“No Finger Food, Thanks”

On a largely overcast morning Nugget kept us company in the Rose Garden as Jackie dug up spent poppies and other weeds, while I dead-headed.

Although he did carry off a squirming earwig beneath a carpet rose bush in order to dissect, devour, and digest it in peace, he was mostly happy darting like a bullseye-bound bolt to trap tiny insects on the wing. The last picture in this gallery is “Where’s Nugget?” (91).

We continued our work after lunch. As always, when Jackie sits down our little robin stops catching flies and pops over to see what the Head Gardener is up to. On this occasion she stretched out her hand. “No finger food, thanks”, he tweeted, and neatly nipped aside, pretending he had spied a tasty insect beside the low brick begonia-bearing plinth.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy Chilli Con Carne and colourful savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Colle Marrone


  1. Once I’ve found Nugget it’s impossible not to see him – but still his ability to camouflage is so good the initial hunt requires me to biggify. The trust he has in Jackie is wonderful to see – finger food or no!

  2. OMG – that’s incredible how close he is to her! That header photo has me smiling with happiness. I am a long time nature lover and have never seen such a thing. This is the best. Hugs to you and Jackie for letting this little guy know he is safe with you. <3

  3. Lovely photos of Nugget. Exciting news Derrick – we have our own baby robin, newly arrived and – just as you said – tame from the start πŸ™‚ It’s living in behind our compost bins until it learns to fly.

  4. It is amazing how close one can get to a bird. Nugget is charming.
    We feel the same way about our gull, Scott. ?

  5. how wonderful to have Nugget around. love his picture with Jackie. they must be garden besties πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. Nugget seems to become more photogenic with age. Of course the photographer’s commendable skill must be a contributing factor. I love that this sweet bird feels so comfortable with you and Jackie.

    1. They would – and there would be plenty of illustrations. πŸ™‚ He is indeed looking older – maybe just tired from all his exertions. Thanks very much, Uma.

  7. Aw! and HA! πŸ™‚ No finger food! πŸ˜›

    Mr. Nugget sure loves his Mum-Jackie! I am so glad he has both of you to interact with, Derrick. I know he feels safe and loved with you both. And I know he bring joy to your days and to our days, too. Thank you! πŸ™‚ And Thank You to Mr. Nugget!

    I wonder how old he is now?!

    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

      1. I hope he has a long life ahead of him, and outlives his “predicted” lifespan. πŸ™‚

        I read years ago that some birds can recognize human faces and voices. Isn’t that wonderful!?!?

  8. Seeing Nugget to close to Jackie reminds me of this of how adaptable many species of birds are. I’m thinking of Red-tailed Hawks in NYC. Only in the last decade or two have they ventured into urban areas. Now they can be found in every park. I saw one taking a shower with the kids in the sprinkler in Washington Square Park.

  9. Hi Derrick,

    Apologies if this an inappropriate place to ask this, but I’ve been searching everywhere for a copy of the Folio Society’s beautiful version of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and I saw that you made a post back in 2013 about it. I was wondering if you still have your copy, and if you’d be willing to part with it. I could email you an offer if you’re open to the idea.



      1. Hi Derrick, I appreciate the quick reply! I’m afraid the only reason I’m resorting to posting here is that there are, as far as I can tell, no copies available for purchase anywhere online. If you are willing to allow me to make an offer, my email is william.hathaway38@gmail.com. Thank you

  10. Yes, but unfortunately none of those are available for purchase. They are all out of stock. I’m looking specifically for the Folio Society version.

  11. Jackie and Nugget are a wonderful example of symbiosis. Oh the joys of gardening!

  12. My first time here, and need to tell you that I loved the post. Love anything about gardening and the birds.
    I hope you are having a good week.

  13. I haven’t seen Nugget be this friendly before, I don’t think. What a precious bird he is! Oh, and your photos of dinner were mouth-watering! You need to show us the wine bottle every now and then, too! <3

    1. Thanks very much, Jan. When Jackie is planting Nugget will jump into the hole. He is always getting under her feet. I’ll remember the wine bottles. πŸ™‚ X

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