Tuesday, 16 July 2013

St Magaret's Garden Safari Weekend

I haven't disappeared but I've been so busy with Pam, getting the garden ready for the weekend that every time I've sat in front of the computer with the intention of blogging I've fallen asleep. At this time of year I like to be up at 5 a.m. to do my moth traps. Any later and one of the garden birds, a Robin, Wren or a Blue Tit will have found it's way into a trap and feasted on my catch. Even at this time. this morning I flushed a Blue Tit of my MV trap as it was investigating it.

The Garden Safari was great from our point of view, and as far as I can find out, it went well all round. As usual Pam's hard work and artistic eye ensured that our rather eccentric garden looked stunning (although I say it myself). Pam did most of the garden chat, she does know what the plants are, well most of them, which is more than I can say.

Various hidden treasures in half hidden corners held some of Pam's sculptures and "installations". My main contribution to this part of the enterprise was disposing of the waste, it's amazing how quickly all the compost bins and stacks are full, and taking the excess to the recycling "facility".

I also mowed the grass, but not too short and not all over. There's loads of lovely clover and I do try to leave ares uncut so that the Bumble-bees have a plentiful supply of flowers to feed on.

Linda Winter, the organiser and driving force behind the Safari seems to have a direct line to the weather gods, as once again we had a glorious weekend and no umbrellas were needed.

A distant view of one of my favourite of Pam's pieces, it the world in a pair of hands, and as we know the human race does hold the world in it's metaphorical palms at the moment. While we have environmentally ignorant buffoons like Boris Johnson trying to impose his crackpot ideas on us, there is little chance that we wont mess it up.
Here's a group of enthusiastic Safari trekkers approaching my little wildlife exhibition in the side garden.

 Normally I've sat by the front gate in the hot sun and tried to find shade for a small tank with a few moth in it. This year we decided to move my bits up to the decking by the bar-b-que (which we never use) so that I could have a better set up.
 I managed to borrow a large fish tank and set it up with lots of twigs and branches for the moths to perch on. It worked quite well, but they do have an uncanny knack of hiding away. It was a sort of treasure hunt for people looking through the glass. It is amazing how many visitors found it hard to believe that a Buff-tip, settle along a birch twig was a moth and not a piece of wood. I found the best way was to take it out of the take and show it sitting on my finger.

I also printed of a few pictures of the various animals we get in the garden, butterflies, dragonflies, birds and of curse our favourite Badgers and Hedgehogs. Sadly we haven't, as yet, had any visiting Hedgehogs this year, it seems that they have a difficult time surviving our long and hard winter.
Well that's the story of my last week, a lot of hard work, and a very rewarding weekend. We've still to find out how much money the weekend made for the Pilgrims Hospice, but it seems that it will be pretty good. I know that everyone that took part will have enjoyed it and the hole enterprise owes Linda and Geoff winter a large debt of gratitude for the hard work the put into each Safari. We always get to meet loads of interesting and interested people.From my point of view many are interested in the wildlife aspect and anyone in the village who wants to learn more about my "mothing" is always welcome to give me a call and come on see the traps working and the identification process going on.

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