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Tuesday, 03 June 2008
A visitor

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I’m not a twitcher and am not confident in identifying what bird this is (bluetit?) I mainly encourage birds into the garden to keep some kind of ecological balance and pest control system going. My main crop this year (every year) is raspberries. All indications are that I’m in for a bumper crop this season. My main adversary for the fruit is the Green fly which attacks the plant just below the fruit/flowers. According to Wikipedia they reproduce parthenogenetically in some species (which is to say asexually, or without the involvement of males). The best form of natural control is ladybirds. Spraying chemicals might kill the aphids but it will also kill the ladybirds. My own treatment is to crush a few cloves of garlic and then pour boiling water over them. When the water is cool, I strain the water into a household spray container (e.g. from a cleaning product) and apply it all over the plant. The water spray simply causes the aphids to drop off, but the garlic acts as a repellent. Other people recommend nettle or onion spray (following the same preparation I use with garlic), oil or natural soap.

Posted by bigblue on 03/06/2008 at 08:12 AM
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Not a Squirrel



Yesterday I took this time-lapse video of my bird feeder. It shows over 12 hours condensed into a 7 minute video. I was hoping to see if the doves were back at the meadow bird seed mix. Judging by the little surprise near the end, reality can indeed be worse than you imagine.

Interestingly there seems to be an entire genre of time-lapse videos of bird feeders over on YouTube. I’ve moved the feeder to the middle of my lawn, and wondering if I should be keeping a (video) eye on it again today…

Posted by bigblue on 03/06/2008 at 07:06 AM
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Monday, 02 June 2008
Parking in Chertsey

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There’s a double yellow line so just park on the pavement!

Posted by bigblue on 02/06/2008 at 12:13 PM
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Our House



Perhaps, in light of recent news it’s time to revive the mad song ...

Posted by bigblue on 02/06/2008 at 08:58 AM
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Sunday, 01 June 2008
First steps

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Am I the only one who thinks that the BBC was sickingly-deferential to the apartheid leader when they interviewed him on radio recently? For the hearing impaired, here’s a brief resume of the interview. And here’s an extract of what De Klerk said:

The root causes are unemployment…. crime also plays a role… While apartheid deprived people of political rights, on a social economic basis it was quite developmental [he gave examples of education, housing]. It would be a great over simplification to blame everything which is wrong in the new South Africa on the heritage of the past

OK, so nobody would deny that what has been happening since 1994 shouldn’t be taken into account, but surely the interviewer should point out that the high unemployment and crime rate are legacies of apartheid?  And that apartheid involved economic, educational and social subjugation (not development!). And regarding the deferential interview technique: De Klerk may have won a peace prize, but he also attended meetings that plotted the murder of political opponents.

Anyhow, the photograph above shows the first flowering of my attempt to plant a wild meadow lawn. As you can see I have had little success so far in overcoming the monocultural legacy that is my current lawn. If I am going to succeed, I think I will have to deal with the grass-roots issues.

Posted by bigblue on 01/06/2008 at 12:35 PM
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