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"The World Of Tommyshortlegs"


Hello all friends of GOU , some of you have read my profile and I am so grateful for your kind messages and comments
I would like to share a blog that I posted on the sister site of GOU…… I Spy a Bird……….

As you may of gathered I do not venture far from my house. I suffered a stroke a few years back plus a bit of heart trouble . Do not feel to confident at the present so most of my bird photographs are from behind my window. My wife is an angel and keeps the outside clean and I the inside. I am a member of the sister site grows on and I just happened to see the link. I use to stay at home feeling sorry for my self then one day I had just returned from a week long Hospital Vacation. The night before I left the poor lady next bed down in our mixed ward passed away. So sad to hear them working on her the the doctor confirming the time. When I came home I took a long hard look in the mirror and thought that’s not going to be me. One day I had a catalogue put through the door about buying flowers. This got me outside into the garden at consequently I started appreciating the wild life. I am truly amazed by the beautiful pictures on the site and such lovely people, too numerous to mention. Thank you all so much.
Although I love animal I do not appreciate people letting their cats using my garden as a toilet and a free “Meals On the Wing” I had to plant a children friendly hedge but found this to be a good ambush site for cats to hide and then pounce for a ready meal. I had to prune the hedge right back to save the birds.


Lady Bird warming up in the summer sun.

Hello Bill, have you seen Ben?

My resident slow worm for over 12 years

Nice Butterfly best watch next door’s cats or Yum! Yum!

Tree Fellow after the Sycamore helicopter seeds

Top Cat to be

Nice bit of nut just inside

We found Ben-all we need is weeeeeeeeeed


Sandwich Time

Best water the garden then


Red Admiral


Well look at me then


It’s rude to stare you know

Itchy Butts

Jasper my other next door neighbours cat that was a indoor toilet cat

Another Cat

Well make yourself comfortably won’t you

Yet another cat

and another

and another

and another

Hear Not-See Not-Speak Not

Why Don’t You Check Out My Front Lawn??

Looking for the toilet then???

A Robin takes flight after hearing the metal birds of the sky.

I’m in the garden when three old timers flew over.
A Spitfire

A Japanese Zero

What next, a Catalina flying boat

My go at a collage of some of my flowers
from tommyshortlegs

A nice slug for the slowworm

( This Lilly stank the house out. I had it as a freebie and now I know why.)

Hello Weed,

Vapourer Moth Caterpillar (orgyia antiqua)

Hornet Hoverfly (volucella zonaria)
Despite the name they do not sting

Hedgehog use to upturn all of my seed trays looking for grub

I use to mix seed with multi purpose and some sharp sand and then use to scatter the seed on my rock-less rockery .
(small bank of nothing outside the front window)
Every year different as I cleared most of the plants and will re-seed next spring. I do put plant plugs in by gently throwing a handful onto the soil and plant where they land.

Another one of my flowers including some planted wall pouches

Cabbage White Caterpillars
I leave for the birds

In Perfect Harmony
Three Squirrels to six Woodpigeons

Excuse the mistakes . Just waiting for a drive caddy as I have some more photos save on the old disc that I had to replace on this laptop.

More blog posts by tommyshortlegs

Previous post: Beef Suet with Robin Mix Slab

Next post: "My smallish back and front gardens"



What a lot of wildlife in your garden! Clever to catch a photo of a Nuthatch. The ones we see pinching nuts from our Hazel tree are far too quick to catch on film. Lovely garden.

29 Nov, 2011


Good heavens Tommy your house is obviously the feline destination of choice, I can see what a problem they may pose to a bird enthusiast...Love the slow worm.

Keep on getting better Tommy.

29 Nov, 2011


Interesting blog and lovely set of pics. Gosh what a lot of cats! I can imagine your distain at them using your garden for a toilet. Love the hedgehog. Sorry to read you have had such problems with your health, it can't be easy. It must have been sad indeed to hear the lady pass away beside u in the hospital. It's great that you found gardening then, it's a great therapy, I think so anyway. Maybe u might look into craft making or art, creating things is great therapy too. That lily can be very pungent indoors. They are lovely but I find them far to strong scented inside.

29 Nov, 2011


Oh wow what fabulous pics, so much wildlife, love the slow worm and there are so many cats. So glad you have found an interest this is a great site. Keep on getting better and wishing you the very best.

29 Nov, 2011


What an interesting blog and such lovely pictures, thank you tommy. You certainly find a variety of wildlife in your garden, cats obviously love it!
So many flowers, that rockless rockery with scattered seeds works a treat. Most of the bird pictures I have are taken through the window, they seem to fly away otherwise, loved all the creatures but had to go quickly past slow worm because they scare me!

29 Nov, 2011


You've got a nice lot of photos. I'm glad you are able to enjoy your garden - including plants and animals :o)
I love cats but I don't get much trouble from them in the garden - my own cat chases them all away.
She also scares the birds away, but that suits me because I've got a phobia of them.

I hope your condition is stable and that you've got the right medication and treatment, so that you can continue to enjoy your garden.

29 Nov, 2011


Great blog Tommy.

I see what you mean about the cats. You seem inundated.

I get fed up with a couple that come into my garden. I would never harm them but my blood boileth over sometimes when I'm clearing up their "presents".

29 Nov, 2011


There's plenty of life in your garden, Tommy! I love the squirrels - don't get any in my garden but see reds occasionally in the woods near the house. Never ever seen a slow worm.

29 Nov, 2011


Really great reading and some smashing photographs Tommy, sorry to read of your health problems but pleased you have found enjoyment in your garden and especially the wildlife of which you have a lot, I love the pics of the squirrels and the slow worm, I have never seen one so not sure how I would react if I did, yours looks quite big so I`d probably run a mile, lol.
Most of my bird pics are taken from the windows, we don`t get any squirrels here now but I did get some good shots last year in my daughters garden.
Lots of cats around you, I have four of my own and two dogs so the neighbours ones do not venture into our garden much, my own have been trained to only use certain areas, start at a young age and a squirt with a waterpistol when they are somewhere I don`t want them to be, they soon got the message.
Pleased you are enjoying Goy and Ispyabird, its great for keeping ones spirits up especially now we have the dark nights...

29 Nov, 2011


Hi Tommy ...
Lovely set of pics :o)

29 Nov, 2011


Tommy - lovely blog. Glad to hear you get so much pleasure from your garden (apart from the cats!). I, too, find peace in my garden. Whenever I've had a rough day and things get me down, I go into the garden. Hope you continue to enjoy life. Sheila x

29 Nov, 2011


Many thanks to you all, completely amazing you all sound such a wonderful bunch of mixed characters and it's with much pleasure I have in reading all of your nice comments as this makes the effort of writing the blog so worthwhile. I do have many more photos so if I ever post duplicates in a future blog or two I apologise
Greatest appreciations

ps, Many thanks to all of the likes too.

29 Nov, 2011


be nice to see more pictures tommy, dont worry if you duplicate them, i expect most of us have done that at some point!!

29 Nov, 2011


Hello Stickitoffee,

Will sort some more out

29 Nov, 2011


thanks tommy, dont worry though, plenty of time!!! i spend loads of time on here ~ very addicted to it!!!

29 Nov, 2011


Tommy, I don't suppose any of us would realise we'd already seen some, so don't worry about duplications:-)

29 Nov, 2011


thats true sheilar!!
well i wouldnt but my memory is not as good as some on here!!

29 Nov, 2011


Lovely blog and pics,Tom..I really enjoyed are so lucky to have all that wildlife..a lot more species than we get..I like the way you sow your flowes seeds...I might try that next year..are they wild flowers,or Annuals?

29 Nov, 2011


Just annuals plus some Mediterranean I got from . I also ordered a few plugs that I grew on and these I just threw into the air and where they land I plant. Most were dahlia and petunia plus morning glory and even the odd pea and chilli plant, begonia. I also ask my family to look for a bargain tray that you sometimes see in garden stores or supermarkets. I never write any off, just deadhead then stick in the ground,. Give a a bit of time to root then feed every few weeks. This way is just looks a jungle of flower. Not every ones cuppa tea but my choice .Thanks for comment Bloomer
Cheers Sheilar and Stikitoffee

30 Nov, 2011


great wildlife in your garden Tommy, sorry about the cats using it as a loo, i have a cat and also he has a tray, but sometimes he doesnt use it, but cats dont understand unfortunatly, i dont like finding it in my garden either, but thats life. thank god we dont have elephants wondering about haha, lovely pictures to :o)

30 Nov, 2011


Hello Sanbaz, thanks for the nice comment, don't mind the cats as long as they lifted the seat first then flushed the chain. I suppose we could use the elephants for a safari hunt for the cats. Their dung would be a nice sideline .

30 Nov, 2011


lol tommy :o)

1 Dec, 2011


Great to see so many photos of your garden, Tommy! It's great to see how you care for wildlife that visits your garden, too!

Looking forward to seeing many more of your photos! I loved your idea of the "rockless rockery"! Also the idea of just spreading seeds around & letting them grow "in situ"! That's not possible with a balcony but I may do something like that next year on my allotment.

7 Dec, 2011


Cheers Balcony, what part of Cambridge do you live near? I was living at RAF Wyton in 1960 and went to St Ivos near St Ives when it was Huntingdonshire. Use to love the Mill at Houghton for fishing...........

Good luck with the allotment ..........
Those sunflowers behind you look lovely. Do you harvest the seeds for the birds or leave them where they stand???

We have more bad wind forecast for tomorrow so will have to watch your flowerpots ..........


7 Dec, 2011


I live in Huntingdon itself, the part of the town where I live is nearest Wyton & Houghton! I also know RAF Wyton, in fact about 40 years ago I tried to get a civilian job on the base! I still remember walking onto the base & right up to the runway & hangers - without being challenged! Never did find the office I was looking for & left the base after wandering around & sticking my curious nose into everywhere!

I know both villages but haven't visited either of them in "donkey's years"!

As for the Sunflower behind me in my photo it was the winning Sunflower on our allotment field last year. Gerry, my friend from church whose allotment I've shared for the last 2 years, took a photo of me in front of it.

Gerry grows a lot of them every year. He collects a lot of the seedheads for his own birds at home but also for the wild birds (& mice!) I save a few for my wife who likes eating Sunflower seeds! She is Spanish & in Spain it's a very common sight to see people eating these seeds. There is quite an industry of roasting & salting them. But in October it's common to see people selling huge heads of seeds which people buy & take home. I never really got into the habit although I've eaten my fair share while living in Spain!

The wind is very strong but I took all my pots of the balcony railings a couple of weeks ago & they are now on the floor, further in from the railings. I also moved my hanging baskets further into the balcony up against the windows. I also have 3 golden Conifers in big square pots that sometimes get blown over & these, too, I moved further into the balcony up against the windows so it's unlikely they will suffer (crosses fingers & hopes for the best!)

8 Dec, 2011


Hello Balcony,
Thanks for the nice comment. Nice to have a winner with the sunflower. I too use to have mice sharing my bird seed but now next door's cats share the mice with me. One day I left the gardening shoes on the doorstep while I popped in for a cuppa tea. After about 20 minutes I put my shoes back on only to find a present of a dead mouse deposited into the toe of my right shoe.
I quite believe that about security at the RAF base. We got to complacent when the cold war died started to die down.

I have in-laws living in the Murcia region of SE Spain.

The only time I went to Spain was when I crossed the border from France with a St Ivos school trip in 1961 looking at the different insects in the Pyrenees then back to Perpignan then Beziers.. We did all this by train travel the high light of the trip was the sleeper train that took us from Paris to Spain. We spent all of the trip staying in Youth Hostels. We did find some Colorado beetles but that's where they stayed.
These you may recall were pictured on the Police House notice boards asking us to report seeing them as they would wipe out the potato crops if allowed into England. Could not believe how many we saw just over that little stretch of channel. I have tried the sunflower seed but prefer it in sunflower oil form.
Good luck with the allotment and growing some prize veg in 2012.

9 Dec, 2011


I certainly do remember the posters in the police station warning about the Colorado beetle! Thank goodness it isn't prevalent here in England! Thousands of acres of potatoes are grown in this region not to mention all of us who grow our own spuds! It would be the ruin of the English potato if these insects got amongst them! Perhaps not on the scale of the Irish Potato Famine that caused the deaths of 1,000s of Irish people as well as mass migration to the USA but serious economic distress for many farmers!

The year we got married we had been in the UK for 3 months before returning to Spain to get married & we also returned by train, (that in itself is a right story!), we caught a sleeper to Madrid from Paris but we weren't able to get beds so we spent the whole journey in the normal carriages! What a trip!!!

11 Dec, 2011


Hello Balcony,

That carriage trip to Madrid must have been a nightmare .

I do hope you got the sleeper for the return trip.

I spent many a night on the last train from Preston then waiting for the all-stop mail train from Birminham's Snowhill BR Station mid 1960s
Remember buying a burger from a street vender and some homeless people fighting over the crumbs I dropped on the pavement. Most of these people must have been ex-forces from National Service or the Wars. I was serving in the RAF at the time and thought it was disgraceful how short the memories for these UK citizens. Loads of World conflicts going on those days. I had to donate half of my burger.
Spent many a night in a Station waiting room. Thumbing lifts. Days best forgotten.

11 Dec, 2011


There was no return trip! At least not till 4 years later when we returned to the UK to live but now with 3 kids! It was our first ever trip in a plane as well!

After 4 years in the UK we returned to Spain for another 19 years! We returned to the UK nearly 11 years ago! We left two of our boys over there while our only daughter had a breakup with her husband & came to live with us for a few years. Now she has met a guy with whom she is happier & they have 2 kids - our only grandchildren.

13 Dec, 2011


Thanks for comment Balcony. Nice to know that your daughter is happier now. I too have a daughter who now is in a happier relationship. She has two boys, one of 20 and another of 16. My younger daughter has a son aged 6 and a daughter who is 3 next March. My son still single. I see them all every day and I am sure it's them that keeps us so young, in mind that is as my bones and joints hate the Winter weather,.
It must have been a shock to your system moving back to the damper climate of the UK, mind you is it not drier in East Anglia than the most of UK.

Christmas just round the corner- Have a good one.

13 Dec, 2011


It was a shock alright! After nearly 20 years I arrived back in the UK on what was said to be the hottest day of the year up to that moment. When I left Madrid it was a good 10ÂșC higher!

When I got here I could feel the humidity rising up from the ground! That first summer was very difficult while my body started to readjust to the higher levels of humidity in the air &, as you so rightly say, East Anglia is the driest region of the UK!

I lived in the heart of Spain, far from the coasts. I never visited the seaside resort towns where most people from the UK go. Except for Valencia on 3 occasions, 2 during my first year in the country, 1972. The last time was to go to a village on the outskirts of the city to the wedding of a cousin of ours.

The interior is nothing like the coastal regions most people imagine Spain to be like. The interior is 1,000m (rather more than 3,000ft) above sea level. If you read through some of my blogs you will find a couple or 3 related to Spain.

14 Dec, 2011

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