young starling begs to be fed by the adult on the insect
treat fat block. We've made a point of replenishing the fat blocks regularly
since we saw the woodpecker but we're not going to be able to keep up
with the starlings. At one stage this afternoon
there were at least 3 starling families, perhaps 20 birds, gathering at
the bird feeders in a squawking feeding frenzy.
blackbird checks over the flower border and the lawn,
pausing to sing in a way that suggests this is a routine territorial claim,
compared with the song battles they indulge in at dawn and dusk. It's
answering a rival which keeps singing two gardens away.
way for the Mushrooms
We're growing white cap mushrooms from an Unwin's kit.
1: The first stage was to keep the mushroom compost moist in
a dark, warm environment (in my studio with the cardboard lid sitting
loosely on the box). There seems to be plenty of whitish growth (mycelium)
in amongst the mushroom compost (which appears to be a mixture of manure
Stage 2: Today I added the casing peat.
All that I have to do now is keep it moist and wait for the mushrooms
to appear. They'll be tiny white pinheads to start with. At this stage
you must be careful not to spray them with water.
Cans for Old
watering cans are cracking up one by one and I need some
way of watering the box of mushroom compost in my studio (yes, there is
a slight waft of manure in the studio at present! But it's not too bad,
I drill small holes in the lid of a large Kenco coffee jar which we finished
this morning. If I did this again I'd use an even finer drill bit at the
water comes out rather quickly!
cut a circular hole in the seal on the inside of the lid of the jar. If
you discard the seal, as I did at first, it drips when you put the jar
upright again. Believe me, I've tried it.
Richard Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org