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.
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.
Monk Seals, the Desertas Islands, Madeira
49 minutes ago