Friday, 9 November 2012

Friday gardenwatch catch-up

In hindsight, I was feeling a bit sad when I browsed through many images (taken on the same day) for my previous Wordless post and I guess the power and draw of one single image showed. Yes, looking now at the tired and tearful Anemone I can see that it reflected pretty accurately myself at that time and perhaps a different blog title would have been more appropriate like “Sad moments” or ‘Missing you”.

Only some blog visitors will know the reason for my sadness, I mentioned a dedication in a post at the time. Seven weeks ago my Dad died suddenly after a short illness. The day after posting the Anemone image a new wave of sadness engulfed me whilst driving. I am really missing my Dad now. Perhaps this image from my garden unlocked emotions that I have been keeping back.

“but when the bright sun shines on the late autumn colours they can still take your breath away!!” was the comment from Gerry at The Potters House Penketh  on the sorry looking Anemone flower in my last post. Absolutely true, Gerry! On that same day, my camera captured vibrant colour and blooms that did exactly that…




I wanted to readdress the sadness behind my last post with happiness and life that goes on. I have many happy memories of my Dad – he was quite a character. He enjoyed hearing what I was up to in my garden and what visitors came too.

I’m very happy with the way the colours are mixing in my sunnier front garden above. Below my back garden holds lots of little gems if you take closer look…




Although my blog posts have been quiet, my gardenwatching has not! I love this change of pace in the garden at this time of year. Yes, it is sad to see the plants begin to die down for another year but at the same time views of garden bird visitors are getting clearer.

During the last few weeks numbers of the tiny Coal tits have been on the increase. They are at all the different feeders eating fat cake, peanuts, peanut butter and sunflower hearts. The speed at which they have been flying about has been mesmerising! They are definitely the entertainers just now.




Since the spotting of the first Male Great Spotted Woodpecker to be seen in my garden I’ve been sitting with breakfast at my window eagerly hoping to catch some video. Alas – no joy. However one morning a female Great Spotted Woodpecker dropped by and I captured some shaky footage of her. She didn’t feed at all but perhaps she’ll come back as she saw the feeders :-)

The first image below won’t play the video but shows where to select the better quality HD image when viewing the actual video below it. It does make a difference especially when you see the speed of the coal tits at the sunflower feeder! You can see the timid Woodpecker next and at the end of the video there is another special regular visitor at breakfast time – the shy wren. Enjoy…





Finally, there have been occasional visits from another acrobatic entertainer to the garden over the last month. Back in October one grey squirrel was enjoying the sunshine as well as peanuts!

A wet day at the beginning of November saw a more nervous grey squirrel with a very thin tail sit around for ages before going to feed for a brief while at a tray of sunflower hearts at a low bird table. Being spooked by a Blackbird it returned to its lookout spot where it remained almost statue still for two hours. That’s more committed gardenwatching than I do!!




I’ve enjoyed this gardenwatching catch up. I genuinely enjoy sharing what can visit a garden if you creatively locate plants and bird feeders. This morning I was out being creative with apples in an attempt to attract any possible Waxwings flying over - should they be in my area. Oh yes… and I keep forgetting to say, there’s been a roosting Blue tit in our camera nestbox a while now :-)

I also enjoy sharing other seasonal spectacles outside the garden too – can you guess what’s coming soon? I’ve been ages editing down 66 video clips of this. What garden and seasonal spectacles are you enjoying where you are at the moment? Wishing you a great weekend to enjoy them :-D


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in November 2012.

9 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

I really understand how you feel. My mum died 24 years ago and my dad 18 years ago but I can still experience that deeply sad feeling which sort of steals up on you especially at this time of year.

We too are having lots of coal tit visits but they are really quick - grabbing the food and dashing off.

The bit of wren video is great - well caught as they aren't the easiest of subjects.

Anna said...

Oh Shirl it's such a difficult time for which nobody can prepare you. It's fifteen months now since my own dear Dad died after a long illness but there are still days when I am very sad. Being outdoors and enjoying your garden does help whatever the season. I'm glad that your heart has been uplifted by the lovely autumnal flowers in your garden and by the antics of feathered and furry garden visitors. Take care xxx

gwirrel said...

Hi Shirl,

I hope not to experience my parents passing away any time soon, but I can imagine how you must feel and I don't think it's something we ever fully recover from.

I hope you get some Waxwings visiting :D I've seen photos of them eating apples, pears etc so they might well visit you for some...

My resident Coal tits seem to have moved on or passed on and their visits now are quite rare compared to a couple of years ago when I could set my watch to their half hour visits! Oh well, perhaps soon we'll have some more regulars visiting again.

Have a nice weekend; I hope the sun shines and you can get out in the garden.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Dear Shirl, It will be a long time before you get over the sadness of losing your father.Someone so dear never ever leaves your heart. I wish you peace. Your lovely garden will help bring that peace no doubt.

My poor garden is in the throes of fall. It has been frosted many times already. It will not look very appealing to anyone but the feeder critters until spring I am afraid.

Big hugs.

patientgardener said...

Hi Sheila - as you know I completely understand what you are going through. The grief creeps up on you like a wave without any warning. As time goes by it happens less but can still take me by surprise. I drove to work the other day in floods of tears and its been 3 yrs since my sister died. Be kind to yourself and just go with it, we are all different and you just have to go through it. I have also had periods of extreme exhaustion.
Helen xx

Juliet said...

So sorry to hear about your Dad, Shirl. I hope as time goes on the shock of grief lessens and you can focus on the happy memories you have of him.

Your photos are lovely - and you have more in flower than I do at the moment, despite being so much further north.

Lona said...

I am so sorry for your loss Liz. I know how it feels to lose and miss your Dad. Mine would have been 85 today and I miss him everyday. The pain diminishes but the missing is always there. Take care.

Christina said...

When I saw your last post, I knew you were sad; the sadness does pass and you'll remember more and more good things as times passes. thanks for sharing your visitors. Christina

shirl said...

Hello everyone, thanks so much for all you kind and supportive comments :-)

Sue, thanks, yes I get the stealing up on you. Delighted to hear you are seeing lots of fast coal tits too. I noticed lots on the live BBC Autumnwatch cams also – perhaps they are having a good year. Ah… I was thrilled with the Wren for hanging around long enough to film it :-D

Anna, being honest, I still don’t think the sudden loss has properly hit us all. Although we are sad we are also happy that my Dad didn’t suffer any more than he could have. I feel for your situation for both your family and your Dad. My heart is always uplifted looking out my window at ‘bird tv’. I’m not sad all the time, I just get moments.

Liz, I hope you don’t too. Although my Dad was 84, his Mum lived to 97 and after being fit all his life we never doubted that he too would go on well into his nineties. That was our biggest shock and how quickly his health deteriorated. On happier news, woop woop – I got a Waxwing sighting from my lounge window on Sunday! I guess you could say, yes, I did have a good weekend :-D

Lisa, I think you are right. I’m not sad all the time, and yes I think of him often and hear expressions he would say and remember things he would do so I know he will never leave my heart. Thank-you for your wishes. Oh dear… sorry to hear your garden has crossed over. Funnily enough, I read today somewhere that we could expect a cold snap here at the end of the month with temps down to -15 deg C for a couple of weeks… brrrrrr… I guess I should get some gardening done soon :-)

Helen, I know you do. We have e-chatted about this on a few occasions. Thanks for your advice, I do believe that ‘going with it’ is probably the only way to do it. Sending my best wishes to you Shx

Juliet, Thank-you, it has been a shock but we have many happy memories and that’s what we have all focused and chatted about many times. Some of the colour and flowers have gone since these photos were taken. It’s always interesting to compare our flowering from north to south. Enjoy your garden when you can :-)

Lona, Thank-you, it must have struck a big chord for you when you read this at the time of your Dad’s Anniversary. My dad missed his 85th birthday. I’m sure your right about the missing :-)

Christina, funnily enough I didn’t feel sad at the time of posting but it must have been underlying and then I saw it. Even with sadness, we remember happy times and they will never leave us. I’m always delighted to hear that blog visitors enjoy hearing about my garden visitors. It’s time, I posted some garden visits but I haven’t done that many in the last year or so to share. I must look through my photos archives :-)