There I was on Sunday, making some beads, when hubby came in and told me he had a present for me! It turned out to be a dunnock chick that the kids had found on the path to our front door. An ugly, but fiesty thing, he (she?) won me over a bit with his mad hair. The kids affectionately named him 'Jedward'.....
We had a good hunt around for a nest and found it eventually in the hedge next to the path along with 4 of his brothers and sisters. So we popped him back in - he seemed happy enough, and hoped that Mummy Dunnock wasn't too put off.
The next day we found the little fella had fallen out of the nest again!! This time I thought he was a gonner, but no, still alive, though very cold, so I warmed him up for a moment or two in my hands, then popped him back in his nest again, this time making sure he was properly snuggled in. All the time M.D. was sitting in the tree next to the hedge chirping angrily at me! When I checked later all looked well and a mass of fluff with five beaks were spotted.
If you were wondering I also watched Mum fly in and out this morning feeding them, so it looks like she's not been put off! However, I suspect that 5 baby dunnocks are not going to fit in that tiny nest for long. I guess that this is the order of things, but the fella was cute and I couldn't just let him die. I'll keep you posted on developments!
Yesterday I saw a fascinating sight. An upsidedown rainbow!
It was wonderful, if a little freaky to begin with as I'd never even heard of one, let alone seen one before. I dashed in for my camera and to quickly google it too :)
Officially it's not a rainbow as there was no rain. It was a gorgeous sunny evening with a few wispy clouds. Normal rainbows are formed when light passes through raindrops and as it shines it shows as arcs of colour on the other side. Yesterdays (non)rainbow, or to give it its posh name - Circumzenithal Arc, is formed when sunlight shines down and bent through a thin layer of ice crystals found in the atmosphere.
From what I have read, it's not brilliant that we can see something like this, it's really, rare and usually it is only seen in conditions found in places like the North Pole. However, we can now see it every now and then in Britain. Showing that the planets weather is changing!? Amazing though!
Picked some more strawberries from the allotment and made them into an extremely bad for you (but quite yummy I thought) icecream. We've had loads and loads so far this year, however some of the strawbs have started to take on a bit of an odd shape. I've had a few of these now and wonder if this means my oldest plants are starting to be a little past it? They're in their fourthish year.
Still tasted good mind you!
In the back garden - I've had a general tidy up and made a start on digging the border that hasn't had anything in it since we had the new fence in (so ages then!) - I think I'm going to try chucking a few things in to see what I can get from the last part of the Summer.
I've got toms on the go, still no fruit yet, but flowers galore. Chillies - a few but not going very mad yet. My fig tree is loving the renewed attention, amazing what a top dressing, and regular watering can do!
What a gorgeous, glorious day today. Perfect for a visit to the plot.
The most exciting thing about our visit today was the obvious interest in our shed by our friendly pair of plot robins. When we last went we noticed that a nest had been built in the corner on top of a shelf. It was interesting, but we left it as we found it, thinking that it had probably been abandoned.
Then look what we found today!
Babies!! Five of them :) The robins didn't seem in the slightest bit worried about us being there and kept flying in and out of the gap where the plank is missing off the shed door with worms and the like for the babies to munch on. They basically ignored us, or waited for us to get out of the way. Needless to say, we did keep out of their way and went in the shed as little as possible (although we did have to go in as all our tools are in there!). It was fascinating to watch them!
This pic is purely to show the gap in the shed door :)
We had spuds to get in - I wanted to sow most of the rest of my Anya salad potatoes in (holding a few back to put in when I take my first lot out - it's an experiment to see what I get :) ). I also wanted to get in a row of maincrop (Cara).
We are in the process of forcing some of our rhubarb - we did it last year and it was great. You can see the unforced ones on the right hand side of the bin. Granted they are younger than the one in the bin - however we were still amazed to see what awaited us......
It was monstrous (in the nicest possible way!)!! We had Rhubarb Fool for pudding - yum yum!
Finally a photo of my cute bike all laden with rhubarb and flowers! Set for a pleasant cycle home in the sunshine! Generally a very nice day!
I got out of bed this morning with a plan to run 5K along a route that I really struggled on last time I did it. However, today I felt totally different. It's a lovely route taking in nature trails, river and canal paths - so I wanted to do it justice.
I felt great from the off, everytime I had a choice as to whether to extend my route a little or head on home I still felt fine so carried on. Once I'd started to extend the run I thought I'd try to aim for 5miles, but as I've no GPS just my trusty digital watch, I had to guess the distance. I ran on and on, finally getting tired and 'shuffley' and my legs were starting to ache, but I kept going until I got home.
I checked the distance when I got in and it was 10K on the nose! I was so chuffed, I can't believe I can actually run that far and for that long! I took 1:25:36 which is pretty slow in the whole scheme of things but for me is amazing - I can run for nearly one and a half hours non stop! Yay!
Yesterday I set out for my second attempt at completing the 5K distance (first attempt resulted in me not checking the route properly and ultimately running 4.95K!! I was not happy!). Anyway, off I went yesterday, checking my route before I set off and completed 5.5K in 43.50. My 5K time was 39.40. I know it's not the speediest run in the world, but I'm really pleased :) I did it, I've finally completed the C25K properly and I can run for 40mins+ now - YAY!
Who would have thought that I could enjoy running so much??
For the past 9 weeks I've been following the Couch to 5K programme. A programme that claims to get you running for 30mins/5K from nothing. Well, it did! Today I completed my final run - YAY! I did the programme for time rather than distance so have actually only run 4k (as I'm super slow :) ) but am proud of myself anyway. The next step is to complete 5K and then who knows?!
I still find it hard to believe that I can run for 30 minutes without stopping! When I started the programme 2 months ago I couldn't even run to the end of the road! Anyone who thinks they can't run should try it. It's hard, a real challenge, but I loved it!
Started my early sowings today. Chillis, toms, cabbage, cauli, PSB, broccoli, celery and salad bowl CACA. I know it's early for some I've found it's better to start early and re sow some if need be, than not and then have to re sow and risk it being a bit too late. Works for me anyway.
About to begin! Compost wasn't the right soer - far too coarse, but it was all they had in that size at the garden centre. A bit of sieving was needed.
Here's a pic with my cute looking spuds all lined up like they're watching a film :) They are Anya and Cara.
Rock Challenge 2011 is about to start and the school I work at entered last year and were AMAZING! This year our theme is 'The American Dream'. My friend Katy does all the choreography and direction, I do the set, props and backstage crew, and Hayley does EVERYTHING else :).
It it a performing arts competition for schools to enter. Each team performs an 8 minute piece to music in dance or physical theatre to tell a story. Some of the schools that enter the competition are fantastic. Last year our school won the local heats - we didn't win the regional final, but the competition was very tough :) Great fun though!
Anyway, I've started on the props - so far I've made a Statue of Liberty torch and my mate the Seagull-on-a-stick! :)
I've also got new set on order. So will be painting soon too I hope!
We haven't been over to the plot since bonfire weekend. I was concerned that we'd have masses to do, but we went today and were suprised how orderly it looked. Got to love the lack of weeds over winter!
Biggest surprise was that in our absence they had cut down the bushes around the outside of the allotment fence. I did know that it was going to happen, and wasn't sure how I felt about it - especially as is it was full of wildlife. However, it's meant that we now have loads more light and the robins that usually nest in the bushes were there watching us dig as usual so they've obviously found somewhere new. The only minor worry is that it may be marginly easier for someone to climb over now, but I guess if they really want to get in a fence wouldn't (and didn't) stop them!
Anyway, the overwintering onions and garlics looked a little sorry for themselves, I guess they've had quite a hard time. The broad beans and peas we put in have done absolutely nothing! And pretty much anything else still in (i.e. swedes) have totally gone over. We made a bit of a plan to simplify everything again (less varieties and putting beds together) and then got digging the potato bed over ready for manure.