I returned from UK at the beginning of this week and
went back to work on Tuesday, anticipating a very busy week with not much time
My time spent amongst nature in my Dad’s garden seems
a very long time ago now although only a week has passed by, a very busy week.
Before flying home from England I spent some time with
the family of a client with whom I had worked some thirty years ago, who
died just before Christmas. I had been invited to read at her Memorial Service
which turned out to be something very special and I will write about it here
I arrived back in Germany on Monday evening and had to
be at work in the Kindergarten group the following morning by eight-thirty, I
was needed in the school group in the afternoon and had two adults' sessions
after that, closing the day with our second conductive music session.
And so the week carried on in this busy mode until
After working in the city on Thursday at InBestForm, the inclusive, disabled and
non-disabled group for elderly clients, I was able to be at home a couple of
hours earlier than my norm and decided to take my cup of tea out on my balcony
for a sit and a bit of communing with nature, just as I had been doing with my Dad
had sprung this week
I had cycled home on
Wednesday in a 25°C heat wave and Thursday was still warm, so there was no
need to wrap myself up in a blanket as I had done when last out on the balcony
before Easter. I settled down to enjoy my first opportunity to sit amongst my
spring flowers and listen to the birds singing.
As I sat back with
tea and a pile of out-of-date and unread Guardian Weeklies I started to
snooze. But I was brought back to life
when I realized that there seemed to be more collared doves hopping around and
cooing than I was used to. Gabor and Giselle had been my customary companions in the
early spring, having nested in ‘my tree’ many times since I have lived here. But
on Thursday evening there were four doves, two babies had joined in the cooing
and were eager to be fed. By Saturday evening, having been huddled together at
noon they were nowhere to be seen, perhaps already having flown the nest, or maybe
they just made it to a different branch. By Sunday there were certainly gone, Gabor and
Giselle too, off on holiday I expect for a rest!
On Thursday I had spotted
their delicate platform-like nest only a few feet away from me, just above eye
level. I was so sorry to have missed all their comings and goings over the past
three weeks, but there was to be a lot more action for me to enjoy. While the doves
were busy feeding to one side of me a couple of blackbirds started hopping
around in the tree to the front. It seemed that after all I was about to see
some nesting action for Mr. and Mrs. Blackbird were very busy collecting
nesting materials, their mouths full of moss and muddy, leafy material!
But where was the
building site? Some detective work was called for.
It did not take long
for my eyes to scan my tiny balcony and discover the blackbird’s nest tucked
down low, behind my table, beside the empty flower pots and troughs.
By Friday morning
there was a definite hollow in the earth and a little bit of moss had appeared.
I decided to lend them a helping hand in their search for muddy building
materials in order to prevent them emptying my flower troughs. I had learnt from my
Mum what blackbirds like as she always left out a tray of soil and compost on
the patio, that she watered regularly. This stopped the birds pulling up her
It worked well for her and
it worked for me too. I am surprised how often the tray needed topping up.
All my plants are still firmly rooted and my neighbour’s patio below is not
covered with mud.
I am really looking
forward to the next days, waiting in expectation of the first egg to be laid.
After that there will be a patient wait for the chicks to hatch and then a week or
two of feeding frenzy before the birds fledge and fly off.
The female blackbird
was happily hopping around my feet this lunchtime as I turned my chair and hat
another sit in the sun. I will continue to join them on my balcony for ever-lengthening spells so that they get used to me. I am sure that once the eggs are
laid and the birds are sitting on them I will be ignored and I can have a bird’s-eye
view. I also hope that I can be home early on a few evenings in the following
weeks so I can be part of the action.