23 May 2021

It’s been an unusually chilly and wet May so far. I’d say we were at least a couple of weeks behind where we would normally be at this time of year. Jen and I only spotted our first cow parsley in flower as we walked around the lanes this afternoon. That said, the clump of greater stitchwort growing on the boundary between our garden and the neighbour’s is looking spectacular at the moment; there are forget-me-nots out at the side of the farm track; and the first fledglings (greenfinches) are being tended to by their parents in our cherry tree, whose blossom is already past its best.

Greater stitchwort
Greater stitchwort

The blue tit parents have been in and out of the nest box in our Scots pine likes things possessed. A couple of days ago, we spotted one of the damned grey squirrels staking it out. I tried to chase it away, of course, but it simply scarpered further up the tree. It was back a short while later. As I stepped outside to chase it away again, I saw it make a lunge at one of the blue tit parents as it approached the nest box. It missed, but only just.

Once again, natural selection in action in my own garden.

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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