Latest posts by Fairygirl

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 08/01/2017 at 09:33

Morning all/afties Pat - love the puppets 

Been slightly awol so have only read the last page. Hope you're not feeling too rough Dove 

Very sad about your neighbour, fidget. We're gradually losing that direct physical contact with the WW2 which I find worrying sometimes. Have I missed why you're moving too?

I agree with you too doc - I think that whole generation were more humble and just 'got on with it'. My parents were like that. BL - wonderful story abut your mum. They did so much for my generation and those to follow, yet they didn't boast or brag about any of it. A perfect example of what I mean. Not saying it's always a good thing to keep quiet about certain things, but what a huge, and often unpleasant, swing in the other direction there's been in the last 50 years or so. 

No walking this weekend - decided it was a very long way for a fairly unexciting walk, so I've been painting and hole filling and sanding etc instead. 

Hope dad is well, chicky 

I also watched the birds for a while as they all descended for their lunch. Both nuthatches were in the feeder together, so they seem to be a reasonably permanent fixture  

A starling attempted entry - but was foiled by the size of the holes, which the nutties just slip through no problem, and looked on the ground for the fallout instead. Everyone's a winner  

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 06/01/2017 at 20:28

Keep yer tummy bugs to yourselves - please! 

I'm not prone to them fortunately, although I had one out of the blue earlier this year. Made going up one of the Crianlarich hills interesting....

Hope you're all a bit better and healthier tomorrow. 

Cute hephalump 

I haven't seen the gardening prog but it's recorded so I'll catch it at some point. I quite like it. 

Horrible, manky sort of day here, and felt miserably cold despite it being much warmer, in theory, than the minus five frosty days. It's to be better tomorrow in the east so I think I'll head that way for a walk.

I'm off to watch that prog about Orkney's archaeology. Enjoy the rest of your evening everyone  

Wildlife gardening

Posted: 06/01/2017 at 20:13

TyCerrig - what other planting do you have in your garden, and what do other neighbours have? That's important as birds and other wildlife need a variety of things to make them come in. Even if there's only a few other householders with suitable habitats, you should be able to encourage more birds in. 

Don't despair - put small amounts of good quality food out, and be consistent. If you can encourage a few neighbours to do the same, it will gradually improve. Even in the middle of cities and towns, there are huge bird populations - it's just a matter of giving them what they need. Some simple annual and perennial flowers which attract insects (the good and the bad!) will bring in those bird predators to feed on them. Shrubs, trees and grasses all provide food or shelter. Early spring bulbs offer nectar for early bees and insects, and all these things add up over time, as you will be creating a little lifecycle in your garden. Your beach will get used by birds and insects for drinking and bathing, once they start coming in regularly  

My cage feeder is simply a step ahead of the squirrel proof cages which are readily available, and it was created because we get a lot of magpies, starlings and jackdaws which swarm in and hoover up all the food on the ground, leaving the little ground feeding birds like dunnocks and robins with very little. Open feeders were just as bad, as the starlings are like plagues of locusts!

The robins and dunnocks quickly learned how to 'perch' to access the feeding ports (I've added more branches to make it easier)  It also stops the squirrels. It needs to be properly constructed as it was a quick fix at the time, and will get a proper roof as well as timber supports. It's just the shelves from one of those little growhouses wired together, and then fixed to the fence.The front opens to allow me access.

Wildlife gardening

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 20:16

The cheaper feed is usually full of wheat which attracts the pigeons. The no mess mixes are worth having as there's no waste  

Cats are a common problem - I bought a water scarecrow and it's made a huge difference as nothing else worked. Once birds have the right food and habitat, and feel safe, thye'll come in regularly. Being consistent with the food is important too.  I also built a cage round a couple of feeders which means the little birds get peace to have their share of food. The bigger birds can have the food I put on on the ground so everyone's happy. 

Mahonia winter sun

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 18:39

It's a newly planted shrub Grajean, so it'll just be settling in. By next winter, it should have put on some growth and you'll probably get a much better display, and plenty of big berries to follow. 

They grow reasonably quickly up here, so you get a good looking shrub within a few years. Mine is only a couple of years old and looked good this winter with plenty of clusters of flowers.  

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 18:34

Perhaps your clothes have just shrunk fidget....

I love snowdrops, and some of those fancies look fabulous, but unless you have a specific area for viewing them, and the time to do that, I'd settle for loads of the bog standard ones too 

Nothing worse than flashing woodpecker...

Vine Weevil Grubs

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 18:31

I certainly wouldn't use Jeyes Fluid - it's completely indiscriminate and kills everything good as well as bad, leading to an imbalance. 

Posy's advice is correct - use a specialist product but also remove the infested compost and leave it out for the birds to eat the grubs. Nature's way of dealing with it, and the birds will be thrilled at some extras at this time of year   

Wildlife gardening

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 18:27

I'd agree with Ladybird here too - patience is a big part of it, and also agree wiht fidget that good quality food is the best way to go.It's a subject that gets discussed frequently, and the general consensus is to get a no mess mix which will attract lots of small birds and is far more economic in the long run. You could also use a robin mix - it's usually quite similar.

The hanging feeders will attract the tit family more than food on a bird table in my experience. You're certainly doing the right thing if you have food near the cover of a tree, but try a hanging one in there and see if it makes a difference. Small quantities of fresh food so that it doesn't get mouldy, and clean the feeders regularly if food isn't eaten. I have spares so that I can swap them and wash them accordingly. Having the water available is great, and make sure you have some suitable planting which will provide all sorts of food - seeds and berries for instance. It's a big picture rather than just one or two things.

Keep trying - I'm sure you'll get some in but it might be next winter before you see a change. I had almost no birds when I moved here a few years ago as the garden was very sterile. It's full of birds now 

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 16:57

Evening all. Need to take the decs down I suppose. I hate doing it 

My slow cooker has a ceramic style casserole insert - I suppose so that you can serve at the table and it looks half decent. It's a bit of a pain to wash but fine if you have a dishwasher. Like obelixx, I really prefer using my Le Creuset casseroles and putting them in a low oven, but the slow cooker's handy if I get one of the girls to put something on. I think the tomatoes create the issue of the water more than anything - it's usually goulash I do in it.  I do brisket which is really good, but I probably don't use it as often as I could - I should do soup but I still prefer a big pot for that. 

Lesley - if that robin of mine doesn't watch, he'll have an a**e the size of two a***s before long,  and won't be able to get off the ground if a cat comes by  

No 'poky' snowdrops here yet. Crocus have got little nubs showing. I have a weird situation of having an oak leaf Hydrangea in it's new raised bed, still covered in foliage, but I underplanted it with species tulips and crocus and they can't get any light now. What's a girl to do?   

Saw that prog advertised T'bird, but I didn't watch it. I should get it on catch up.  I did record one last night about avalanches though. Running out of room on the thingy on the tv - too much stuff either not watched or I haven't deleted yet...

Hello Forkers January 2017 Edition

Posted: 05/01/2017 at 12:43

I got a slow cooker a couple of years ago T'bird, and I found it watery when I did stews/goulashes, but I now stir a tblspoon of flour in with the meat and it basically makes a sauce. Failing that, Ieave the lid off a little for the last hour or so and a lot of it evaporates. I suppose it depends what you're making too, but that works for me. I sometimes shove stuff in when I come home for lunch at this time of day, and that means it gets a good 6 hours cooking too, so that might help as well.

Had to go and defrost the watering holes again for the birds. Dennis junior couldn't wait for his cheesy treats and was going in the front of the 'bench cage while I was shoving it in at the back! Hope he leaves a little for the blackies. The watery sun has made very little inroads as it's still only minus 2. We're supposed to get a bit of cloud arriving later though. At least it's warmer at work now as we have heaters on timers - only problem is that the heaters keep dying. Not very robust 

Keep all your lurgies to yourselves please - and yes, don't mix up the knitting with the hankies Dove 

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