Despite a hard overnight frost, our hardy little pigeon had, soon after dawn, made its way back to the access path where Jackie had originally found it. The still flightless bird was far calmer on our approach, and even watched quietly as I placed a suet ball near it. Although it continued to move up and down the path for a while, sadly, it died later in the morning.
There were still a number of branches that we had pruned in the autumn in the front garden. This morning I chopped them up and transported them to the burning pile which is now ready for combustion.
This gave me a different angle on Aaron’s work of yesterday. The new compost bins have been placed at a depth to enable Jackie to turn the car in front of them when using the back drive. To enable this manoeuvre two dead trunks need removing. Our under gardener (Aaron – that makes me the under-under gardener), has taken out one, and his process can be viewed from the second, not yet finished. The logs from these have been piled alongside the heap for burning. They will not, however, be burnt. Firstly, they are too beautiful; secondly, they will attract and nurture numerous insects upon which birds will feed; thirdly, they could provide a psychological barrier at the entrance to the drive, over which visitors to the house next door are prone to leave tracks. We already have a number of such chunks of slowly rotting wood scattered at suitable points in the garden.
This afternoon, with butterscotch tinted logs, I built an insect hotel to rival anything that Hilton has to offer.
The rain that had begun whilst I was heaping up the logs, as I finished, became a deluge that lasted well into the night. We thought that the best thing about the pigeon’s demise was that it would not have to endure that.
Later, I finished the second book of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories, ‘The Wisdom of Father Brown’.
This evening we dined at our neighbour, ‘The Royal Oak’. We were more than happy with our reasonably priced three course meals. I enjoyed whitebait; steak pie; and bread and butter pudding. Jackie’s choice was onion rings; mushroom stroganoff; and ice cream sundae. She drank Becks and I drank Ringwood’s best bitter. The service was as attentive as usual.