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Autumn

Look up, look down, take time to look all around

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22nd September 2014

At this time of year we often get periods when our otherwise reliable garden birds, suddenly disappear and leave uneaten food in the bird feeders. This is a perfectly normal occurrence and nothing to worry about. It’s now a time of plenty, with hedgerows and trees packed with fruit, nuts and berries, and moulting birds will prefer to stay hidden, well out of sight.

I therefore take this as an opportunity to look a little further afield for my daily wildlife fix. Amazingly, I don’t even have to leave my garden; all I need do is tip my head up or down, rather than assuming the typical horizontal view – in line with the bird feeders! What I see, especially during spring and autumn are true wonders of nature.

Blue Tit

Our trees are obvious, changing from green to a myriad of colours but also fed by all this growth lies many other secrets. I love going on fungal forays, early in the morning (early as fungi will be eaten by other creatures as quickly as it grows!). Take today, I discovered some fungi the size of large dinner plates in an area I keep free from the mower and I’m sure they weren’t there yesterday.

Slugs mating

As I take a closer look, I’m surprised and delighted to find a pair of slugs in a romantic embrace, producing next year’s trouble for my brassicas. I’ve witnessed slug love-making many times (it’s fascinating honest) but I usually find them hanging from plants in a big slimy string. This pair obviously felt under the cover of a mushroom fungus was far more private, well until I turned up with my camera anyway!


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