Category: ECOSYSTEM

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20 March – Spring Starts

Daffodils, photo by PH Morton

 

20 March – Spring Starts

2oth of March is not only the official start of spring in the UK, Canada and the US, but today is also a celebration of International Happiness Day.

Are you happy?  Have you got spring in your footsteps?

Me too ūüôĀ

Not a happy bunny!  Woke up this morning tired from lack of sleep to a greyish gloomy day.

It was so dark at 8:00 am I had to turn the lights on.

Come on spring……

The Yew Tree

Our beautiful  Yew Tree lit up at night with Christmas lights, photo by PH Morton

The Yew Tree

We have got a lovely yew tree in our front garden which we dress up with lights on Christmas. It is now about 8 feet tall and still growing.

But did you know that the yew tree has a not quite a nice superstition attached to it?!!!

Yew (Taxus baccata) is a characteristic tree of churchyards, where some are estimated to be well over 1,000 years old.:
It is believed that ever since people arrived upon UK  shores, they planted yew trees in acts of sanctification, close to where they eventually hoped to be laid to rest.
And, according to a label on a yew tree at Kew Gardens in 1993:

The Druids regarded yew as sacred and planted it close to their temples. As early Christians often built their churches on these consecrated sites, the association of yew trees with churchyards was perpetuated

Apparently, if you bring in a yew (as part of a bundle of greenery for decoration) inside the house at Christmas, there will be a death in the family before the year out. It is also advised not to take yew inside the house because it is very unlucky!!!

Oh no, our yew tree is so beautiful to be a source of such malevolent superstition.

And all parts of the yew tree are poisonous, the hidden seeds inside the berries are extremely poisonous.

Ripen Fruits with a Banana

Ripening tomatoes with banana, photo by PH Morton

Food Tips

Ripen Fruits with a Banana

 

Now that summer has rolled into autumn, it is now time to gather in the fruits and vegetables still in the garden before the onset of cold weather and frost.

 

 

From his experience of keeping an allotment for more than 50 years, Mick, our neighbour, and good friend has lots of tips for gardening and how to store the yield produce.

He said to ripen green tomatoes, store them with a banana in a closed container. We use spare space in a kitchen drawer.

Peter applied this tip with a few green tomatoes last night and when he checked them this morning and found that they had started to ripen. (See above photo)

Remember!

Do not refrigerate an unripe banana.  The temperature of the fridge will halt the natural ripening process of a banana and would now remain green and unripe even when taken out of the fridge.

Fury, The Hawk

Bird of Prey

Fury, The Hawk

 

Fury and his handler, photo by JMorton

In Profile

  • Name: Fury
  • Age: 9 Years old
  • Aves: Hawk
  • Occupation: Pest Controller
  • Place of Work: Old Royal Navy College – Greenwich, South London, UK

 

We met Fury and his handler recently whilst on a visit at the Old Royal Navy College to attend a tour of a once in a lifetime opportunity to be up close with the hall and ceiling murals, which is the most extensive work in the UK and can rival Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.

Anyway, Fury and his handler were promenading outside the building, alert to any uninvited guests.

Hawk is 9 years old and he regularly patrols the building and its surrounding areas for any marauding pigeons, rats, and other pests, who can create so much deposit of poos and upheavals to wherever they congregate.

Hawks are often used as guardians and mascots of large public building and areas as they are known for their keen eyesight and intelligence.

Fury at just 9, is still a ‘spring chicken’¬† Hawks in captivity usually live until 20 years of age.

 

Upside Down Ducks

The video below is of upside down ducks.

And please it is not a delicious duck recipe. ūüôā

I took the video while we were perambulating at Golders Hill Park in North West London on a sunny day early this spring 2018.

To be honest for a girl, who grew up in a farm, I have never seen ducks feeding in the water in an upside down position. It was rather amazing to see and watch them doing their business.

Upside Down Ducks

@GlobalGranaryVideo