Monday, 4 December 2006

A windy week in early December

Hearing the high winds in the night, I felt anxious about how the garden was faring - so it was with a little trepidation that I turned the heavy, old-fashioned key in the door to the walled garden. The gales were still battering the tall beech trees around the garden, but there was a calmer atmosphere within the sheltering walls. I walked round to check everything and, apart from some fleece detaching itself and getting snagged in a rose bush, there was no damage to the plants. Having had a mature laburnum tree knocked down last year, I was relieved there were no problems now; over the twenty years I have been running the garden, I have definitely noticed the worsening winds in the last few years, which I personally connect with global warming. The fleece had been protecting a fig tree - another sign that things are changing, as I would not have been able to grow this outside in Northumberland, with or without fleece, in past years.

Mistle thrushes have been making a racket with their throaty, rattling cries as they pick luscious red berries out of the yew trees. It has been a fantastic autumn for fruits of all kinds, the espalier apple trees laden, rose hips making vibrant arching shapes and hazel nuts in the hedgerows providing plenty for the red squirrels. There have always been reds in the woods at Chesters and we sometimes even see them in the garden - one autumn day, a red squirrel curled up on the lawn to sleep in the weakening sunshine. My son, Thomas, is doing the Foundation Degree course in Photography at Newcastle College and wanting to specialise in wildlife photography and this is his photograph, taken this week, of a red squirrel.

1 comment:

janet said...

Love the squirrel pic. Where exactly was it taken? Inside the garden or in the wood?
How nice to know I can use tags. Huh. What are they then and what would I use one for? Can you mow lawns or weed beds with them? Bring back old tools is what I say. The gale force winds have been beyond a joke. But I am not sure things are really getting worse. I was in London in 1987 and this is but a dainty zephyr in comparison.
Time for bed. I will log on some more and see how things are going.