Hester Winterbourne

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since Feb 12, 2014
Joined site because whilst browsing for permaculture ideas for my new allotment (it's too wet to garden) I couldn't resist the plant ID challenge...
West Midlands UK (zone 8b) Rainfall 26"
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Recent posts by Hester Winterbourne

This afternoon I was paid a huge compliment by my very traditional plot neighbour.  We get on fine, we just do things differently e.g digging vs. mulching, rows vs. organised chaos etc.  Anyway this new lady has just taken a plot and was talking to him so I said "You've told her I'm completely mad, haven't you, Bill?" He looked thoughtful then said to the other woman "She plants things where they make sense.  I mean, you look at it now and it looks like she's dug a bit here and there and forgotten about it, but when it comes up in the spring it all makes sense."  I was so touched and taken aback that he's been quietly watching what I do and noticing that we have different success criteria.  I count this as a great victory for permie-principles!
5 days ago
I reckon if people can add fungi to this thread, I can add nuts...  it's a good year for sweet chestnuts! My teenager has been bringing them home from the school field, which has intrigued his friends, and we've been peeling and grilling or boiling them.
1 week ago
Updating to say I am still here... now turned 50... currently being bemused by the inexplicable behaviour of people on dating sites!  Lincolnshire is looking like the most likely option for my relocation plans, but I have not committed to anything.

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Species like house sparrows, pigeons, doves, starlings, pheasants, quail, etc have followed the human civilization wherever it leads. It is those birds that I think of as belonging to the human guild. Many of them are primarily urban  and suburban birds. Probably could add robins and crows to that list. And monk parakeets.

House martins are a great example.  Surely before there were houses there would have been huge areas of the country where there were simply no nest sites for them.
1 week ago

Anita Martin wrote:goldfinch on teasel.

Superb photo!  I find goldfinches are difficult to get a nice shot of as their little black eyes disappear into the black eyestripe.

I feed the birds but not a huge amount and rather erratically.  I feed a variety of stuffs and see lots of birds foraging in the garden nearby while they are queuing up.  I tend on the side of - the birds are under pressure from habitat loss, pesticides and cats and anything we can do to help them is a good thing.  I hear people say you should never stop once you've started as the birds will become dependant, but I think birds are used to natural food sources drying up and having to search for new ones.  Someone near here is feeding the ducks on the canal and they have made a terrible mess of the towpath as there is always a  huge gang gathered waiting for the next handout.  I would draw the line at that level of feeding.  I'm sure it also contributes to the yearly problem with too many drakes.

2 weeks ago

Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:You have wonderful butterflies there!

One of the largest butterflies here in the Netherlands is the Atalanta. As you see it is dark brown-black with red and white. Th is also called 'number butterfly', because sometimes the white spots look like numbers (9 or 6) .

That, to me, is a Red Admiral.  I've never heard them called Number Butterfly in this country.  Maybe we are less mathematically minded than in the Netherlands!

A little late, but I give you the Scarlet Tiger moth.
1 month ago
If it's a lamb, i.e. under a year old, why has it already been shorn?  Or is that normal in your part of the world?
Question - is it altogether necessary for him to get a Boer buck?  Why not use your Nigora?  You'd get a bit of a trade off in terms of carcass quality, weighed up against not carrying another mouth to feed and keep separate from your buck so they don't fight and try and outdo each other in terms of smell...
I have read that figs fruit best when their roots are restricted, for example by being grown in a pot or a small pocket of soil in rocky ground.  A friend of mine has a large fig tree in her garden which does not fruit, but produces suckers which she pots up and has now had fruit from.
2 months ago
On holiday in Beaumaris, North Wales this year, I found a shop selling sea buckthorn flavour ice cream.  I don't know how much of it they sold because I should imagine 99% of their customers have no idea what it even is, let alone that it's edible!
2 months ago