I opened our bathroom window this morning whilst I was shaving and I was surprised to see a muntjac deer racing across our lawn into our secret blueberry garden. Unfortunately I was undressed and unable to go down into the garden to investigate. Margaret was involved in her weekly online Weightwatchers meeting so I continued washing and shaving. I finished my morning ablutions and went downstairs; the first thing I did was to check around the back of the house where I had seen the deer disappear. To my delighted surprise, I found myself face to face with a beautiful muntjac deer. The deer was approximately ten feet away from me and we looked at each other warily. The deer had a beautiful face, with big appealing eyes and a pair of large soft ears that were pricked up in a state of wary curiosity. I reached for my phone to take a photograph and realised it was on charge. As I moved my hand the startled deer panicked and unsuccessfully tried to jump over the brick wall at the end of the garden. Then it somehow scrambled up a wooden fence at the side of the garden and escaped. I later took a photo of this strange pile of black round objects, Margaret went online and asked Google and discovered they were almost certainly muntjac deer droppings.
I sat outside in the early morning sunshine composing my blog. The Robin redbreast instantly arrived to say hello and perched on a chair, allowing me to take some photographs. The resident community of wild birds together with a squirrel, quickly followed to feed on the crumbs of a biscuit I crumbled and spread over the patio.
We travelled along the A17 through rural Lincolnshire. It never ceases to amaze me how industrious the rural English are. We travelled through many well tended fields with a great variety of crops in the process of cultivation. The variety of houses and farm buildings with small shacks and sheds attached with many farming implements on display is impressive. We crossed a bridge over the river Welland, in Boston Lincolnshire. The river was satisfyingly in full flow thanks to the generous rainfall we have recently experienced. There was quite a lot of farm traffic along the road with many small thriving businesses alongside the farming activity and industry.
The traffic became very heavy when we reached Sutton bridge where we were held up for quite a while due to road works and a three way traffic lights system.
We stopped for lunch at the Chestnut tea rooms, a thriving little cafe attached to a large garden centre.There was also a farm shop that sold fresh vegetables that were obviously provided by the surrounding farms The cafe is made up of a number of extensions to a large house including a conservatory where the the food was served, taking in the beautiful rural views.
Margaret and I recently visited the highlands of Scotland where we were overwhelmed with the panoramic views. The English rural views seem to be unique in their unruly layout and different aspect wherever one looks. There is certainly a semblance of order in the appearance of the well cultivated scenery that betrays the boundary lines of separate farms that obviously go back generations.
In early spring Margaret and I decided to remove and replace an old bird box that has seen the arrival and the fledging of several families of bluetits over the years. Almost immediately we were delighted to see a pair of birds visiting the new bird box and busily flying to and fro.
About three weeks ago we noticed the birds had disappeared and there was a sad lack of activity. Today I gingerly opened the box to discover about 15 tiny eggs in a beautifully constructed cozy nest. I took a photo of the nest and then explored the internet to discover what to do next.
We were advised to leave well alone, at least until early September as another pair of birds may remove the eggs and start a family. We were both impressed with this beautiful, intricately built nest. We did wonder how a tiny pair of birds would manage to bring up a family of 15. Obviously this is another example of Nature overcompensating and relying on the survival of the fittest few chicks.