31 August 2011

Woodman, spare that tree!

The view from the back of our house in the leafy suburbs - looks quite normal, even fairly civilised, if unexciting. But it isn't as good as it was, alas. The other morning we heard the sound of a chain saw, and realised that the people who live about three houses along, in the road backing on to ours, were cutting down the conifer at the foot of their garden. Oh well, probably Leylandii, so perhaps one can't blame them - though a pity, as the birds seem to like perching in it, even those that are a bit large for it, like the crows! Oh, and they took down the rest, while they were at it, which is why we are now forced to look at the backs of the houses on the other side of these now deceased trees.

OK, so it's delusional to pretend that we're not surrounded by buildings - we live on an estate in a built-up area, for goodness sake. And our neighbours are entitled to do what they like on their own property. But I do regret those trees, as they were part of a screen - in summer you could hardly see any of the nearby houses at all. Now we have an uninterrupted view of the backs of the houses at that edge instead, and the photo really doesn't show how bare it looks. One neighbour recently asked why we have so many trees ourselves - and we could only say that apart from the important benefits to the local wildlife, we've never understood the fascination of gazing upon fences, drainpipes, satellite dishes and washing lines!

09 August 2011

Feed Me! Feed Me! (Part 2)

This morning I happened to get quite a good portrait of Pussy-next-door, whom I am feeding while my neighbours are away:

Though it has to be said that this is the even more familiar view!

07 August 2011

Feed me! Feed me!

(Finally managing to break out of the post-employment blogging silence) There are a-many things for me to do in my retirement, but at the moment I seem to spend half my life ministering to critters. This morning I got up and fed the pond fish, the birds in the garden, and four cats (of which more anon) and the long-haired one had to be brushed and have her eyes bathed and her soil tray topped up too. I have just dealt out the second (or is it third?) round of cat treats for three.

When I finish writing this, I shall go next door to feed the long-haired one again and probably change her soil tray, then come back, feed the pond fish, refill seed hoppers for the birds if it will stay dry enough, and feed the three cats again. The increase in cat numbers has come about in two ways - one neighbour came to us a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could feed their cat while they were away. To be sure I had said I would if they could find no-one else, so that's my choice, but I had forgotten that the long coat would need regular grooming, and I had not bargained for the fact that his cat is almost certainly pregnant. I just hope she manages to hold onto the kittens until they come back! The other extra is a stray cat that would like to move in - but that has sto be taken slowly as our two resident pussers are not keen...