Glorious Sunny Day

It was a glorious sunny day yesterday and I made my way out into the garden where I was joined by The Radiant Queen and The Handsome Prince.

Here’s The Queen eyeing up 2 Starlings who had dared to venture onto her patch of lawn.

In the far distance is The Handsome Prince who is guarding the entrance to The Secret Garden.

Here was the garden, washing blowing in the breeze. I love the trees at the bottom of the garden. I say trees because most presume it’s one large tree however it’s two separate ones. On the right (as you look at the image) is a Flowering Cherry and on the left, a Sycamore which must have started life as a seed dropped by the birds as we didn’t plant it. I love the fact it has grown in a way which compliments the shape of the tree next to it.

If you look at the post at the end of the hedge just to the left of the washing on the line and go up vertically from there, that’s pretty much where the Sycamore begins and it grows to the left as you look at the image. The Flowering Cherry is from the post and then goes to the right as you look at the image. Nature is amazing.

Everything All At Once

2 weeks ago in the garden there was still a sparseness to everything even though buds and blossoms were forming on branches.

There were noticeable gaps along the boundaries. I could still see into other people’s gardens.

There was an absence of daisies, dandelions, buttercups and wildflowers. Not anymore. The gaps have been filled. The garden is like a meadow and beautiful blue flowers which have been dropped by the birds in seed form now stand resplendent on the edges of the lawn.

Nature has arrived all at once and it’s beautiful to see.

It’s time for my early morning ritual of Indian Masala Chai spiced tea made in a teapot, with a dash of oat milk and savoured while this music is played.

A further cricket update…

Today I ventured out to get a better container for my cricket friends. I needed to get some vermiculite to layer the base of said container. I popped into B&Q and having found the product, I noticed right beside it some decent sized propagating trays with lids. The lids had sliders inset into them to vary the amount of air that gets in and that was perfect because I was worrying about how I was going to make the relevant holes in the top of a clear plastic container for the crickets. Too big and they will get out, too small and they won’t get enough oxygen. Plus, there’s always a worry using that method, about cracking the lid.

I then walked into the garden centre part of the store and they had dozens of flowers and plants which were being sold off reduced in price. I thought it was because they had already flowered however they hadn’t. Most will flower through to August and a few into October. I bought some Impatiens, the regular variety and ones from New Guinea, some Petunias, some Marigolds, some Bidens (which I had never heard of before), some Sweet William, some Snapdragons and a few others besides. I’m glad I went there now.

I returned home and in transferring the crickets, 2 escaped. I managed to recapture one and put him into the container while 1 is still at large. I lost 1 last night, who ended up going behind the refrigerator. I hope they’re not a male and female because that could result in a house filled with crickets endlessly multiplying. I think it’s unlikely as they need regular food and water and without that sadly they will perish. That and the fact there are numerous large spiders walking about the house, so I think they’re doomed in reality. I’m keeping an eye out for them in case they crawl up the walls. I can then place something clear over them, slide a thin coaster between that and the wall/floor and bring them back home again.

5 crickets have died since yesterday. I don’t know whether it was the shock of being transferred initially from the smaller container to the interim container and then moving to the bigger and better one today. I was ever so careful. It might not be that though. The lifespan of crickets is about 90 days and I don’t know how old they are, where they were bred and how far they have travelled to get here. I will be broken when my little waving friend dies however. She has sat atop one of the egg crate spikes today, just looking across at me. She’s lovely.

Anyhow, here they are in their more salubrious surroundings:-

Water gel in the top left of the screen in the orange lid. Powdered food packed with vitamins and minerals in the bottom left which is one half of an egg carton. Cardboard inserts from toilet rolls in the centre which they love walking about in. Raw carrots beside those. The small round bowl in the top right is moist and will serve as a place for them to breed. In the bottom right is the remainder of the egg carton which apparently crickets also love walking about in. My only concern is how I’m going to be able to access the tray to add/remove things without them jumping out. That would be a concern however whatever the size of the container though as they can jump up to 3ft in the air.

I found a really good Jimmie Vaughan album to listen to today, which I have included below. Jimmie can sound a bit plink-plink-plink tonally at times and almost like he’s phoning in his performances however this album has a beefier guitar sound, I can hear his commitment to the music and I’m really enjoying it. The crickets really love Clair De Lune by Debussy! My girl cat went and laid out in the garden this afternoon. It was a lovely day weather wise however it got cold very quickly. The garden birds have enough food out in the various feeders until tomorrow and the snails have been tended to so their container is moist, clean and tidy, with a fresh supply of food inside for them to munch away on.

I can’t believe we’re already 3 weeks into May. It’s my Stepdad’s birthday today. Had he lived, he would have been 106! He’s been gone 26 years and I miss him more than ever. He would have loved the world as it is now, with all the technological advancements, especially the immediacy of recorded music as he played drums proficiently and was something of a music aficionado.

Anyhow, this has been my day. A good one all in all.

Crickets update…

Tomorrow I will get a vastly bigger container, some sand and also some vermiculite for the bottom of the container as well as dedicated areas for their water gel and bug food. Apparently, they can also have selected fruit and veg. For now though, I discovered they like to run about on/in the cardboard inserts for toilet rolls so have added a few of those into their temporary enclosure. I already have a friend in the form of a cricket who waves at me. I have tried to film her using my camera but on every setting I have tried, she comes out blurred.* I hope my newfound friends sing their hearts out tonight.

*Here she is. You can make out her ‘waving.’

5 a.m.

I awoke early this morning and galvanised by my ‘new’ direction, which is returning to my first love – writing, thereby leaving musical creation to those who know what they are doing, namely my good friend Sharine and her husband, I set about charting in words my daily life, seen through this newfound filter of peace and equilibrium.

I walked into the garden, set up my field recording equipment, placing it in a prime location to capture some early morning sounds. This is the result:-

These are the sounds from an English suburb. Recorded Thursday 18th May 2023 at around 5 a.m. GMT. It contains an overhead plane, the sound of a passing motor vehicle, a distant train whistle and birdsong as well as birds flapping their wings.

This is the scene:-

The Eucalyptus Tree which stretches up to the sky just to the right of centre in the image was cut down because the roots were going under the house and risked causing subsidence. It has grown back just as vigorously. 2 years ago, it was a stump. Last year it stood just 8 feet high. They grow at an alarming rate and this image more than adequately charts the power of nature. Mother Earth at her finest.

I made myself a cup of Masala Chai tea and listened to some Indian Chill music on YouTube which can be found HERE. Track 2 (Mystiqal – Vugh Gardens) I especially love. I made the tea in a teapot and added a splash of oat milk. It was delicious. This is the tea I was drinking:-

I have always felt a strong pull to India. I at one time considered converting to Hinduism. I am not a joiner though and besides by becoming Hindu, I would be creating a sense of the Other. I recently discovered a spiritual path called Omnism, which views all religions as containing inherent truths. I’m an Omnist.

I discovered a great website called Aporee which details field recordings from all over the world. I have always been fascinated by the idea of hearing from people all over the world. ‘Ordinary’ people just like me. Not celebrity types. Just regular folk going about their lives.

As a child I would do this by listening to obscure radio stations courtesy of my Dad’s long-wave radio. The idea that all of these people were out there blew my mind. Largely unheard by the masses yet captured in a fleeting moment. A raindrop in the totality of an ocean but containing the essence of that entire great sea in that one tiny drop.

Anyhow, I hope all of you reading this have a great day today. Peace.

A Friend Dropped By

I had a nice surprise the other day. A friend dropped by to say hello. A young dunnock.

She stayed with me for a good while, gripping my fingers like a branch and then sitting in my hand for a short time (see below) before flying off into a hedge.

My Fine Feathered Friend.

A couple of days later, I was outside and she made herself known to me. She flew all around me, then sat across from me in a branch and looking directly at me, sang her beautiful little song. She had remembered me.

This is a sound file of Dunnocks singing.

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