Meet Mrs Stumpy-21 June 2022

Well? I’m waiting…

Meet my friend Mrs Stumpy.

She is a Blackbird but is a bit disadvantaged as she has no tail. When I first saw her bopping about in the garden I presumed she was a juvenile but, as month followed month, she stayed as she was- still no tail.

She joined in with the winter crowd around the bird feeder on the patio and pushed her way in to make sure she got a fair share of the food. I always talked to her, softly calling out “Hello, hello…” and she started to come when I called in that way.

When the Spring arrived, I moved the bird table off the patio to another place but Mrs Stumpy still turned up looking for me each day. She was often out there , waiting, when I opened the patio door curtains.

I suspected she had babies somewhere when I noticed she was carrying off as much food as she was eating and she developed a new signal: she would stand on one leg and open and close her mouth in the way a baby bird might do. It was as if she was saying, “For the love of Mike! Help me with this baby bird. More food, please?”

As Spring turned to Summer she has become even more tame and will now come to the bird table even while I am standing there putting her morning food on it. She tries to get her singular, very big, baby to follow her up onto the table so she can just poke food straight into him without having to fly off to find him and risk losing the rest of the food to the ever watchful Jackdaws. Oh, how she hates the Jackdaws!

In fact, she may be small and she may have no tail but she is fierce! I have seen her going after Pigeons and Jackdaws with a screaming fury that belies her size. She chases them off into the next garden and then comes back to the bird table with wild eyes and feathers all scruffy and ruffled.

Making friends with a wild creature has been such a privilege.

As an added photo for today:

Midsummer Flowers

This is my perennial Lovage plant. It is a herb that can be used in food but the taste is quite strong, think yeasty celery. The leaves are the part most often used in food. I have a soup recipe if anyone wants it. I grow it for the structural form and because the pollinators just love the flowers. It starts each Spring at ground level, having been hacked back after the Ladybirds have finished overwintering in the dry, hollow stems and then races toward the sky until today- Midsummer Day. I managed to take this photo at 10:15- exactly Solstice. As you can see, I took the photo from below the flowers as it reaches up to about 10 foot in my garden. From this point in the year, it feeds the bees and their friends and then each of the flower heads turns to seeds. Quick, quick, chop ’em off! It is a prolific self-seeder. This plant is about 20 years old and the roots go to whatever point on the Earth is the opposite of where I live.

Have a great Midsummer Day!!

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