Martins, sand and house

In the previous post I referred to raking up the grass clippings. This was necessary because (a) the grass had gotten rather long, (b) the grass box on the mower is rather small and (c) I’m rather unwilling to have to walk half the length of the garden every two minutes to empty the grass box. Over the last couple of evenings I’ve managed to hack the jungle down to size and the clippings have been drying out on the lawn. This evening, Her Maj and I watched as the house martins nesting next door and the sand martins nesting down on the river bank descended on this nice nesting material and carried it away in bushels. One female sand martin was so engrossed in the collection of grass that she didn’t notice the twinkle in the eye of her partner until he was upon her. It’s amazing the things you can watch from the garden window.
Because it was such a pleasant evening, Her Maj and I decided to walk down the river to watch the sand martin colony, which we proceeded to do. The river at the bottom of the garden is fast and steep, but levels out at a pool and a bend about 150 metres downstream to become deep and slow and Limpopo-limpid with clusters of water lilies set against banks of campion and flag lily. A couple of hundred metres beyond that is another bend under a high sandy bank in which the martins have been nesting for what looks like generations. Also resident amongst the hanging fronds of ferns were a family of great tits, with the young fledglings sitting on the willows enjoying the evening sun.
Rather p’ed off on the way back when a small puddle on the path turned out to be a hole deep enough for me to disappear into up to my hips, much to the amusement of Her Maj. Revenge will be sweet, because she’ll have to wash the stinky trousers now … ha ha ha …


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