Just a quick update for anyone worried about Reynard and Talbot. Our boss got some fox deterrent powder to be added to water and sprinkled around the garden. Mateo trundled out with his watering can, putting the most solution in the sandpit since they clearly like it there. On his way back from sprinkling around the rest of the garden, he passed the sandpit. One of the foxes was sitting happily in the sand, happy as Larry.
We suspect the deterrent is not effective.
For those of you getting attached to these foxes, don’t read on. Instead have a look at this fox from my garden during lockdown and then move on.
So, nature can be quite grim. And inexplicable. Don’t worry, Reynard and Talbot are still alive and harassing children, but one fox isn’t. Mateo found the head, but only the head, of a fox this morning, in the bushes. Did one of the children exact revenge on another fox? Perhaps the children were the aggressors all along?
Some of you might remember the cat’s head that Jessica found a few years ago. I think the police said that that foxes did it, but we were never satisfied with that explanation. It’s all very strange. Where did the body go?
Ok so, I think I’m pushing the scary-seed theme a bit beyond it’s ability to terrify, so this will be the last post on the subject until either a Triffid flower forms or it starts releasing toxic gas and I find lots of dead flies scattered around it.
For anyone who missed the hooha, here are my previous blogs on the subject:
Ahem. So the photo above shows the seedlings poking up from the mysterious Chinese seeds that I received. They look pretty much like normal seedlings. Those are just the seed leaves poking up, so I’ll have to wait a bit to see the true leaves and maybe work out what they are. No dead flies yet.
I’ve been a bit shoddy posting recently, and I’m sure that many of you have been wondering: What about those mysterious Chinese seeds? Did they turn out to be Triffids?
Well there have been a few new revelations about the seeds, so I’m going to put an article up for any of you who’ve been wondering. There have actually been a few articles posted, mostly saying OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE THESE! WHERE HAVE THEY COME FROM? WHAT DO THEY WANT? DON’T PLANT THEM, WHATEVER YOU DO! A few countries have received them now: Canada, US, Australia, Ireland and UK – all English speaking countries, no idea if that’s significant.
One detail in the article is that the seeds come from Vanuatu as well as China, which aren’t two countries I think of as being connected. The article suggests we ‘avoid planting the seeds’ which is pleasantly mild, so I won’t set fire to the pot on my windowsill yet. It seems there are a few different species in the packets. Bamboo would have been nice and I like a Petunia, but I don’t think mine are either, so they may still be Triffids. It’s still unknown as to why the seeds have been sent – although the ‘brushing’ scam is mostly likely. Apparently the US are having an investigation and China are helping.
I planted some of my mysterious Chinese seeds today (post about them here) – the ones that have newspapers like the Express all in a flap (I wonder if Express journalists are as hysterical as their headlines, or if they just see every situation as potential clickbait).
But it seems I’m too late, because I posted up that I’d sowed them on my work Whatsapp and it turns out my boss got some of the seeds too. And she sowed them ages ago! And they grew! And they’re peas! Peas!
Now I have an all encompassing hatred of peas, little green bastards. So I take back anything reasonable I said about China. This is an invasion! They are evil geniuses! They want to ruin all dinners with pea juice (because that is the evil of peas), so that we become hungry and grumpy and subduing us will be easy. I know I’m going to have trouble convincing others of this plot. Logically it may not make sense, but in my heart, I know the truth.
I know I haven’t been around, and I’ll explain why in a minute, but first I need to talk about the foxes!
Those who follow this blog, might remember that I have some foxes that like to sleep in my back garden, and they brought a shoe in. I left the shoe for them because I figured it might be a toy for them. Turns out it wasn’t.
A week ago I was watching the two of them sleep, curled up under the tree. Then one woke up, stretched, walked to the shoe and squatted over it for a moment and left. Ten minutes later the other did the same. With great trepidation I went out to the garden and looked in the shoe. It was filled with fox pee and one fox turd. It wasn’t a toy, it was a toilet! They brought a toilet to my garden. I disposed of it and they haven’t been back since. I have no idea what this means. Have I evicted them?
And now for a brief announcement, I’m disappearing for a while. It’s for a mix of reasons, the simplest is that I’m trying to write a book. I know I just finished the draft of one book, but now I’m working on another (I know I’m so damn productive! Superslow though 😉 ), so I need to concentrate on that for a bit. The other, less fun reason is that I’m having a resurgence of all the PTSD stuff from years ago (I wrote about this in the past, old blogs under the tags to the right). It’s not terrible (certainly nothing like it was), I’m still working, but I’m exhausted and cranky and I don’t want that bad mood to spill into my blogs and bring you all down. I’m not going forever, probably just a few months, and I’ll pop into visit your blogs occasionally to see what you’re all up to.
Please look after yourselves, keep the adventures going without me.
Oh and I went to see the moon in a church. Bet you never realised it would fit!
This is going to be short because I have some evil, life-force sapping virus. I think I’ve had it for a while, which probably explains why my blogs have been so crap recently (doesn’t explain their quality before that, but oh well).
But anyway, the foxes came back, and had a sleep near their shoe, so I glad I kept it. My phone wouldn’t get a good enough picture, so this is from Hamoudi’s. Look at the little chaps!
I get a lot of wildlife in my garden. South East London is greener than North London which entices nature to set up home, and then my garden is mostly left to its own devices so animals get to settle in. Parakeets swoop round in a gang every morning, drunken blackbirds sit on the lawn with their beaks in an apple, and I’ve had a family of foxes visiting for the last few years. What I like about our foxes is that so far they only visit, they don’t crap everywhere or dig holes. Aside from a few squashed plants (which might be the fault of cats) they only come to play or lounge around. Sometimes they bring toys.
This is the shoe they left in my garden last night. I don’t want to remove it in case they want to play with it later.
And a picture from last spring, this is the baby fox who came all the way up the fire escape to sleep on the roof under the kitchen window.
I’m not sure this is a good idea. Where would I put it all?
Was reducing a twenty-five foot bay tree to about twelve foot high today. I didn’t have a ladder, so mostly I was cutting huge chunks out by sawing through thick stems lower down, doing a bit of climbing so I could reach. I could see there were two nests near the top of the tree, it’s past nesting season and there was no tetchy birds around, so I was sure they were empty. After a few hours of cutting and clambering I finally sawed through the branch with one of the nests on and those whole thing came crashing down and landed on the ground. But the nest had vanished.
There was the branch with a bundle of dead leaves next to it. No nest.
But then I thought having a bundle of dead leaves in a tree was weird, not like they’d been pruned and left there, they must have been put there. I was working with Ezekiel (don’t think I’ve mentioned him, he’s very mellow and knows a lot about nature) and asked him what he thought.
‘Well that,’ he said ‘looks like a squirrel’s nest, he’d have built it for the winter to hibernate in. Looks like he never properly used it though, there’s no poo.’
Ezekiel even found a nut in it. So there you are, a squirrel’s nest is made up of dead leaves rolled up.
The other nest was just a bird’s nest and was only used by woodlice.
I’ll be honest, this photo was taken a few weeks ago. Or months. I don’t really pay attention, time does its thing whatever. Anyway, I found this while weeding in one our more exotic gardens and asked around my colleagues to see if anyone knew what it was. We thought because of the leaves, it must be a Clematis, but none of us had seen a flower like this.
After I got home I did some googling around and discovered this photo, so the centre of Clematises do do this, but is it normal to do it this much?
Like the segments of an orange. Barely a flower at all.
This has just been a week when I’ve proved how little I know about plants, right?
We were all walking to the shed this morning to get tooled up, when we spotted the deceased animal below. It’s not uncommon to find dead things around, but we can usually work out what they are, even if they’ve been chewed. But this? What is this? I’m sure I can see five feet of various sizes, but no head. Is it a baby bird knocked out of a nest for being a mutant? Nature is harsh.
In our fancy new messroom, we have a fancy new clock. It connects to a satellite so that the time can be always super accurate. Everybody has avoided setting it because it looks too complicated, however, today Mateo decided to go for it. He put the battery in and moved the hands round to the correct time. The clock disagreed (presumably after connecting to the satellite) and moved the hands back round to the wrong time. He tried again. Again the clock took control. By his fourth attempt we were all watching enthralled (breaks can be dull) cheering as he set the right time, groaning and howling as the clock undid his work with its sophisticated wizardry. Finally he resorted to the instructions.
‘It says I only need to press this for 3 seconds and that connects it to the satellite. It will move the hands to twelve first, and then to the correct time,’ said Mateo, doubtfully. But he did it and then the hands began to move. They moved to twelve and for a moment we thought this was it, fancy clock knew what it was doing, it reached twelve thirty, the right time, but then kept on going. Finally landing on a time five hours and thirteen minutes out. We had to take the clock off Mateo to stop its destruction.
It is now hanging on the wall, telling us lies, but we hope since it’s closer to the satellite up there, it will figure things out eventually. This is the problem as our technology gets cleverer than us, it gets defiant, it sneers at our puny desires to know the time. It wants to explore possibilities, experiment, and ultimately destroy us all with lasers. Satellite connected lasers.