Thursday, 21 March 2013

Robbie and I

It is a fact that most British gardens can boast their own resident Robin, and mine is no exception. I can't ever step into my garden without Robbie whistling out a greeting and hopping into a prominent position where I can see him, and he can keep his eye on me. I say "keep his eye on me" because that's just how it feels.

I have two Apple trees in my garden that are the last remaining evidence of a small orchard that used to exist here in what used to be a Victorian Kitchen Garden. Regrettably, both trees have become hollow inside and are unsafe. We have therefore made the decision to take them down and plant 3/4 new fruit trees in their place. It doesn't need me to tell you that this wasn't going to happen without some very enthusiastic involvement of Robbie .... Site Supervisor, Health & Safety Coordinator, Project Manager and Buildings Inspector.

A week ago, I headed outside armed with my Chain Saw and Pruning Saws and set to work. And as I was sawing away at the first of the trees I was sadly reflecting on the fact that these weren't just trees. Okay, so they haven't produced very good fruit for several years now, but the Bees love the Apple Blossom in the spring, and so do I. They provide structure and height in the garden and there is nothing finer than sitting in their dappled shade on a hot sunny day, especially with a beer close to hand.

As I was felling the first tree today, Robbie sat in the other watching my every move and he was more vocal than usual, if that's possible. It took me two days to cut the trees down to just a few feet from the ground and get everything stacked tidily, but Robbie was with me throughout. I actually found myself talking to him and sometimes he would tilt his head as if he was actually listening.



But it was in his management roles that he excelled.


He inspected my wheelbarrow (look closely) ....








Warned me of poorly stacked (strewn) piles of cut branches ...









Monitored how long I took for tea breaks ...










And closely inspected the finished works.









I don't know if this little chappie is just being naturally terretorial and worrying about what I may or may not do to HIS back yard, or whether he's genuinely curious and interested in what we humans get up to, but whatever his motives, he's great company in the garden and a lot of fun.





Circumstances, coupled with an inability to set my mind to anything, are preventing me from getting on with any art right now, though I do try to get round the blogs I like to follow as and when I can. I took my camera for a brief walk in the park the other day so I may come back and bore you with a few 'Birds on the lake' photo's one day soon. Don't say you haven't been warned. ;-)


32 comments:

  1. Thanks for the warning John, but it would be lovely to see your Birds on the lake photos. Little Robbie is such a sweetie. We have one, yes I think you are right, most gardens have one!

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    1. Yes, we've nearly all got a Robin or two (mustn't forget the missus). And thank you Ann, I'll be sure to post some more photo's soon. ;)

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  2. I enjoyed reading your story John :) A pretty and curious little bird.Thank you!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this bit of nonsense Catharina, thank you. ;)

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  3. I won't get bored of any more birdy pictures I think it has enhansed your blog young un

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    1. LOL ... thank you Paul. Actually I have a few shots of birds I need to identify and I thought of you. Keep an eye on the forum. ;)

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  4. I love your posts. Robbie is a most charming little guy. Here in Texas, I have a Mockingbird that directs my garden activities. Sad to see the apple trees go, but I know their replacements will be gorgeous for many years to come. Happy spring planting...looking forward to more bird photos!

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    1. Ooh, a Mocking bird supervising your activities sounds lovely. Yes, I was sad at losing the old trees because they had such character. It's something I've put off for several years. But they will be replaced by 4 new trees ... eating apple, cooking apple, plum and pear and I'm really looking forward to that. Thank you Trudy.

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  5. What a lovely story John, kept me smiling as I read on :-) Yes , robins are precious little birdies to have in the garden...I have one too, and often wonder why 'he' is always alone, because birds are almost always in couple. Do post some new bird photos to bore us with...I will love them :-)))

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    1. Thank you Jane. I thought I only had one Robin until quite recently when I saw TWO at the same time. I believe this would be Mr and Mrs but I can't tell them apart. When I see only one I don't know which one it is. ;)

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  6. Robins are aggressively territorial and will fight off any other robins that dare come into their territory, except in mating season of course! Loved reading your story - what a shame you had to fell the trees though, look forward to seeing more birdy pics!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the story Sharon, thank you. I will post more pics soon but they won't come close to the wonderful shots Gary takes. His work is awesome.

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  7. Hi John.
    Your posting is the first one for Ages. Glad to see you back mate. Lovely photos and great story. All the best John.
    Vic.

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    1. Yep, I'm finding it difficult to do much blogging right now Vic. Glad you liked the photo's. All the best to you.

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  8. Well maybe you could use your photo's as a reference to draw some birds... Kill two birds with one stone, if you pardon the pun!
    We have resident birds too - and at least six squirrels which keep eating the bird food! :0)

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    1. Oh, I have a list of drawing and painting projects as long as your arm Sandra. I'll get back to it in time. As for the squirrels ... I'm afraid I chase them off. As cute as they are to look at, I value the birds more. Reminds me of that old joke about the sign that reads "Preserve Wildlife ..... Pickle a Squirrel today!". Sorry, not very PC. lol. Thank you for stopping by Sandra. ;)

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  9. Great post, John. I noted that there were 3 robins visiting me. One was very fat, one scruffy and then the thin one. They seemed to synchronise their visits to avoid conflict which adjusted my territorial thoughts about them.

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    1. Good grief ... a threesome!! I had a skinny one here a couple of years ago and I figured he was a juvenile who was soon to get the boot. Thanks for posting John. ;)

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  10. I like everything about this post, except that the trees had to go . But I also realize that sometimes it's a necessity and this was one of those times.
    Robbi-J is really watching you and what fun to watch him back !!
    Here in Florida we have robins but not as many as we'd like I think they come for vacations when it gets cold up north and they winter here.
    Mockingbirds however are here all the time and are usually very vocal .. I like that in the garden.
    BJ

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    1. The interesting thing with the Robins BJ is that they 'sing' much of the time but they make a distinctive "tic .. tic .. tic" sound when they are defending their territory. Though I've heard the defensive sounds, most of the time my chappie just sings, especially when I'm pottering around and he's following me. Your Mockingbirds sound wonderful and I also like to hear plenty of birdsong when I'm in the garden.
      I'm glad you enjoyed my little story BJ, thank you. ;)

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  11. Wow that looked hard work John. Good job you had your trusty friend to give you a tweet of encouragement. Loved reading the post. Where would we be without the gorgeous robin that warms up our cold wintery days!!!

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    1. It wasn't too bad Laura as I was able to spread it over a few days. One of the joys of retirement. Glad you enjoyed the story - thank you. ;)

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  12. Your little robin is beautiful John - it's a long while since we had one tame enough to eat mealworms out of our hands.
    Hope the painting bug bites yoiu again soon :)

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    1. If I remember you're a bit of a bird-buff Frank. I have to say I don't think this Robin would ever eat out of my hand. Yes, I'm hoping to have time to get back to painting very soon now .... thank you. ;)

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  13. Hi John,

    Being a birder, I love your little friend Robbie and how he was on the job with you. So sad about the trees, they have a wonderful history and it is hard when you have enjoyed them for so long.

    Great post!

    Sue

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    1. Thank you Sue. The garden isn't the same without the trees Sue, but I'm sure the new ones will bring their own qualities in the course of time. Glad you enjoyed the post.

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  14. Good morning John,
    I love the photo's of Robbie, you may not be able to draw or paint right now, John, you are doing art with these lovely photos. I enjoyed this post of the Adventures of Robbie, maybe a future painting?

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    1. Oh yes, Robbie is definitely going to be painted sooner or later. Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you very much Joan.

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  15. john, what a lovely post! i so enjoyed reading it and looking at those incredible shots of Robbie. he was so intently watching what you were up to! it's fascinating to see! your garden is lovely.

    i hope you are able to draw and paint soon and i so hope your folks are settled. thinking of you.

    and thank you so very much for your very kind comments on morning walk refreshed! you are so nice and i so appreciate your words.

    take care and happy creating...soon!

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    1. Thank you very much Suzanne. I know he's only a wild bird but sometimes I can't help but feel he's playing with me. lol.

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  16. Fabulous post John. Made me feel a bit homesick having watched the robin supervisor my father on numerous occassions.

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    1. Thank you Sue, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. ;)

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