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Is it Spring then?


Yesterday afternoon I came home to a sunny garden that was almost warm (8 C) so I could resist no longer – I found my gardening boots and armed with secateurs and hand fork set to to clear the sunniest patch of the garden.

Beneath the leaves and dead foliage I found my garden! It had not waited for me of course, the bulbs are about three inches high already and the euphorbias are shooting at the bases with wild abandon. Even the hostas have made an appearance and the fat, purple shoots are there for all the slugs in the North West to admire.

I try to set a target for my daily gardening (I would spend all day, every day if I could but the family would die of neglect and the weather has scared me off lately), I must fill two bags with rubbish before I am allowed to stop for a cup of tea.

If I am short of time I work quite fast and target one border, or part of a border. If I have more time the same amount of work gets done but I spend a lot of time admiring what I’ve done!

Today I woke full of enthusiasm to get out again but there had been a hard frost again over night so I had to work indoors until I left for work. When I got back the frost had gone and it was sunny again – 13 C now!

The worst part was that my cat had brought me a present of a dead robin; I could have cried! I reason with myself every time this happens (they are wild animals and it is natural instinct to hunt for prey and bring trophies home) but I also love the birds. It was with a very heavy heart that I set about gardening but within a minute “my” robin was back hopping around just a yard or so from where I was working.

I still feel sad for the sacrificed bird but very very glad that my friend is still with me. I keep wondering if my cat killed a neighbor’s robin, then I feel guilty for being so callous. Sometimes you just can’t win!

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Did you know that in the last two decades the number of pet cats and dogs has increased 60%. I hope we don't see a similar decrease in robins :-(

6 Feb, 2010


~ Very few dogs hunt birds instinctively the way cats do~Mine have always chased cats and squirrels and the odd fox that ran from them but they very quickly realised they aren't as fast and they can't fly!A cat that stands it's ground and spits at him will make him back off~As a puppy Harv used to run after the rooks that would sit on the golf course andwait rising effortlessly into the air just as he was getting nearly there, so after lots of fruitless running he decided they weren't worth the bother~ other dogs and people are much more exciting!

6 Feb, 2010


One of my friends has a labrador and last Wednesday he brought her a gift of two tiny dead mice !!!
I've never had a dog that brought me 'presents' and i was amazed to hear they caught small things !!!!!!

7 Feb, 2010


My little dog leaves 'presents' all over the lawn lol

7 Feb, 2010



7 Feb, 2010


Well at least I can see them, next door's cat leaves it just beneath the surface so that it sticks to my trowel :-( Tsk!!

7 Feb, 2010


~We have had boxers for 40 years and I have never had a dog that caught anything !

7 Feb, 2010


Try not to feel too bad GM if you love birds then sure whatever you doing for them has helped many survive during this cold spell.

Sadly robins one of our shortest living birds with a life expectancy of only 2 years on average.Hard winters their aggressive territorial life style - have been known to fight one another to the death over territory , takes a heavy toll.

RSPB state that winter of 63 saw huge numbers of robins and wrens lost.Many of us now consider birds and would hope that when all combined we ll have helped far more survive and go on to breed successfully.

We have cats and feral cats visit as well as other uninvited guest cats despite this many birds chose to nest and raise broods.

7 Feb, 2010


Well first you have had some nice weather where you are not seen the sun for ages, as for you cat bringing a pressy it is only nature but very sad they do it, but at same time we do look after the birds very well, BB i remember 62-63 weather very well and yes the poor birds did suffer terrible, mind you all them years ago i use to feed the birds every morning, admit only bread and if any old cake or biscuits i'd throw out for them, did'nt know then that bread was not very good for them, but at least it was better than nothing for them.

7 Feb, 2010


There is no doubt that cats kill millions of garden birds annually - we know it is their natural instinct. However, if I had a cat (I used to) I would not put food out for the birds, plenty of others do. I would also attach a tiny bell to my cat's collar to give birds a fair chance of flying away.

7 Feb, 2010


~ I think that is what I would do too Mad and is what the RSPB recommend....

7 Feb, 2010


Thanks for all the interest - I am now CERTAIN that the robin had died of natural causes before the cat got it (hmmmmm!!). I have tried putting a bell on the cat collar but my vet frown on collars because he says cats can get strangled. Anyway, have you seen a cat stalking - there is definitely no bell ringing possible.
We do have many, many birds and I do my best to grow the seedy things they like so I have to comfort myself that we are doing our bit. Strangely enough I don't feel a thing when they bring in a dead rat!!

7 Feb, 2010

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