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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri May 31, 2019 4:15 pm

Actually seeing a cuckoo is a rare privilege Colin, 99 times in a 100 you usually just hear it, particularly as they are now an endangered species and far less of them around.
Aberffraw on Anglesey has some fond memories for me particularly the secluded beach there were the river runs into the sea.
My brother in law Vernon rented a holiday cottage there with his family some years ago and we spent a couple of very enjoyable days with them swimming, snorkelling and paddling canoes in the tiny bays there in hot sunshine, pure nostalgia: (nostalgia from the Greek,) meaning;- the pain from an old wound, how appropriate as Vernon died just a couple of years ago.
It would seem that our new Brexit Party MEP lives close by at Llangefni!

I have to report that I'm down to 7 raffle prize koi after one jumped? out of my pond on Sunday night/Monday morning, I found it early on Monday morning quite dead and stiff and seemingly unmarked with no obvious heron stab marks on it, (the usual suspect)
It now has the dubious distinction of being the first fish to jump out of my pond in 12 years!

It's that time of year again as hundreds of tadpoles, newly developed into tiny frogs leave the two wildlife ponds and invade the back garden, finding their way into every damp crack and cranny.
I'm pleased to report that our resident toad has taken up his usual place at the left-hand side of the waterfall into the veg filter and has been in particularly good voice over the last two months. So much so, he has now been renamed this week.
He started off three years ago as "Son of Kevin" after resident toad Kevin was murdered on our back lawn by a hedgehog.
We decided, after he had sung (something between a squeak and a whistle) so much these last few months that he would henceforth be called "Tom" after Sir Tom Jones, a well known Welsh (Valley's) singer, a lot shorter name and more appropriate we think.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:29 am

I found some photo's of my trip to Anglesey I mentioned in my last post, it was surprisingly, 2009.
I've also included an interesting photo of a crab eating another crab, the unfortunate victim was a peeler crab, a crab that had just cast off its old hard shell in order to grow larger and was still soft and vulnerable hence the other crab cannibalising it: a tough life!
We also discovered lots of winkles as you can see in crab pic, we duly gathered a bucketful and boiled them up that night. The fun is, sitting with a pin picking the winkles out of their shell, time- consuming but very enjoyable, if you like winkles!
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Crab eating crab! + winkles.jpg
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Anglesey 2009.jpg
Anglesey 2009.jpg (73.01 KiB) Viewed 736 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:36 am

Todays soapbox subject is:---------------------------------------------------- The BBC has been handed over control of the TV licencing from the Government and one of their first moves is to remove the free TV licence granted to the over 75's!
We can afford it; of course we can! but what improvements do we get to our TV viewing for this quite significant rise in their annual revenue?
The BBC claim that it is in order to provide more? quality? programmes for the viewing public, (the BBC are not noted for their sense of humour!)
The tribe of left wing Trott's who now run the BBC think we all want to watch shows like "Strictly Come Dancing";- this is classed as quality TV? or, repeats of repeats of re-hashed, re-named and re-edited very old wrinkly David Attenborough's "Living Planet"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You only have to watch the commercial television stations to see where the BBC are heading, they all show prolific adverts for online betting, new, usually off road cars and Xbox style games, all aimed at the younger and apparently more affluent viewers, while we wrinklies are apparently content to sit drooling in our wheelchairs and armchairs at old obscure films or repeated old documentaries into the afternoon and beyond.

Here endeth todays moan: on a lighter note- here are two photo's I took on my recent trip to Canada, both critters at a bird table=
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Canadian Squirrel.jpg
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Chipmunk.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:17 am

Last week I walked up to Llyn Cowlyd from Capel Curig.

Llyn Cowlyd.jpg
Llyn Cowlyd.jpg (162.82 KiB) Viewed 647 times


Llyn Cowlyd is approx 2 miles long by 1/3 mile wide and claims to be the deepest reservoir in Wales, being 70m deep after an existing lake was dammed with a 45ft high dam. The reservoir supplies water to Conwy and Colwyn Bay and also supplies water to the nearby Dolgarrog hydro-electric power station with a 5ft 10in diameter pipe. Judging by the water level I don't think there's going to be a hosepipe ban this year.

Changing topic, this morning I was weeding around my small wildlife pond and could see that my tadpoles had changed into dozens of little fingernail size frogs.
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:15 am

Lovely photo of a rare sight Colin: Capel Curig with cloudless blue skies? these two images just don't seem right somehow, but it must happen occasionally, it did happen!, when you took your photo!.

It's good news about your froglets, don't forget to keep your nature pond topped up though and the surrounding vegetation damped down regularly, they need to keep their skins from drying out and also need somewhere to hunt for creepy crawlies; they're the best bug removers about.

Some bird snaps from my recent trip to Ontario, lovely Red Cardinals, I managed to snap both male and female on the bird feeder taking food to a young one sitting on fence. The photo looks quite grainy because I snapped it quickly through a fine mesh fly screen on window. Also pictured is a more common bird, the American Robin, this was on my brothers front lawn, it looks nothing like our robin, for starters it's the size of our blackbird; and sounds like it when it sings!
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American Robin in Canada.jpg
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Red Cardinal.jpg
Red Cardinal.jpg (44.02 KiB) Viewed 637 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:43 pm

On my recent trip to Canada I visited an enormous aquatics and garden centre near the town of Cobourg on Lake Ontario, this was for a surprise birthday present plant for my brother.
You can imagine, like a moth to a bright light I was drawn irresistibly to the Koi carp section of the aquatics part.
I was surprised how close the pricing is to ours considering the vast distance involved from Japan to East Canada, (see below).
The exchange rate when we were there for the Canadian dollar was approximately $1.65 to $1.85 dollars to the £1 so you can see there were no cheap koi about in that part of Canada: well, I never found any!.
The 6" to 8" koi for $129.99 were mostly about as good a quality as the koi for our grow and show this year, the 7" to 9" koi for $76.99 were the 'also ran's'! also on this pic there is a sign for --
"Large Gin-Rin Showa $379.99". These were about 10" to 12" so not cheap!
What I also noticed is that their so called 'Butterfly Koi' are very popular, these are the koi carp with veil like extended pectoral and tail fins, my own observation was that they don't appear to swim very well with these extended fins; still, despite the inflated prices they apparently sell a lot!
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Koi in Canada.jpg
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Cheapest Koi in Cobourg.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sun Jul 21, 2019 11:38 am

Here are another two small birds from Canada, from what I was told the second bird is one of a whole variety of sparrows the Canadians have (not a Canadian sarrow as mis-spelled on pic) They also have as an introduced species, our common British House Sparrow which is a bit confusing.
I suspect the Canadian sparrows are not related to our British house sparrows as ours are bigger, these are the size of our European Bluetit. First pic is a native to Canada, a charming newly fledged Red Cardinal being attentively fed by both its parents.
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Red Cardinal fledgling.jpg
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Canadian sarrow.jpg
Canadian sarrow.jpg (43.47 KiB) Viewed 570 times
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:15 pm

AUTUMN

A touch of cold in an Autumn night--
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.
by T.E.Hume


We have been minding a small dog for one of my nephew's the past three weeks and I ventured out this morning at 6:30 am (and also most other mornings at this time) to let her out for her very early pee.
The morning post dawn had just a hint of that early autumn feel to it, a slight chill and the realisation that the days are getting visibly shorter, hence the above poem for this month as we inevitably slip toward autumn.
This year is without a doubt one of the best plum crops ever on my Victoria and Opal trees.
Thanks to Nigel coming over and picking them for me, I froze about 18lbs of Opal plums yesterday plus a couple of pounds of early ripening Victoria plums.
Next ripe are the Jubileum plums, also a big crop but smaller this year through not thinning crop!
These are followed by the Denbigh plums (which haven't fared as well crop wise) but up to size already this year.

I've posted a picture of a cherry tree I bought in 2013 from Aldi wrongly labelled Kordia, a sweet black cherry. The cherry crop I have on this tree is very definitely not sweet, even fully ripe as these are,and as you can see they are definitely not black! I finally discovered this year they are May Duke, a cross between a cooking and eating cherry, not quite as bitter/sweet as the ripe Morello cooking cherry: but close!
I also picked and froze about 5lbs of Morello cherries yesterday, unfortunately the birds got at them so Nigel and I rescued less than half of this years crop yesterday.
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May Duke.jpg
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby pollygog on Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:19 pm

In a wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream-
Lingering in the golden gleam-
Life, what is it but a dream?
Lewis Carroll


Blanket weed! never had so much as this year for some strange reason so the Cloverleaf Blanket Answer has had some outings of late and if that's not enough: wasps; they are a real bummer this year. Just about every fruit has been attacked this year, starting with Tayberries and blackberries even under nets,they have been chewing the necks of rock hard pears from last month and tunnelling out dozens of plums this month. The final straw is this afternoon picking plums I was stung on the thumb by one so I came in and onto t'internet. I have ordered 8 wasp traps for starters and have dug out my wasp traps from year before last when they were a nuisance.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
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Re: Spring is nearly here!

Postby roselanekoi on Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:05 pm

There do seem to be a lot of wasps about this year and they also seemed to be very early this summer.

I finally got to sample some fruit off my Denbigh plum tree yesterday and they were quite delicious although I've also had a wasp problem with quite a number of the plums suffering wasp damage. I was thinking of saying that I haven't been stung yet but I then thought this was perhaps tempting fate.
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