Dog helps Blue Tits build nest


There’s a bit of tabloid headline poetic licence in the title as there was some human intervention here. Mine.

We have a young Norfolk Terrier, a hairy beast, not unlike a teddy bear in appearance and very friendly and cuddly with it. His coat has to be hand stripped, and I’m gradually learning how to do this. My L-plates are still on but I’m slowly getting the hang of it and I regularly “roll” his coat to keep it tidy and in good shape.

P1070250Clearing up the tufts and clumps of loose hair I’d removed I wedged them into the bird feeder in the garden. There is a pair Blue Tits in a nesting box and there’s currently a lot of coming and going through the entrance – a bird arrives with moss and loose foliage in its beak, pops inside, disappears for a bit them emerges to search for more nesting material.

It didn’t take long for them to find the recently removed dog hair and flit off back to the nesting box with it. Grabbing my camera I managed to get a couple of shots of the tits at work.

Now that’s what I call recycling – from dog to birds to nest in a matter of minutes!

Ubiquitous plastic

P1070199Ubiquitous: present everywhere or in several places simultaneously

Plastic: any of a number of synthetic polymeric substances that can be given any required shape

(The Concise Oxford Dictionary)

This lone plastic water bottle floating in a sea of green gunge in Brazos Bend State Park in Texas caught my eye. The park is pristine, tidy and well-kept. Staff and volunteers do a great job keeping it clean so visitors can enjoy the wildlife. So this lone bottle jarred.

It definitely should not have been there and I wondered which unthinking clown had thrown it into the lake rather then into one of the bins (there are plenty of them).

It jarred especially because of the context it was in. I was watching a Great Egret at the time. It was still and peering into the water at the edge of the green and gunky lake. Here it is peering – it let me get quite close but not too close. What a beauty.


And here it is in context with the discarded plastic bottle


It just doesn’t go. It shouldn’t be there and it’s a reminder of the vast amounts of discarded plastic we humans are allowing to overtake our planet. Recycling helps of course, but do we need SO MUCH plastic I have to ask.

You’re probably already aware of the plastic problem so I won’t bang on about it. While I was in the US I refused plastic straws given with any drinks ordered in cafes and restaurants. One place didn’t offer them – a small start but it was encouraging to see it nonetheless.


Remember you’re a Womble

Daughter to one of her team at work: “Remember you’re a role model”

Team member (completely mishearing): “What do you mean – Remember you’re a Womble?!”

Cue for laughter in the office – The Wombles were furry children’s TV characters in the 1970s, who went around picking up rubbish and helped keep public parks and open spaces tidy. They were also into recycling, so were way ahead of their time, and their message of taking care of the environment was seen regularly by the children who watched the show. Those children and now in their 40s, so hopefully some of the Wombles philosophy has rubbed off and stayed with them, ready to be passed on to their own children.



Coffee to go?


The days of takeaway coffee in a disposable cardboard, plastic or (heaven forbid) polystyrene cup are numbered. More people are becoming aware of the dangers such chuck-away items pose for the environment. Do they get recycled? Very likely not; they’re destined for landfill and it can’t go on. It’s simply not viable. The world’s landfills and seas are clogging up with throw-away, one use items.

There are alternatives. Some enterprising person has invented a portable cup which concertinas up into itself when not in use. Some coffee shops and chains sell their own brand of reusable cup which you take with you when you go to get coffee to drink in or take out. Continue reading