An Otter In Stroud

Of all England's mammals, there is one - more than any other - that I have always wanted to see in the wild. Only one animal which, since I saw that film and read that book as a boy, I'm aware of, subconsciously at least, as I walk alongside streams and rivers and shoreline. When … Continue reading An Otter In Stroud

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The Sparrowhawk

Jim picked me up from work at The Old Forge yesterday and, as I loaded my tools into the car, told me that he'd almost driven over a sparrowhawk crouched on the lane leading up to the house.  Luckily, he had braked in time and the bird flew away, as did an injured pigeon it … Continue reading The Sparrowhawk

An End To March

I'm taking a short break from 'The Anxious Gardener' but meanwhile, and after months of winter drear, it seems a shame not to share some images from the last days of March. Daffodils aren't around for long but The Priory's brief show is hearty.  I'm so used to their regular, faithful appearance that I don't … Continue reading An End To March

Wildflowers On The South Downs

I'm not terribly fond of petrol mowers at the best of times but when they break-down repeatedly, I think them insufferable.   If only they would listen to reason and I could patiently explain how simple their duties really are. At least a faulty mower induced forced-stop to mowing at The Old Forge gave me a … Continue reading Wildflowers On The South Downs

Birdsong And What To Do About It

In a previous post, I mentioned how the midday hoot of a tawny owl - and my thwarted attempts to see him - had driven me nuts.  But that was nothing ... nothing ... compared to the song of a certain bird which has sent me doolally.  This unidentified bird sings a simple refrain, over and … Continue reading Birdsong And What To Do About It