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Charlie November

Latest posts by Charlie November

Guilty of overmanicuring gardens at the expense of wildlife?

Posted: 11/03/2015 at 17:53

I think I shall acquire a pair of greyhounds, train them to attack cats and let them roam freely. If anyone complains, I can just quote Lunaraia at them.

Maybe an eagle owl? I'm sure those are big enough to take a cat, and they really are natural species. I suspect the cat would die rather faster than any of its victims, either way, but it's near enough the same thing, isn't it?

It's weird, isn't it, Hostafan? Dog mauls child to death, we destroy the dog. Dog mauls cat to death, we destroy the dog. Crocodile takes child, crocodile gets hunted down and killed. Crocodile takes dog, crocodile gets hunted down and killed. Shark takes child, shark gets hunted down and killed. Shark takes dog, shark gets hunted down and killed. Shark takes man, shark gets hunted down and killed. Dog kills sheep, dog gets shot. Man shoots neighbour's sheep, man goes to jail. Man kills neighbours' dogs, man goes to jail. Dog mauls guide dog, dog gets destroyed. Man kills songbird, man gets charged with a crime. Cat tortures a thousand songbirds, mice, voles, newts, shrews, frogs and so on to death ... people say that's okay. Farmer shoots dog that's attacking his sheep, that's fine. It's legal. I shoot a dog that's attacking a child in my garden, that's fine (although I'd probably have to be close enough to use the pitchfork instead). GemmaJF uses that .22 to shoot a cat that's attacking songbirds, though? That'll be a lifetime ban from owning any gun and a huge fine and six- or seven-figures damages claims, won't it?

I found a dead bluetit near my feeders a few years ago. Then I found the corpses of three baby bluetits that had starved to death. The dead parent hadn't been eaten, just killed ... for the fun of it. If I'd caught a child doing that there'd have been legal repercussions for the child's family. Catch the neighbour's cat doing that, though, and I can legally ... umm ... shout at it?

There was mention recently of a group trying to get a cat protection manifesto into the general election, signing people up to only vote for a party that promises to restrict air rifle ownership, ban the sale of anti-freeze in summer, outlaw the use of snares altogether, give cats more legal protection et cetera. Well, I promise not to shoot, snare, poison, crush, skewer, bisect, strangle or asphyxiate any cat in its owner's home. Now can they please keep the disease-riddled, sociopathic, bastard things out of my garden? At the very least, can they each reimburse me for £1,000 of bird food? I've got receipts for a lot more than that, and I didn't spend it all just to entertain some furball.

Guilty of overmanicuring gardens at the expense of wildlife?

Posted: 10/03/2015 at 20:14

Keep the cats indoors. Really. They're sociopaths. They torture the wildlife to death for their own pleasure. Hostafan, pass me a 5.56 and call me God. Rats? They're not a native species either, cats don't touch them and I don't tolerate them. Fortunately, a .177 will actually get rid of a rat (and nobody minds). Mice aren't so bad. They're destructive when they get indoors, but I don't mind them in the compost heap, especially the forest dormice. Those guys are adorable! Rabbits ... well, I haven't shot any in a long time because nobody's asked me to help with a rabbit problem around here, but shoot them I do, and if I spot a myxy one I'll go and get the rifle and come back for it. Nasty damn way to go.

Yes, the birds fight over the food. They don't fight to the death over it, though, and when they are killing something they kill it as quickly as they can then eat it, not stop when it loses consciousness, wait for it to wake up and then start again over and over until it dies then leave the corpse and go looking for another victim.


Lawns? Waste of space, money and fossil fuels, lawns. Five picnics in three years, and the rest of the time it's just something that needs mowing. I'm going to take another strip off the lawn here and put in some "perfect for pollinators" flowers to replace it. The scrappy little back lawn can go completely, and I'll have one big flowerbed with just a little bit of path into the middle.

bumble bees

Posted: 07/03/2015 at 14:55

Saw my first butterfly of the year today, tortoiseshell on the south wall of the house. Also saw the local grey wagtail on the drive, which is nice. One more for the species list.

Slug..... Or is it ?

Posted: 07/03/2015 at 14:53

"I thought it was a Cornish vine weevil  as I know they are huge and have sharp teeth"

"It really had my goat."

Wait. Cornish vine weevils eat goats? Holy **** am I glad it's too cold for them to overwinter up here! Never getting compost from Cornwall!

rose dilemma

Posted: 04/03/2015 at 17:06

felicite-perpetue is a pink-tinged white rose? Has anybody informed the USMC of this fact?

nutcutlet, if you've got a 150' specimen of rambling rector I want to use it as a backdrop for a fashion photoshoot this summer.

You know spring is on its way when....

Posted: 03/03/2015 at 17:36

Snow? This morning it was hail. Isn't that supposed to be a summer thing around here?

You know spring is on its way when....

Posted: 01/03/2015 at 17:02

..... and it's snowing! All these instructions about planting things out just after the last frost or sowing seeds indoors two weeks before the last frost or whatever and suddenly it's snowing in March after a barely-noticed winter. How am I supposed to know which was the last frost, eh?

I knew something was up when all the birds gathered an hour early, like they were thinking it was getting awfully dark and they'd better report for supper while they could still see to fly.

Stag beetle habitat

Posted: 01/03/2015 at 15:24

pansyface, any beetle that can get tangled in my hair is a beetle worth a b____y fortune to the male beauty industry, because it'd have to get me to grow some!

Gemma, willow logs are pretty easy to grow if you've got space. You just find a willow tree, cut lots of 2' wips off it, take them home, stab the cut ends into the ground at 8" intervals and wait. If it's a long way, you may want to collect them in a bucket of water to keep them wet but willow doesn't really care. Cut down a third of the resulting trees every year. Planting three, six or nine rows 3' apart works well for that. If you find gaps in the rows, you can always fill them with cuttings from the trees that did take. Just don't stop pruning them. If you start doing this and then give up and let them grow you end up with a thicket and a huge chainsaw job to clear it followed by the thought: "what the %^*$ do i do with all this freshly-cut willow?"

Camera Corner

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 17:54

David K, I did actually take two pictures of those crocuses from the same place, one in "super macro" mode with a guaranteed very short focal length and one in "landscape" mode with a guaranteed longer focal length. I kind of miss the "tell the camera what aperture to use" setting on my old Nikon F55, but the Olympus SP-820UZ does have a "tell it a film speed to pretend to be using" option which is nearly the same thing. The one I posted is the short-focus one, achieved by pointing downwards at a nearby flower, holding the button halfway down and then moving and tilting to frame the picture I wanted. The long-focus one, with the foreground flowers out of focus, the ones behind them in "soft focus" and the rest of the flowerbed in focus ... was kind of crap, really. Much detail of invading grass, last autumn's leaves, the edge of the lawn, a couple of canes waiting for lilies to need them and so on. They're there in the one I did post, too, but part of an impressionist background to a detailed study so they don't get your attention.

Camera Corner

Posted: 28/02/2015 at 15:17


Discussions started by Charlie November

3-part hedge

This is what you get for neglecting it for 20 years! 
Replies: 8    Views: 334
Last Post: 04/04/2015 at 22:42

Most embarassing failure of the weekend

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Last Post: 09/04/2015 at 19:59

An octopus's garden in the shade

No octopodes, but lots of shade 
Replies: 8    Views: 540
Last Post: 01/05/2015 at 17:05

Holy glyphosate, Batman! What's that?

Huge thing with tiny white flowers and heart-shaped leaves 
Replies: 16    Views: 741
Last Post: 24/06/2014 at 16:52

Rose cuttings: timing

Replies: 8    Views: 648
Last Post: 22/03/2015 at 14:30

When is honey fungus not honey fungus?

At least I didn't spend anything. 
Replies: 18    Views: 2012
Last Post: 26/10/2013 at 16:46

Apple tree with white leaves

It seems to be healthy enough, if slow-growing 
Replies: 2    Views: 466
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 18:34


Not a lily. Not an apple tree. 
Replies: 6    Views: 646
Last Post: 10/09/2013 at 22:29


Planning? Measuring? Me? 
Replies: 26    Views: 1547
Last Post: 01/04/2015 at 19:53

Leaving tulips in the ground

Can they be left in if the drainage is good? 
Replies: 14    Views: 3377
Last Post: 13/05/2013 at 08:09
10 threads returned