An Ecological Balance

We had some overnight rain; the first for about three weeks. To write that in April, the month identified in UK with spring rain, has been hitherto unimaginable. The French term for our ‘April showers’ is ‘giboulées (showers) de mars (March)’. Could we be going that way?

Refreshing drops were retained by the garden plants such as:

Raindrops on tulips


Raindrops on prunus amanogawa

prunus amanogawa,

Raindrops on pansy


Raindrops on euphorbia


Raindrops on heuchera

and heuchera.

Yesterday’s dove feathers, clearly discarded by a larger, ravenous, avian predator, provided an example of nature’s food chain in action. Further evidence of the process was to be found this morning.

Pond linerHole left by pond liner

Last evening, unaided after all, Jackie had emptied the second small pond, dragging out it’s container and turning it over on the concreted area. We have decided to fill in the hole.

The underside of this small lining bath sheltered a couple of dozen snails. As she overturned their refuge, applying her own philosophy, she invited the thrushes to feast. Snail shell shardsThis morning the concrete was strewn with scattered shards.

Particularly in London, where slug and snail pellets containing poison such as metaldehyde, are widely used to kill the very unpopular molluscs, thrushes that feed on them, so ingesting the toxic substance, are a vanishing species. In the natural course of events snails eat plants; thrushes eat snails and thrive. The ecological balance is upset when snails are tempted by humans into.eating poisoned pellets. They die; thrushes eat snails; poison passes into thrushes; and thrushes die.

Gardeners care more for their birds than they do their snails. And even more for their vulnerable plants. Perhaps they should eschew poison and allow themselves once more to hear the tapping created by thrushes bashing open the shells on stone. Non-toxic snail bait contains iron phosphates. I don’t know how effective they are.

This evening we dined on oven fish.and chips, and pickled onions. I did the cooking, such as it was; the timer failed to sound; the fish and chips were a little crisper than ideal.


  1. I like your friend Bruce’s sense of humour! I also admire your idea of cooking – but up against the chef you live with who would attempt anything else? We have the same issues here with poison in the animal food chain. I have a neighbour who is spray happy and my cat gets sick whenever he sprays. He doesn’t see the connection.

    1. Bruce also lives in NZ. You and he both made the same joke about forgetting pills being a pain. If it’s any help, I googled snail bait to check my facts. Several sources say molluscicides are potentially lethal to dogs and cats. You may find something useful re whatever he sprays

      1. Ha – I should have known! [Bruce is a Kiwi] I started following him too 🙂

        I am aware of the toxicity of snail bait to cats and dogs – never use the stuff. My neighbour does but my pets don’t go in his garden. His spray drifts and he sprays a shared portion of our driveway which can affect my cat. I keep him inside when I see neighbour spraying, but sometimes I don’t catch him at it…… It’s an issue in an urban area! It’s an issue everywhere really 🙂

  2. Your photographs remind me of a line in one of Li Bai’s poems: 一樹梨花春帶雨 that describes a beautiful woman in tears: ‘a tree of pear blossoms wearing rain in spring’.

  3. Well, a bit of crunchy food is okay. I burned a quesadilla today and had to air out the house. Just one in a long line of strange incidents (approaching the adult version of Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible day) that I look forward to dispersing with sleep tonight…Your tulips are really lovely. I hope to have a picture of our Kwanzan cherry blossom in my next blog. Hope you’re feeling generally well and healing on schedule!

  4. The plants look beautiful in the rain – it’s amazing to think that you’ve been the whole month without it – that has happened over here as well: we used to get spring rainfall, but over the last decade, it has become completely unreliable which plays havoc with the flowers 🙁

  5. Droplets on petals so beautiful. Interesting info about snails and thrushes. We had lots of rain this past week, worms were all over our driveway. I hate worms and other crawly things.

    Bruce’s comment was a good one! 😀

  6. I love the flowers in your garden, Derrick. They’re really pretty. We’ve never really had a garden, but always liked the idea of it you have a veggie patch as well? Dinner sounded nice too. Hugs xx

  7. Your flowers are so pretty. We’ve been having unexpected quantities of rain in Bangalore, which means the local mango crop will be effected.The weather really has turned topsy turvy.

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