Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Seasonal shifts, all in a day

Outside the window, bulrushes bob in the breeze. Light ripples trail over the surface of the water, left by the Mallards that have just taken flight. Autumn is definitely in the air and the empty patio chairs and tables on the decking support the current temperature drop.

Inside the Garden Centre café, warmer jackets decorate the backs of chairs. Scanning around the occupied tables, no scarves are to be seen but they won’t be far away in emerging from their summer storage.

Emerging, increasing in size on every visit, Christmas displays push forward the commercial seasonal shift. Plant sales benches are trying to promote as much colour as they can hold on to but at the same time selling off plants past their seasonal best on Clearance benches.

Spring bulbs in wooden crates push forward thoughts for 2018 and the pending 2017 bulb planting period before the frosts come. Now this year, the gardener must consider wisely any purchases and ensure bulbs don't get forgotten. So today, no bulbs were bought!

The Mallards drop back down to the pond, drawn in by a little boy and his Grandmother (a guess) throwing bread crusts into the water. A fleeting visit by both and a familiar scene in many parks just now with the schools here on a holiday break.

Defrosted frozen peas and sweetcorn are much more nutritious for the ducks than bread. I might guess more fun for children to throw too. Perhaps television nature programmes, like Autumnwatch returning next week 23rd October 8pm BBC2, could promote this more.


Phone image, mallards early afternoon, 2:15pm.


Outdoors the sun is breaking through and filling the large conservatory with strong, bright light. Reflections from the white pages of my notebook cause my eyes to squint. It’s time to move anyway. The outdoor, plant clearance tables beckon…

The gardener is easily tempted. The wish to save a wilted, tired plant (or two or three…) is strong. The basket gets filled and carried around (Russian Sage ‘Little Spire’ x3). Record phone images of garden border at home are examined. The basket gets emptied again. Previous experience kicks in. Have a big enough garden border or container space in mind :-)

Indoors again and snow decorated branches of artificial Christmas trees are being pulled out by staff as they build another display. A brief thought goes to winter and snow! Back in the car park and it's back to Autumn 2017 as it is now with all the beauty of its many colours beginning in earnest as the leaves change and drop. The drive home gets more colourful by the day.

Back home, outside the window, Blackbirds run along the ground. Coal tits dart to the feeders as the light begins to go for the day. Many bird species have been returning to the garden feeders recently. Spotted have been: Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Goldcrest, Blackbird, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Greenfinch, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Jackdaw and a Sparrowhawk!

Outside this gardenwatch window there is a feast of colour from various acers, asters, astrantias, sedums, berries and the last of the white/lilac sweet pea flowers. Plus there are all the many foliage greens and mossy rocks around the small pond where a wood mouse is caching sunflower hearts. Red Admirals complete the garden list for now still visiting aster, verbena bonariensis and the ivy flowers high above the pergola.

Back in the kitchen, an evening meal is in need of my attention. This blog, written by hand in a garden centre café and then copied over to word on my PC will hopefully find its way to my actual blog later tonight. Yay, it has!

Great also to an easy to miss seasonal sight (no photo) from today as I headed to the kitchen. A small ‘v’ formation of swans flew over the house and garden. I suspect they were heading back to their evening roost – a fantastic sight to catch the eye through a window. So fast they go too. I wonder how much longer they will stay in the area.

What seasonal shifts are you enjoying just now? Oh yes, and out of interest, have you ever fed defrosted frozen peas or sweetcorn to ducks? I must try it myself but do wonder if someone was feeding bread at the same time would they go for that instead. Enjoy your Autumn days :-)


Phone image, gardenwatch window view, evening outside lights on, 8:30pm.


This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in October 2017.

3 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

Very poetic but you mentioned the dreaded C word! We have fed water birds with a sort of seed mix which they seem to love but to feed with our frozen peas or sweetcorn would be sacrilege

Lisa Greenbow said...

So good to hear from you Shirley. This time of year is so nostalgic. The view of your garden is gorgeous. How I would love to see all those birds that frequent your garden. I don't feed ducks and geese at parks. As you know I feed any birds that come into our garden. I didn't feed birds this summer due to too many House Sparrows in the garden. We can get 200 at one time. It is awful the mess that they make on the patio. I wish I could capture some of these and send them to areas where they are supposed to live. I am certainly not ready for Christmas yet here too they are getting the decorations out. Bah humbug.

Shirley said...

Sue, Ah… I regularly take a notebook out on solo coffee shop trips but this was a first blog story. This was a fun way to pass the time before picking someone up. I’d do it again! Ha-ha… I couldn’t escape the Christmas presence, I do believe I heard some music at one display, quiet but it was there. Hmmmm… yes, in your case throwing your carefully tended home grown peas and sweetcorn to float on water for ducks to feed would be absolute sacrilege. I’ve fed seed at an iced over pond a few years ago and the ducks were ice skating enthusiastically to get at it :-)

Lisa, It was good to catch up on your blogs the other day. Thanks, unfortunately the days have been wet and windy to properly get long shots of the garden just now. I do try to capture images for GBBD but don’t always get around to posting. I feel very lucky at the bird species that visit here and I do remember past stories of your invasions of 200 house sparrows and could easily image the mess left in their wake. Yes, they have been on the endangered list here. I’m not ready for Christmas yet either Lisa, we’ve a few family birthdays to come first – that’s always my excuse anyway ;-)