Monday, 5 January 2009

Hanging apples in an apple tree

D has been feeling sorry for the garden birds and has been buying apples, stringing them up and throwing them in the tree. I came back from work after working the early shift and there they were, hanging off the apple tree like big red Christmas baubles, with a Waxwing beak in practically in every one of them. The birds have certainly been appreciating this, as they have been coming back since there arrival in mid December 2008.

We have a small garden, but what we do have in our small garden is a very big cooking apple tree, which has rewarded us over the past three years or so with lots of delicious apple crumble, apple pie, apple ice-cream or simply baked with butter and raisins.

Towards the end of Autumn, the apple tree is laden with cooking apples, that we struggle to normally reach, but this year a week long of strong winds knocked most of the apples to the ground, some we rescued to be turned into delicious delights, others we gave away to neighbours and friends at work, some had rotted from all the rain downpour this year, that they had to be put into the compost bin. So there were barely any left on the tree for the birds over the winter season.

I was never into bird watching, but the apple tree changed all that. It has also attracted a lot of bird life: Collared Doves, Woodpecker, as well as a Hawk preying on one of the littler birds and succeeding. That’s nature.

Recently, a gang of punky red head birds called Waxwings arrived which got us really excited. The Waxwings came in their hoards and chased away our Fieldfair, who used to be the only one eating the apples (for two years until now). When the fieldfair feels brave and comes back, it ends up chasing away the blackbirds, the blackbirds chase the smaller birds: wrens and sparrows. The blue tits and coal tits come when there are no other birds around and hang of the bird feeder and fat balls. The magpies come and go when they want to be territorial, but always entertain when they arrive.

And how can I forget Ds little red robin. Robin dominates the bird table, bird bath – in fact the whole garden and certainly lets D knows it’s there. Robin has perhaps had the most special treatment of all the birds, with worms, maggots and not too long ago slice of our wedding cake being on the menu.

Anyway, thoughts towards food… I had some left over yellow spiced lentils from yesterdays dish of Cabbage Dolmades, that I decided to turn them into a pasty for tomorrows lunch.

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