious upgrade.

When asked for a graphic description of what was happening to it, my husband compared it to a human operation where only an arm was left. He was the surgeon during this very delicate operation and after my PC came back to life… yes, you’ve guessed right… there have been a few complications.

No worries, my PC surgeon is keeping up with all the symptoms for the moment… even though each day I'm bringing a few more. I am absolutely, going to post on all of this as there has to be many others having these problems too… without a wonderful surgeon for aftercare :-D

Suffice to say the photo above really does tell all at the moment. The window reflection represents getting used new operating systems and applications on my PC. There's been more to that than I expected. Today, I sent my first email!

The cable ties on the arch represents the quick fix stage when more time is required to learn something when there are so many options and settings.

The missing arch support bar represents stepping into something new only to leave some parts behind. As my faster PC can handle newer versions of software, I am leaving the old and familiar. It’s a tad scary. Oh yes… I’ll get that bar repaired ;-)

At the moment I am using trial versions of photo and video editing software to see what I am comfortable with. I’ll go in to details another time but this steep learning curve is quite time consuming. No video and the photo above tells you progress is slow. Sorry, I haven’t been blog browsing as quickly as I hoped :-)

The photo above also shows my garden is succumbing to the season with plants dying down for the year. I need to get out and do some ‘real’ garden work done before we get the very cold temps and the soil is too hard. My garden shed needs a serious winter sort/re-org too. Me thinks… I’m doing way too much talking and not nearly enough walking ;-)

Finally, moving down to the left hand corner in the photo above and we return to a previous story. The caged bird feeder represents not all my feeders are back up. Sadly, I saw the return of the finch disease Trichomonosis the day after my clean feeders went up after a break of 3 weeks.

Considering again what Chris Packham and others have said, and knowing full well that my newly put up feeders didn’t cause this disease in not one but three finches that arrived in my garden, I have tried a different approach.

This time, I only removed the feeders that I saw the three, very puffed up starving to death, finches visit. I cleaned the other bird feeders, moved some around and kept feeding the birds albeit with less food sources.

Time will tell what happens here, but the bottom line is that if other feeders in my area are not kept clean and have so many diseased birds visiting them and then people (like me) take all clean feeders down, this disease could spread further and further.

As with many diseases, I’m sure new thinking will continue to emerge.

I will continue to consider all options with this disease so that birds may be saved from it. I will never, not feel the pang of sadness when I see birds dying (or dead) in my garden.

On a brighter note, I’m also going to consider all options with software and hardware on my PC and look forward to sharing the good and bad stuff that I discover there and in turn in my garden and out and about.

Please bear with me… Year 5 has me at school again ;-)

Just quickly, before I go back to my studies... so far my Waxwing feeding station has not enticed Waxwings in to my garden. However, Blackbirds, Blue tits and Goldfinches have been seen enjoying the apples. I think I might keep this up as a winter feeding station. Blackcaps have enjoyed apples in my garden before and just maybe Fieldfares may be attracted to this Acer, come apple tree, when they pass our way :-D


The photo shown above was taken in my garden on November 21st 2010.

12 comments:

lotusleaf said...

I hope the disease won't spread.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl, The Grey Squirrel is a very rare visitor to our garden in fact I have never seen one in it at all but my husband did, early one morning, and of course it was raiding the peanut feeder :)

I have thought about you several times in the last few days and wondered how the delicate operation was going and if the poor surgeon is a shadow of his former self :)

The only bird I have seen on the fallen apples which I speared onto branches was a Blue Tit, I tried to turn it into a Waxwing but it just wouldn't happen!

My garden needs so much attention but I fear it will have to look after itself until next year now.

I do hope you soon see the back of the Tricho disease, I did wonder if I briefly spotted a Chaffinch with it yesterday but it may just have been puffed up against the cold weather. I did see it a couple of years ago and hope never to again.

I hope the snow hasn't reached you yet, they say we may have some over the next few days.

Gerry Snape said...

I'm sorry that I missed your anniversary. I've only been at it for 6 months so still a beginner in the blogging stakes. I hope all gets sorted with the new equipment. It can be scary when you think that you might lose every thing. must do a bit of backing up!

shirl said...

Hello lotusleaf, I am doing my best to stop it. With three pretty sick birds seen a different approach was necessary. I had never seen so many at one time.

Fingers crossed, in the last few days no sick birds have been seen. Let’s hope it stays that way for a while. Unfortunately, the feeders are likely to be very busy tomorrow as the temps are dropping. That could mean that diseased birds could find their way to my garden :-(

shirl said...

Hi Jan, funnily enough so far the squirrel is a rare visitor here too. In the last few years we have seen it visit at this time of year only. It may visit one day only or on two consecutive days. I didn’t see it again that day nor have I seen it since.

Thanks for your thoughts on our operation… especially on how the surgeon has been coping. Apart from this post I haven’t been on the PC much today so had no further complications to report ;-)

Lol… you don’t have a nose that wiggles then ;-) I’ve seen a lot of Blue tits here recently. Unfortunately they are struggling for space to get to the special ‘clinger’ feeder of sunflowers as the goldfinches and siskins are back and have adopted ownership once again.

The Blue, Great and Coal tits are in for a treat tomorrow. After they were all tucked up for the night I put up another ‘clinger’ feeder with peanuts for them. Tomorrow will see our temps drop here.

Thanks, snow was near us earlier today but we escaped it. I hope it waits until the weekend if it has to come now. Hope it doesn’t disrupt things with you either :-D

I am frightened to tempt fate by saying I haven’t noticed any more tricho but as I am not watching the window all day long there is always a chance it can be here. Hope your finch was just keeping warm too. I can imagine how upsetting you’d find tricho in your garden.

Keep warm and safe :-D

shirl said...

Hi again Gerry, no worries at all. Gosh… 6 months old! I think around that time I was just getting fully in to the garden blogging community and just getting comfortable with commenting.

Thanks, yes everything looks so different now from a word doc to my Outlook. I plan to embrace it despite the odd complication. Yes… regular back-ups are the way to go. Once I get sorted with a few things this will get backed up before I go any further.

Happy ½ year Blogaversary to you ;-)

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Shirl, Thanks for the link to your blogversary post. I'm sorry I missed it, but I've been rather a sporadic visitor (and post-er) these days.

Your husband must be very supportive to think of having your PC updated, etc. :-)

Midmarsh John said...

It can be a steep learning curve getting used to a new operating system. I was trying to help someone with Windozy 7 but it was outside my experience. It seemed so different to XP so I shall stick with what I have as long as possible ;)

It is heart breaking to see a sick bird and know there is nothing we can do to help it. Fortunately I have only seen the occasional one this year. We can only do our best to prevent it spreading.

Rosie@leavesnbloom said...

Hi Shirl - sorry to hear that you spotted that disease again. I have started to feed the birds from trays etc aswell as the feeders especially now that the snow has arrived. I make sure I clean the trays each day so that if a sick bird has visited especially as I can't keep an eye on the feeders all of the time the next day's food won't be contaminated. My only problem today was that the snow covered the food before the birds got to eat it all.

Did you have thunder and lightning with your blizzards - we had it for 8 hours.

I think the schools will be closed tommorrow - I've one doing prelims and he's not too happy that he won't get to school.

shirl said...

Hi again Shady, thanks for visiting my Blogaversary post too!

I completely understand how it is with blogging. I’m a tad too sporadic in my own browsing and commenting. My problem is that as my own posts take so long to do at times by the time I publish I am ready to step away from the PC for a little while :-)

Ah yes… my husband is very much into technology. He is the one that suggests I should get/use this and that.

My present change is pretty big in that all the programmes and applications that I have used for so long have changed. From reading mail, to using a word document it is a whole new world at the moment! Thank goodness I can still find my way around my blog :-D

shirl said...

Hello John, it certainly is… even using word. As I said when I mailed you, I too am using Windows 7 now and it is a nightmare with the photographs! As I said I will post on this at some point but I need to work with it a bit longer first.

I am also now using Office 2010 Professional Plus. Everything is taking me so tediously long and often I have often given up on what I’ve been trying to do. Pulling my hair out has been close! There is only one set up that I am familiar with at present and that is blogger… although getting there with a post is just a bit of a challenge :-)

Yes, it is heart breaking as you say. With the weather of this past week bringing so many birds into my garden I would be hard pushed to spot a diseased one. Sadly, I guess they probably last a shorter time when it’s so cold as they won’t be able to eat to stay warm.

shirl said...

Hi Rosie, me too. That sounds a good idea. I find having more than one feeding station helps too.

Ah yes… I’ve had probs all week trying to keep the snow from covering food. I’ve opened up Hedgehog Manor as a snowy day feeding station. I also made a temp igloo type feeding station also.

We didn’t have thunder and lightning here but my husband and girls were in Perth and got caught up with it and some major traffic chaos on the roads trying to get eldest to the train station to return to Uni in Aberdeen. Thankfully she got her packed train and husband and youngest got safely home in some treacherous conditions.

Oh… Prelims will be a problem throughout the region and further I’d expect. I also suspect, like our schools, yours have been closed all week as has the college my youngest now travels to.

What a week this has been. I suspect you’ve been like us and only getting out on foot… which has been pretty tiring given the depth of the snow being over Wellies height in many parts. Hooray… today finally we have had a digger up our street. Now the cars can get and people can get back to work. Hope you’ve seen a digger up your way too by now :-D