Slow-worms

These are limbless lizards and a beautiful golden copper colour.
If you find them in your garden they love to make a safe place to hide under stones or sheets of corrugated iron.

I had an offcut from a plastic drainage pipe which I upended and place on a concrete slab and filled it with dried leaves before the winter.  I covered the opening with two slates.

Last week I lifted the slates and the slow-worms are back and nesting.

CHICKENS FIND THE GOOD LIFE

New neighbours have four chickens from a a re-homing centre finding grass, sun
and freedom in their garden.  Once their commercial laying time is over chickens are destined for slaughter.  But there are several re-homing centres across the UK which have re-homed thousands of chickens.  Two of these are the British Hen Welfare Trust at http://www.bhwt.org.uk and Fresh Start for Hens http://www.fsfh.org.uk but there are many more listed on the net.
If you have the space and time and would like wonderful fresh free range eggs
there are lots of chickens out there only too happy to oblige!

SLAUGHTERHOUSES

http://www.veganaustralia.org.au/my_first_day_at_work_at_the_slaughterhouse

Most of us know little about the stark reality of what takes place in slaughterhouses to produce the meat we eat.  This is a gruelling account of one person’s experience.

Whatever decisions we individually take at the very least we can be educated and informed so as to make our choices.

Just Another Wood Pigeon?

Two years ago a wood pigeon built a nest in my holly tree. Then we watched as the chick hatched, grew and fledged protecting it daily from an onslaught of predators including local foxes. At its first brave attempt to spread its wings it landed in the most dangerous corner of the garden vulnerable to an assortment of local cats. We put it back in the nest where it briefly rested before flying up into a neighbouring tree still being fed by its mother, then onto a nearby roof where it sat for several hours and then finally out into the world.

This April a wood pigeon built a new nest in the same tree. Was it the fledging returning to a familiar safe nesting site? I watched fascinated as she sat so patiently hour after hour for over two weeks turning the egg, moving position then her mate would take over. Then last Thursday night she didn’t come back. That wasn’t so strange as pigeons leave the nest from time to time. But Friday morning there was still no sign of her and after another two days I knew something had happened. I got a ladder and without disturbing the nest managed to see inside. The egg had gone.

There had been a lot of magpies around and we wonder if they had taken the egg. The chick must have been close to hatching and I felt so sad for this patient creature who had waited and protected her egg for so long.

Only a wood pigeon someone said. They need culling anyway. I didn’t see it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephants

Brilliant travel writer the late Mark Shand who travelled across India with working elephants wrote in Queen of the Elephants how important water is for these giant sentient beings. They love it and bathing is as vital as feeding. He also learned how elephants  suffer if they are lonely. The lack of sufficient water to fully immerse themselves and frequently the depression from isolation in captivity is shown in my Soulscapes gallery.