Bee Drinking Station…
Bee Watering Station…© Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
Since I first learned about 30 Days Wild and joined the ’30 Days Wild’ Facebook group back in April I have learnt so much from the other 11,000 members and am discovering new ways to adapt my garden to make it more wildlife friendly!
So for today’s random act of wildness I was inspired to make this watering station for bees and it was so simple to make! I had the dish laying around the garden and a bag of pebbles that were saved from balloon weights at a party. I added some water and a few flowers to draw the bees attention to the dish.
It is important to provide bees with a source of water where they can safely drink without drowning and the peddles provide stepping stones for them to rest without risk. Now I am just hoping to catch a glimpse of the bees using it!!
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I’ve been fascinated by the birds in my garden and how they have adapted to life here. We only first started thinking “wildlife” where the garden was concerned last summer and it began with a few plants and a simple seed feeder with a couple of sparrow visitors. Now the garden is thriving and we have regular visitors through the seasons! Over the year the bird feeding station has had a lot of change and now supports a bird table, two seed feeders and a water station. Today I spent a while in the garden after work and snapped a few of the regulars…
The Woodies… © Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
Meet The Woodies – Over the winter months a male wood pigeon became a regular visitor, at first he made several comical attempts to ‘land’ on this feeder so I started putting out a plate of seed on the ground. When I got the table he couldn’t work out how to get inside but he soon discovered that the upper feeder was accessible to him and this is now his preferred place to feed…after watching him slipping uncomfortably on the roof for many weeks we adapted the roof with a couple of little ‘steps’ to provide a flat surface which he seems a lot happier with. He brought a female along at Christmas and both were regular visitors for months …the only way I could tell them apart was by their feeding habits (she would eat from the ground and also even get into the bird table!!). More recently though we noticed he was on his own a lot more and we suspect that he has a new female (in the photo) – this second bird feeds side by side with him on the roof and is extremely nervous of any movement and freaks at the slightest sound!
Starling and House Sparrow…© Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
Starling and House Sparrow…© Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
One of the latest additions to the garden is this starling, pictured with a regular house sparrow visitor (a very unlikely couple, but often seen feeding ‘together’, I’m convinced something is going on with these two haha!!). There are a group of 7-8 starlings that raid the table for worms each morning but this one seems to come back at intervals through the day. I’ve never seen a starling with these markings before and unfortunately these photos taken through glass and zoomed in do not do the beauty justice! The colour is almost silver with what looks like black eye-liner around his or her eyes – such a stunner! I understand that it may be a juvenile, but the other juveniles are black with pale and iridescent flecks!!
Moments before I took these photos I was sitting in the garden and they were wary of landing, so when I went inside to get my camera I looked up and saw them both peeking in to see if the coast was clear!
Jackdaws…© Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
I’ve yet to see the jackdaws visit the garden but they always make themselves noticed vocally from the roof top opposite, such beautiful birds with amazing eyes. I think the one on the right is the ‘young’ as I saw it demanding food earlier although being so grown up I think it was soon put in its place and told to ‘get lost’!!
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Watching Me, Watching You…
Since I began posting for 30 days wild my regular walks to work have become a lot more interesting. I still take the same route through the park gardens but I have a new heightened awareness of what is around me.
Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me to document my journey in pictures (N.B. that’s an idea for another day!!) so the image attached to this post was actually taken this evening as I watched the garden birds ‘sharing’ the feeders. I have a background in animal behaviour and I have always wondered while watching animals who exactly is observing who and this example summed up my day of ‘observations’.
My observations began while walking down the hill towards the park, I was suddenly aware of a rustling across the road and out popped a squirrel from an overgrown driveway. It started galloping along the footpath parallel to me and then crossed the road, both of us arriving at the gateway to the gardens at the same time. It seemed really wary so I took a few steps backwards to allow some space for it to pass and it paused to give me a little look (I’d like to think it was thanking me…) and then clambered down the steps and disappeared into a garden.
From the moment I walked down the steps I started to become aware of all the sights and sounds before me, and despite initially thinking the park was empty it was actually breathing with life…wild-life!!
On the way through I saw four squirrels (foraging and scurrying around tree trunks), a family of wood pigeons, three Mr Blackbirds and two Mrs Blackbirds (separately scuffing around in the undergrowth of trees) , eleven feral pigeons (feasting in the distance on some food a passerby left for them), a jay (flying from tree to tree), three magpies, two crows, several gulls swooping overhead (always optimistic), a common blue butterfly, two smaller unknown butterflies dancing and spiraling beneath a tree.
I also noticed the shapes of all the leaves in the trees, the different shades of green and silver, the smell of the elder flowers, the smell of cut grass, the long grasses swaying in the breeze in a wild area and the amazing sounds of park life!!
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Peace Rose – Raindrops © Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
Peace Rose BW © Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
Peace Rose © Lisa Cullingworth, 2017
I planted this rose 11 months ago and it was chosen for its beautiful two tone colouration and name. This week saw the first bud of the year open and I waited until it had fully emerged before documenting it in all its glory.
The name of this rose is very symbolic of my ongoing desire for inner peace and was very much in the forefront of my mind when choosing from the rows and rows of different roses at the garden centre – honestly I never knew there were so many!!
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However when I bought it I never really thought about its history until today…
After a quick search on the internet I found out that the ‘Peace’ rose was invented by French rose breeder Francis Meilland in 1935 but was at the time unnamed. Five years later when Hitler invaded France, three parcels of bud wood were sent out of France and one was smuggled into America. In America their agent planted the rose and trialed it in different climates across the United States and it soon became very popular.
The launch date for the rose was set for 29 April 1945 in California. Coincidentally on the same day that two doves were released in America to symbolise the naming of the rose, Berlin fell and a truce was declared. In naming the rose the following statement was read: “We are persuaded that this greatest new rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire: ‘PEACE’.”
The official name is Rosa Peace (‘Madame A. Meilland’) after Francis Meillands mother Claudia.
(Information sourced from www.gerbera.org although info can be found via a number of sources)