line.gif - 1064 Bytes

Garden Territories

Sunday 17th March 2002, West Yorkshire

the canal There's a smell of rain and a wisp of wood smoke in the air from one of the barges at the moorings. Feathery leaves of yarrow and bright green nettles are springing by the towpath.

blackbirdblackbird Our back garden now has a disputed border of blackbirds going down its centre, more or less following the line of the path. The males chase each other looking menacing, circling around a plant. The violence sometimes erupts into a head to head with the two leaping into the air, beak to beak, facing each other like the rampant supporters of a coat of arms.

I haven't seen our regular blackbird, White-tail, since January. Perhaps his absence has left a power vacuum and new blood is moving in.

cockerel Next door's hens have started to wander into our garden again, so I expect that 'our' garden will now become the territory of the cockerel and his page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; ''