Wednesday, 13 January 2010


It has just dawned on me that it is now a year since I started this blog. How time flies when you are having fun. It took me a few years to pluck up the courage to get started, mainly as I had no idea what I was going to write about and whether I would have much to say, let alone whether it would be of passing interest.

The year has been fun. It has given me an outlet for my photography, concentrated my observations on the wildlife which visits the garden and led me to find others with similar interests. I certainly look forward to another year of observing and photographing so I hope you can stand another year of me waffling on, and on, and .... I will certainly look forward to following all the interesting blogs I have discovered.

I have often mentioned the large Leylandii in the bottom corner of my garden. This is as it was three years ago - getting on for 100 ft high - the day before it was cut back. It had been growing there for at least 35 years and gave no sign of having reached its maximum height. In fact a few years before it had lost about 20 ft from the top lead when it was stripped out by what I think was a mini whirlwind during a storm as the bark was unwound from the wood.


It had often worried me. It was firm enough in the ground but any branches falling from the top could have done some real damage to life, limb and property. I didn't particularly want to have it removed completely as it harbours a lot of bird visitors, providing both shelter and food in the form of the amount of insect life. In the end, after consulting our local experienced tree feller, I decided to have the top third taken off. Not a cheap option as it could not be scaled. £300 a day to hire a mobile platform was the only option.

Here Owen, the tree feller, and the owner of the platform are gradually working their way down the tree.


The idea being to reduce it to the same height as the younger Leylandii just behind it in a neighbour's garden. When they had finished cutting it down to size I was given the opportunity to go up on the platform with my camera, a FujiPix at that time. Now my legs start wobbling a few rungs up a ladder so I cannot say I enjoyed the feeling when we achieved just over 60 feet up but the views were great. This looking down on my back garden as it was then.


Here a view looking across to the cricket field Bobby and I walk most afternoons


and here the view in the opposite direction across arable fields towards the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Finally a rare view of the roof of the village church - about the only place you can get a view of so much of the church at once.

St Edith's Church

I had enjoyed the views. A once in a lifetime opportunity. All the photographs were taken one handed as there was no way I was going to let go of the hand rail with the other. My, was I grateful to get back to solid ground as even in a gentle breeze the platform moved slightly with every gust.

Well, that's it. A year's worth of waffling on finished and thoughts must now turn to what to write about during the next twelve months. Many thanks to all those who have visited, from 90 different countries, and to the many who have left comments. They always help to spur me on along with the fabulous photos which other people put on their blogs - gives me a standard to aim for.


  1. Congratulations on 1 year John.
    I've enjoyed following your blog, and look forward to many more posts from you.

    Excellent pictures from those dizzy heights.

  2. Happy 1st Blogoversary John!! So glad a stopped by tonight :-D

    I always enjoy my visits exchanging comments on our birds (hopefully nesting ones this year) and hedgehogs.

    Re this posting I have found this very interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing your views from the platform… but that tree! What a size it was. It’s a hedge we have here and it was cut by half and ours must be 10/11ft now. I’m sure like us you would have enjoyed more light getting into your garden after yours was trimmed down.

    Your blog is always a joy to visit with great chat, photos and video… delighted to hear you are continuing for another year :-D

  3. What a way to cap your year! Those were great views from the platform. Congratulations on the anniversary; you have found plenty of things share with your readers and I look forward to more.

  4. Congratulations on Blogoversary One!

    Wow! That Leylandii was an amazing height! A tell-tale landmark for the birds three or more years ago to find the Birdy Bistro. You were very brave to climb up that ladder and single-handedly take photos of the surrounding area. As you say, not an occasion to miss but I don't think I would have had the nerve to go up there! Now you've shared the bird's eye view and from a great perspective. Looks like a lovely spot.

    Looking forward to more of your postings as the year progresses :)

  5. Congratulations from me. Almost worth hiring the cherry picker again, great to see the world from a birds perspective.
    You keep posting and I'll keep reading.

  6. Thank you Keith. Yes dizzy heights is a perfect description ;)

  7. Thank you for those kind words Shirl.
    Leylandii do need a lot of work to keep in check as they are so fast growing once established. I have a short side hedge of them which I have to trim at least once a year to keep the height down to a manageable level.
    I got a lot more light when I had some other evergreens cut right out along the back of the garden which had reached about 50 feet. That was when the bats stopped visiting the garden as those trees seemed to be full of moths.

  8. Thank you Teena, and thanks for visiting.

  9. Thank you Wilma. I will do my best to record any interesting goings on around here.

  10. Thank you Glo. Yes it is a tree and a half. It was a pity to have to cut it back but in high winds the vertical branches used to blow all over the place. Although the roots were firm in the ground the whole tree would curve over in high winds.

    No ladder climbing, Glo. A pneumatic platform on the back of a large lorry but it still wobbled in the breeze!

  11. Thank you Adrian. I could not for the life of me remember the name cherry picker last night - and I was sober, honest. Funny, but I have been up Boston Stump and the Spire on Louth Parish Church, both much higher up, and felt fine. The difference being the solid masonry to lean back on I suppose.

    If you are parked near the river keep an eye on the water level if the snow on high ground melts suddenly. Some of those car parks tend to vanish under water from time to time.

  12. Very many congratulations John! Your blog has been a joy to read over the last twelve months, I remember when you and I were often to be found commenting on Tricia's blog (at least I have always assumed it was you?) long before either of us 'took the plunge' with our own.

    You were much braver than I would be with your climb but it was certainly worth it to get those photos, we have one of a similar age which we took the top out of some years ago not realising it would then grow much wider! We also have what was once, apparently, a previous family's Christmas tree at the bottom of our garden which must be around the height your Leylandii was!

    Keep up the good work John, it is always a pleasure to visit :)

  13. Thank you for those kind words Jan.

    I have the same middle age spread problem with my Leylandii. It has grown much wider since it was shortened.

    A previous neighbour used to plant out her old Christmas trees. A few years ago one of them came down across my fence in a storm and ended up resting on my roof - fortunately no damage to the roof but a bit of a hairy experience at the time! In fact I found a video of it slowly falling over only this morning.

  14. Hearty congrats John on your 1st Blogoversary. We've got great enjoyment from reading it and from looking at the wonderful photos you've taken. You've a great knack of making a lot of ordinary things seem extraordinary and special and how you show them in a brand new light. Thank you for sharing it all with us. So, onwards and upwards with Year 2.

  15. Keep posting on your blog! It is much enjoyed! It was definitely worth braving the height to get photos like that.

  16. Happy Blogoversary John! I love to visit and see what's happening in your neck of the wolds! Here's to another year!

  17. Thank you Twosie. Watching the local wildlife always seems to bring something new to observe.

  18. Thank you Mick. It was certainly an experience, especially on a cold breezy February day.

  19. Thank you Matron. It keeps me off the streets and out of mischief ;)

  20. Wobbly..wobbly...great views from up on high.

    Happy Blog Anniversary and may there be many more for us all to enjoy John.

  21. Thank you Frank. It did make a change to get a birds eye view of the local surroundings.

  22. Wow! I don't like heights either, but those views you got from the platform are brilliant!

  23. Hello GLW. It was great to have the opportunity of a birds eye view on the locality.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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