Mellow Fruitfulness and Merry Birds

Something tells me it’s Autumn. I know it, my lane knows it and the birds know it. They have quite a banquet laid out for them.

Some of these were very difficult to capture. I think I got the last bunch of hazelnuts before the psycho squirrels made off with them. And I failed entirely to snap any rowanberries, since the blackbirds demolished them a month ago.

No ash keys. No sign of any ash keys at all, which is odd as my main preoccupation in the garden is removing ash saplings. I know ash trees are decidedly non-binary, but it is a little odd that every one of the twenty-one ash trees in my lane has decided to self-identify as a male this year.

The birds are keener on some fruits, nuts and seeds than others. I am not sure how they feel about arum lilies, aka cuckoo-pints. That is pint rhyming with mint, rather than with, well, pint, since it isn’t a reference to a liquid measure but is short for pintle (penis). I have heard cuckoos many times, but never actually seen one, so I haven’t had the opportunity to examine their genitalia, but I’m willing to bet I’d find nothing looking remotely like a cuckoo-pint.

Birds tend not to bother with the bryony, which is fine by me because nothing does a good gleaming celebratory garland quite like black bryony. It’s hung in swathes along the lane and it will probably still be there when the leave are gone and the trees and bushes are bare. Perfect for Christmas. I object to shops and high streets starting Christmas this early, but I don’t mind the lane doing so.

No matter how keen the birds are to tuck in (you can always tell when they’ve been eating blackberries and elderberries), a lot of the fruit manages to ripen and even over-ripen to the point of beginning to ferment. Which leads some birds very happy but struggling to fly in a straight line.

5 thoughts on “Mellow Fruitfulness and Merry Birds

  1. Such a lovely post Thorne, evocative and educational. I once stayed in a holiday house where a plum tree had left its fruit fermenting on the grass. The local badgers got quite merry too as they stumbled about. They are a bit on the clumsy side when they are stone cold sober.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I’d like to see inebriated badgers. As you say, they aren’t exactly gracious even when sober.


  2. Great photos! I’m familiar with most of these apart from the black briony – and now I feel I’m losing out. We live along The Ridgeway which is bordered by Ash trees but most of them are suffering from Ash Wilt. I’ve grumbled plenty of times about the plantations of ash seedlings in the garden but now I’m sad that the landscape is going to change significantly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Trish. Several of my ash trees have quite severe die-back, but not the older ones, so I am hopeful they’ll come through. But then, I remember elms. I can’t see our countryside ever returning to the way it was in the early 60s

      Liked by 1 person

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