Birdseed (exact drabble)



“If you’re so hard up then why do you buy birdseed?” he asks, puzzled.

“Because it’s relatively inexpensive for the benefits I get. I put a handful out every day,” she says. “And the birds come and eat it. Pigeons, blackbirds, robins, sparrows, and crows. They wait for me now, eager each morning. I get to watch them peck at the seed. I know some are nesting in the nearby bushes. It gives me a sense of communion with nature. I know it’s a small thing and hardly earth changing. But it makes me feel useful. As if I matter.”

Sheldon Country Park/Old Rectory Farm & Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve

A few photos taken in and around Sheldon Country Park and Old Rectory Farm:

“Sheldon Country Park covers an area of just over 300 acres, comprising open grassland, wetlands, old hedgerows and some mature woodland. Situated on the very edge of the city, the land has escaped development and has become a haven for wildlife.
The Parks Ranger Service is based at Old Rectory Farm, a 17th Century dairy farm, which is situated on the main entrance to the park.
The farm has historic importance, having been the home of Sheldon’s most celebrated son, Thomas Bray, from 1690 to 1721.
Old Rectory Farm has been fully restored and operates as a demonstration farm, showing city dwellers traditional methods of farming. Animals kept at the farm include Jersey cattle, pigs, goats, ponies, ducks, chickens and geese.” Source: Sheldon Country Park

The park includes a viewing area of Birmingham International Airport, a playground, and plenty of space to picnic.

Thomas Bray “was an English clergyman and abolitionist who helped formally establish the Church of England in Maryland” Source: Thomas Bray

One image was taken at the lake at Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve.

“Babbs Mill Park was created in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II. A haven for wildlife, it was recognised as a Local Nature Reserve in 2002.
Complete with lake, the meandering River Cole, wildflower grasslands and woodland, Babbs Mill LNR is a wonderful space for us all to get in touch with nature. A natural habitat for owls and a protected area for bats, it is a diverse habitat well deserving of its Local Nature Reserve status. ” Source: Babbs Mill Local Nature Reserve

It is a pity then that the council is seeking to remove the Local Nature Reserve Status in order to build 52 luxury houses on this precious nature spot. Source: Petition to save Babbs Mill’s Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status and Action for Babbs Mill

Litha (Midsummer)

Litha Comments & Graphics

Image by Magickal Graphics 

Litha is also known as the Summer Solstice, Midsummer, Midsummer Night, Midsummer Night’s Eve, Gathering Day, Sun Blessing, Gathering Day, Feill-Sheathain, St. John’s Day. In England, The Day of Cerridwen and Her Cauldron, in Ireland, dedicated to the faery goddess Aine of Knockaine; Day of the Green Man in Northern Europe.
Usually celebrated around June 21, the Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun is at the highest point before beginning its slide into darkness.
This year for the first time in decades, it coincides with the full moon. (3)

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Summer – and some photos

(River Blythe)

What makes it summer time for you? Is it the first time you get to sunbathe or prepare a barbecue? Is it seeing fledging birds taking their early flights? Maybe it’s the first bumblebee of the year you see. Perhaps it’s when you go to the beach or start waking up before your alarm as the morning sunshine streams through your window.

There’s probably more than one thing that makes you think summer has arrived. Bees are one of things that signal summer to me, and dragonflies are another. Taking walks in parkland is something I try to do throughout the year but it’s especially pleasant in late spring, early autumn, and early summer before the weather is too hot to enjoy hiking a trail.


On a recent visit to a local park I did see a dragonfly with a beautiful iridescent electric blue body. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photograph. I also saw some young coots being fed by their parents, a few tadpoles, some tiny horse-chestnut buds that will soon be the autumn signifier conkers, and some goslings, amongst other flora and fauna.

Below are a few more photos I took in the park. I hope you are enjoying the summer season – or, if you’re in the southern hemisphere, that winter is treating you well.
Continue reading Summer – and some photos