Odense is a leafy place, as is most of Denmark. I don’t envy the street cleaners or avid tidy gardeners, of which there are many around here. Thankfully I love leaves, and at this time of year they come crashing down to earth, within my reach, in a symphony of colour. Nature gives us the gift of a burnt orange and red crinkly carpet. I really can’t stop looking at it and I feel guilty walking on it. At the moment it is almost dangerous. I walk around with my head down and every single leaf catches my attention. The colour, the patterns – all so beautiful and unique. Each leaf is a piece of artwork, one with I plan to dedicate my next few blogs to exploring. Each tree species seems to have it’s own way of loosing green and changing colour. It really fascinates me. Why and how? I will start today with a few of last years pictures, taken within a stones throw from my house. It’s a little windy and wet to venture outside with my camera today (typical autumn weather) so I will reminisce with my hard drive and the wonderful autumn colours until the weather breaks.
I had hoped to take a picture of our new garden residents (blue tits) every day and post it to my blog, but as simple as it sounded, things seemed to get in the way. During the incubation phase, there were few changes in the photographs. Mother bird sitting on eggs, day after day. But she got used to me looking in and quickly taking a photo. Then finally one day, after about 12 days of sitting I heard the tiny peep peep calls of very small chicks. I waited until the parents were off gathering food and carefully opened the box to see the small naked vulnerable chicks. I managed to quickly grab a picture before the dutiful folks returned.
After this photo we were off on a small holiday to visit family in Jutland and returned to find big strong chicks, which will (fingers crossed) soon be leaving us and flying out into the big world. I can’t believe how much they have grown and developed in such a short time. They are noisy too, when ever mum and dad come to feed them, they can be clearly heard throughout our small apartment. Summer is a wonderful time!
I have been a little reluctant to blog about our garden residents over the last few weeks. After the first nest box crisis all seemed to be progressing as it should inside the nest box. The chicks were growing big and strong and feathers were starting to push their way out. I happily sat without music in the house listening to the regular bursts of tweets as the parents came to feed them. I was even trying to arrange a date to ring the fluffy little critters.
Then one morning, after a night in Carole’s place (with her birds!) we arrived home and all was a little too quiet in the garden. I parked my bike close to the box and all was silent. I knew something was wrong, any noise in the garden usually evokes a bubble of bird squeaks. Carefully I opened the box and my heart sank for the second (and final) time. All the chicks were lying motionless in the nest. It appears that something had made it’s way into the box, through the small entrance hole and partially ate the chicks. It’s not a pleasant thought, but nature has it’s own way of balancing things out. I was disappointed, but after the first crisis, I realised I had placed a lot of hope on the chicks, and maybe it wasn’t healthy. I am a sensitive soul, which can be a flaw at times.
All is not lost though. Life continues in the garden in other ways. With the small patch of ground we have, we are experimenting with growing a few types of food. We have sowed the seeds indoors in small containers and once they start to grow we plant them outdoors. At the moment we have potatoes (of course!) peas, radishes, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and strawberries in the making. It’s not all plain sailing for the veggies either. Our pea plants have been mysteriously attached, and we suspect it’s this large feathered friend.
When we moved in we decided to leave some of the garden to grow wild (the lazy and environmental friendly option!). We have a mini herb garden, which is ruled by some form of mint but a chive plant still holds a small amount of territory! The chives are in flower at the moment and I am fascinated by the colour and structure of the beautiful flower.
To our surprise, two days after removing the old nest and dead chicks from the nest box, two blue tits (blåmejse) moved in. Nest building was swift and egg laying started immediately. I suspect there to be about 9 eggs today, but the female is sitting tights when I take my morning peak (and photo) so I can’t be sure. Lets hope this nest is more successful. The daily photos of the nest will be posted on this page.