Mend It Monday, 1 March 2021

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus*

Today, I’m reviving my Mend It Monday posts. I dropped them last time because I was sure everyone was getting fed up with seeing another sock that I had darned. There is a sock today, but I also mended something else this week, that Mr Snail thought was beyond repair, so I wanted to share it.

We enjoy feeding the birds in the garden. We don’t see anything especially stunning, but it is nice to watch the sparrows and other small birds enjoying the seeds we put out. We’ve got several feeders designed for birds that hang on, but were short of something that those who like to perch could use, so in the autumn last year, Mr Snail ordered what looked like a suitable feeder – it’s plastic, but since you are supposed to wash them regularly, that seemed like an ok option. Online ordering is fraught with risk and when said feeder arrived, he was rather disappointed – it’s fairly flimsy and difficult to fill. In fact, the design could have been much, much better. However, once it had arrived, we decided we’d use it rather than send it back, and, to be fair, all the birds did seem to like it. We take the feeders in at night to avoid unwanted nocturnal visitors and, unfortunately, one morning when putting them back out Mr Snail dropped this new one and it shattered. There were rather a lot of pieces – mainly the tray that the seeds sit in – and some were very small. As I mentioned, Mr Snail thought it was too far gone to be mended, but I decided to get the Sugru out and give it a shot.

The tray required some reinforcing, so I found a sheet of clear plastic that I used to use for paper-making (something I haven’t done for ages) and cut out an appropriately sized circle. Then I pieced the fragments together on top of this plastic, joining and anchoring them with Sugru. It turned out that one piece had completely disappeared, so I filled the hole with Sugru. We left it to dry for 24 hours and then hung it out once more. It’s been fine for the past week, so fingers crossed it will hold together for another season or two.

My other recent mend was a pair of long-forgotten socks… ones that I didn’t actually knit myself, but someone else did. These got very holey some years ago and had been languishing with the walking boots ever since. I came across them a week or two ago and decided that they were repairable. I didn’t try to colour-match my mending yarn because they are bright and stripy, so I wasn’t going to be successful no matter what. There were actually quite a lot of holes, but I worked on them all and now I can wear them again. There has probably been other darning since I last wrote a Mend It Monday post, but I’m sure you believe me without seeing the evidence (I have got very lax with my photography of late).

-oOo-

  • Happy Saint David’s Day

Garden wildlife

Our nest box cam has revealed twelve eggs! Can’t believe that a tiny blue tit has produced such a large clutch.

A visitor to the fruit cage

When we moved into our house, there was nothing in the garden but lawn and patio, but we have managed to create a space that is both productive and wildlife friendly. We get hedgehog visitors, frogs, toads and lizards… often in the fruit cage, where they are safe from chickens (which will certainly eat frogs). The shed sits on concrete plinths with wet hollows between to provide habitat for amphibians.

Making use of the peanut feeder

But our most noticeable achievement is the bird population. The willow hedge provides food and perches for birds and we also have bird feeders both on a post and attached to the windows. We never used to see any birds in the garden and now we regularly have sparrows, dunnock, great tit, blue tit, chaffinch, robin, thrush, blackbird and starling, plus we see greenfinch, greater spotted woodpecker, goldfinch, wren, chiffchaff (I think) and this morning a jackdaw using a peanut feeder. We also see red kite flying over, but they don’t tend to come down very often. Whilst this list doesn’t include anything particularly rare, it does show how much progress we have made over the years. Our focus has not specifically been on creating a wildlife garden but we have incorporated elements that help in this respect.

It is very satisfying to think that whilst creating productivity for ourselves, we have also managed create abundance for other living things.

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