Tag Archives: seed

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

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The weather worm has turned, and the snow I commented on in the previous post arrived overnight on Wednesday. But it did so very quietly. Sneaked up. We were forewarned of the impending change, but it came without fanfare. No whipping wind. No roars of rage. Nary a rattle. Odd, as it typically comes smashing in as though to remind us how helpless we are, and how beholden to its whims.

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I wonder what’s going on up there on big O-mountain? Zeus and Hera have barely whispered to each other for several weeks, so is this snowfall a sign that they’re gathering up their strength for a monumental row and aggressive show of Zeus’s force yet to come?

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It’s only just begun

The birds were rather taken aback, for as fast as I put out seed, so did the snow blot it out.

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What’s going on?

Agitated tweets trilled from the shelter of the bougainvillea which shook and shimmied with all the activity, while I made several careful excursions across the icy terrace to replenish the buried seed. Pretty much in vain for it was almost immediately covered up again

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Here comes my pal. The food’s under there…somewhere.

The birds persevered, and so did I, but Thursday was not a day of happy feasting for them, and only by noon Friday did the feeding situation improve. Night falls quickly at this time, so there wasn’t much chance to eat their fill.

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Saturday, and all is well!

A FEATHERY CHRISTMAS FEASTING

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The weather here on the Pelion is weird, as I’ve already mentioned in “EATING BREAD AND HONEY…” and is a major topic of discussion. Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a tale to tell of weather past, present and future. Some predictions are dire: “Well do I remember the winter of 19-whichever…; how we suffered in 20-whatever…” accompanied by heavy sighs and headshaking. The audience falls respectfully silent and the prophet of doom is gratified. Souls of more cheerful disposition take an optimistic view: “Isn’t the sun wonderful? It will surely continue, so enjoy!”

There are reasons for the seasons though, and much as we revel in the unexpected warmth, it really shouldn’t be so. We need rain, and we need it badly. We need snow, snow that will melt gradually and replenish the water table. We need some freezing to control pests which will otherwise inflict themselves on man, beast and plant in the hot months. Perhaps it’s reassurance that we need the most in these turbulent times; things do not stay the same, not even the weather.

Nature is also confused, blooming far too early – one can’t help but wonder if she’s about to get a stinging rebuke. Probably.

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Fruit and blossom on the same tree in late December

The bougainvillea beyond the kitchen window should have been bare weeks ago, but is putting out new flowers as though challenging the elements. Bees, wasps, hornets and great big bumblebees are busily buzzing and bumbling all through the short daylight hours.

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Can you see the bumblebee?

It’s strange to hear excited twittering in the branches at this time of year. Migrant birds have long since arrived to build numerous nests among the colour, jostling with the resident sparrows, all seemingly unaware that their shelter might be devastated by a north wind as sudden as it’s vicious.

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Caution! Fledglings

I put seed out for the birds each day

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and although Raki regards this as his own personal playground, his half-hearted attempts to assert himself are largely ignored by the nimble birds who retreat in a flash to the branch and leaf of safety.

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Hope springs eternal

There they hide, chittering at him until he loses interest and retreats to the comfort of an armchair. The sentry bird up in the olive tree trills the all-clear, and back the feasters come.

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The weather will surely change, these birds will move house and take up residence throughout the property, and I will continue to provide seed for them. But Nature is cruel, and some of these birds will be food for the raptors. Life goes on.

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