A short story in four photos

Lloyd was trimming the lollipop michelias at our front entrance this week, to have us looking smart for opening the garden on Friday. We only trim them once a year.

At the end of the day I looked and was surprised to see that he hadn’t finished. The only reason I was surprised is because he is very task-oriented and likes to finish whatever he is doing. Mark and I tend to flit all over the place, multi-tasking, so his focus is a good foil in our team. There are six lollipops clipped from Fairy Magnolia Blush and one and a half umbrellas from the unnamed seedling we have by the courtyard entrance.

This morning he explained. He only just noticed Mama Blackbird in time and he didn’t want to destroy her home and kill her babies. This is exactly how both Mark and I would have responded, too. So if you are visiting our garden during the Taranaki Garden Festival, that is why one bush right at the entrance is only half-clipped.

I remembered this happening before, when I took this photo in the same plant, and in other years. Because the photo is dated back to 2012, I googled the life expectancy of a blackbird. I wondered if they lived long enough for it to be the same bird returning to her favourite position. FIFTEEN YEARS. Blackbirds can last 15 years, presumably if not predated by a cat or anything else. So it may indeed be the same Mama Blackbird raising another clutch. We can accommodate her in relative safety here.

10 thoughts on “A short story in four photos

  1. Alison

    We are looking forward to visiting your garden next weekend and are very happy to excuse the half clip for such an excellent reason.

      1. Alison

        If its wet we’ll be there in our coats and boots – we always bring them up with us. Not going to let a bit of rain stop us seeing the gardens.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Well, blackbirds don’t rank very highly in this country but fledgling infanticide for the sake of garden uniformity is a grim alternative.

  2. elainebolitho

    What a lovely story – beautifully told and beautifully illustrated. And a good one to share with your garden visitors.

    Blessings for your kindness.


  3. Julia

    Oh my goodness this story and the photos made my day. I would so much rather have straggly trees and birds nests than perfectly manicured gardens anyway, so good on you for not disturbing her and her babies :-) Thank you for all your lovely emails, I love reading about what’s happening in your garden!

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