Bugs & Beasties: Victoria’s found the probable cause of what’s attracting the badgers to excavate her front lawn – Chafer Grubs. Apparently they’re a particular delicacy where badgers are concerned. Victoria’s now converting a further section of lawn to a flower bed. Taking up the turf proved to be relatively easy because the Chafer Grubs had nibbled away most of the roots. They look revolting don’t they – akin to something served up on I’m a Celeb.
There’s no accounting for taste though – Matt Hancock seems to thoroughly enjoy devouring disgusting dishes! Of course Victoria wouldn’t use pesticides to get rid of the grubs, so pathogenic nematodes have been applied. They kill the larvae by infecting them with a fatal bacterial disease – gruesome eh? We’re keeping everything crossed it works, so that what remains of her lawn isn’t lost to chafer grubs, badgers or both.
Birds & Bins: it’s the final garden bin collection of the year this week, so Victoria & I have been cramming as much garden rubbish as possible into our bins. Grumbling Rose has been enlisted to compact the waste as much as possible – he used a sledge hammer which seems to have been very effective. I just hope the contents will tip into the bin lorry and not be permanently wedged in the bin. We’ve also commandeered space in one of our neighbour’s bins (we did ask permission). Anyway while I was clearing dead plants out of pots I found a perfect blue tit egg. Remember we cleared out the bird box a few weeks ago – the egg must have fallen into the pot below – it’s beautiful isn’t it? Presumably the egg didn’t fertilise or maybe the embryo didn’t grow.
Brave human beings, animals and birds: we’ve been wearing our poppies with pride once more, remembering all those who’ve fought to protect us during war after war. Last year I wrote about my Great Uncle Horace who lost his life fighting in the First World War. I’ve been photographing some tributes I’ve visited over the last few weeks, which include the purple poppies, in remembrance of the animals who have served, and continue to serve alongside our military. In 2009 one Irish hero, Paddy the Pigeon, was awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. This was 55 years after his death – what took so long! Paddy managed to survive German falcons and the long journey across the Channel. The engraving on his medal reads:
“For the best recorded time with a message from the Normandy Operations, while serving with the RAF in June, 1944.”