Latest posts by Tomsk

Foxes & Cats

Posted: 16/05/2016 at 11:29

A couple of days ago, I was walking home past a suburban house in the afternoon (bright sunlight) and was surprised to see a fox and two cats keeping each other company outside the house. The fox was curled up trying to sleep, but raised its head and got a bit nervous when it saw me walk past. Literally a foot next to it was a cat sprawled out cleaning itself happily, and up on a box next to them both was another cat just sitting there enjoying the sun.

Has anyone else seen foxes starting to make friends with cats and being so comfortable to hang around with them outside someone's front door? The fox clearly felt more comfortable being part of a 'pack', and will probably learn from the behaviour of the cats not to be so scared of people and feel a sense of 'home'.

Last edited: 16 May 2016 11:32:19

Bees in chimney

Posted: 16/05/2016 at 11:24

Thanks for the replies. I was going to try to take a photo of them but none have come down the chimney for the last couple of days. I did hear one buzzing inside it, but it must have gone back up and out rather than down into the living room.

There are also no flowers in bloom in my garden at the moment. The last of the tulips died and it's too early for the lilies, dahlias and gladioli.

Bees in chimney

Posted: 09/05/2016 at 13:31

I have a chimney that gets used every winter t burn coal, and suddenly there are lots of bees falling down it. Sometimes, from the garden, I can see a few of them flying around the chimney pots. These are black bees that sort of look half way between a honey bee and a bumble bee. Are they the African bees introduced to the UK a few years ago to help boos falling populations?

Anyway, assuming they've made a hive either in or close to my chimney, are they likely to leave at the end of the year and not come back? Do they leave eggs in the hive that will turn into bees and leave next year or anything?

I don't want to harm them, but I will need to light fires again in the winter. I tried burning some paper several times to cause smoke. There's no problem with the smoke going up, so the chimney isn't blocked, but it hasn't scared them off.

Identify a fly

Posted: 14/04/2016 at 17:14

Thanks for the replies. Glad to know they won't lay eggs in bulbs and kill them or anything. Not sure what they're living on since there's not any rotting stuff at the moment, but they're welcome to stay.

Identify a fly

Posted: 13/04/2016 at 17:19

I have a load of flies living in my tulips. Does anyone know what kind of flies they are, and whether they're a pest to flowers?



Chameleon tulips!

Posted: 10/04/2016 at 20:11

I bought some yellow and red 'Helmar' tulips a few years ago and they were beautiful the first year. The petals were mainly warm yellow with bold red around the bottom end that joins the stem. The following year they were more or less all red.

They just flowered and are now completely red. It's annoying as I bought these premium bulbs but now they look just like the cheaper, basic red tulips.

New Moth

Posted: 08/04/2016 at 13:27

I took it to the garden and left it on a mini daffodil that had bloomed, however it's just stayed still for two days. Is this normal?

It rained a bit yesterday but not heavily. Today is bone dry, so surely it should have long gone flying off to look for food?

New Moth

Posted: 06/04/2016 at 16:11

I found a chrysalis in a rather dangerous location last November so brought it inside. Yesterday, it started changing colour and this morning I got up to find an empty chrysalis and a new moth nearby.

Its wings were very green and soft, and it was very lethargic. A few hours later, it's already changed colour a bit and is more lively, though it still wants to just stay still and upright.

How long until I should take it outside? Tomorrow is supposed to rain, so I was hoping it would fly off on a dry, sunny day. Also, is it normal for things to have taken so long? I've no idea how long the chrysalis was there before November, but that's still at least five months.



Short tulip flowers

Posted: 29/03/2016 at 16:05

I have the opposite problem, the tulips in my beds grow to at least 18" before they open up, but then they flop over under their own weight.

However, I do have this problem with hyacinths. They flower the moment they see light, but then continue to grow as they flower. I have some hyacinths in pots mixed with tulips and daffodils, and the they usually flower whilst completely hidden under the foliage. By the time they've poked up above the leaves, they're starting to wither.

They didn't do this the first year they flowered.

Tulips in cold weather

Posted: 29/03/2016 at 15:28

Well to answer my own question, a few days ago the first few petals began falling off before the flowers had opened (they still haven't!) and then there was the big storm that blew a lot more off and blew over some tulips.

I have some separate tulips in pots that are still only growing and luckily the storm only snapped two of them.

One question I do have, though, is why the colour of the tulips in the pots has changed over time. I planted 'Helmar' tulips and in the first year they flowered in a beautiful yellow and red, just like the packaging depicted. But the next year the heads were mostly red with a splash of yellow. Last year they were completely red and the early flowers that are now forming in those pots appear completely red again, without so much as a hint of yellow.

Is this a problem with multi-coloured flowers or a feeding issue?

The ones I planted in the ground (as seen in the photo further up) were supposed to be just red and have stayed like that. But I paid extra for 'Helmar' and now they look just like the cheaper red ones.

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1 to 15 of 66 threads