Plastering and spawning.

17°C, light W, mostly sunny.

Ants’ nest

They are spawning, the ants. In this tussock they build a pyramid of soil and winged males and females are all over it. I didn’t realise what was going on at first and accidentally disturbed the structure. I side were eggs and more drones. The cone of soil seems quite fragile, I have not seen one before like this. I’m used to seeing spawning from paving slabs, but not this.

Last hole.

Today, I removed the dining room radiator ready for wallpapering. This is the third radiator that hides damaged plaster in this house. This time, the resulting hole is small, only he size of my hand. Newly plastered, it’s drying now. I hope to finish this room by Thursday.

Frogs have left the pond.

6°C, grey.

No activity at The Pond today. This is what I think happened: last week, there were 10 males at the pond. Waiting, they would occasionally say “gribbit”. My suggestion is that they were staking out the pond waiting for an egg laden female to arrive.

It must have happened because there is plenty of frog spawn in the water. I’ll miss them but there are fascinating treats to come- tadpoles and then tiny frogs. I will construct some log piles for their cover.

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Something in the water is watching.

12°C, sun and light rain.

Something in this pond is watching. There were two ripples from their dive for cover as I approached. Yesterday there was a glassy eye, a frog I think. Actually, two.
That’s great for such a small garden pond.

From the bottom of my garden, I see space for essentials like a compostheap and a larger pond. The Electric fountain can go though.

One mile.

3°C, sunny and light wind.
I rode Arrow with MapMyRide+! Distance: 1.70km, time: 07:09, pace: 4:12min/km, speed: 14.27km/h.

Abruptly cut this ride short once I noticed how much black ice there was hiding in the shadows. There appeared to be no grit or salt on the road and out of town is bound to be worse. So, I came home.​

Tree trunks: I had to have two trees cut down this week. The idea was to give the wood to my neighbour as a good will gesture on my leaving. The tree-surgeon was sure they only needed the logs large.
Not only was that wrong, but the guy didn’t want the logs at all. Now I’m stuck with massive logs that are too big for me to cut and I move out on Friday.

Rolling out the green carpet.

14°C, sunny to start.

Turf rolls are best staggered to make the joins less vulnerable.​

This photo was taken at lunchtime, which means rolling out took about two hours, plus a bit.

The final step is to seive fine topsoil along the joints to encourage the rolls to grow into each other. Eventually. The whole lot should form a shingle mat.

Stopping now, I have a stiff back and I’ve run out of chocolate. All done for £126 and I’ve got 4 rolls left over. Do you want them?

How many barrows?

18°C, sunny with some heavy showersDelivery: this time, the lorry can’t get around the back. All those years ago, I had 6 tons of gravel delivered to cover the mud lawn. When I used to have dogs, they would run mud into the house each winter.​
So how many wheel barrows did it take to move one ton of topsoil to the back garden?

How do I get those down?

17°C, set fairApple tree: it’s in a poor state really. Lower branches are dead or scrawny. There are some good looking fruit at the top. I suppose a skilled arborist would have cut the tree so it would grow more favourably. It needs good, young branches lower down.​

I have cut out some poor low branches with enough stumps to climb up. Either I can reach the fruit, or I will make a scoop to pick them with.


5°C, sunny but something is changing

These things are charming.

I’m some books, mosses are categorised as primitive plants (non-vascular, and like the lichens, they don’t have roots). That means, as a group,  they’re actually very old. Their sophistication is perhaps, not visible. Internally, I suspect, they have advanced features.
They are easy plants to keep, you don’t have to ‘plant’ them, nor prune or feed them. Just leave a pot somewhere damp and then ignore it. A badly drained saucer will help. You probably have mosses growing in hidden parts of your house, most probably the gutters.
If only we could stop and look closely more often.