It’s been the first day of the year we could get out in the garden and we’ve done quite a bit this afternoon. Not all of it has been structured or done well, but it’s the thought that counts and we needed the exercise. Well, I needed the exercise.

We’re still in the process of planning the vegetable garden, partly through lethargy and partly through not knowing what the plans are for next year. Hopefully we will find out in the next week or so.


The sheep are carrying on, with two more lambs born over the weekend. They’re not very cooperative when it comes to posing for photographs at the moment. Unfortunately we had someone walking a dog without it being on a lead – that always makes them a bit jumpy. Makes you wonder what people are thinking. Or if they are thinking.

At the moment we’re practising for the bird watch this weekend. I’m having to answer a large number of questions, including the difference between a pied wagtail and a magpie (they are both black and white with long tails, which causes confusion) and why it might be better not to sit there sniggering at the common name of Phalacrocorax aristotelis. (It’s a shag for those of you who aren’t familiar with the poem, or with juvenile humour.)

Despite what the poem says, the common cormorant is not another name for shag, and what I always thought of as the common cormorant is now the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Tricky things these bird names, which is why we need the Latin names too.

The Common Cormorant

The common cormorant (or shag)
Lays eggs inside a paper bag,
The reason you will see no doubt,
Is to keep the lightning out.

But what these unobservant birds
Have failed to notice is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Christopher Isherwood







8 thoughts on “Gardening

  1. clarepooley33

    I like a bit of juvenile humour myself. I also like Isherwood’s poem – an old favourite. Good luck with the Bird Watch at the weekend and also with all the gardening and keeping dog-walkers under control.

  2. Helen

    Glad you got some exercise in. Poor sheep though. I think you are right in supposing not a lot of thought went into walking dogs without leads near them.


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