Category: FAUNA

Rise of Parakeets

Parakeet in Childshill, London, photo by PH Morton

Rise of Parakeets

More and more wild parakeets are seen freely flying and nesting all around London.  I first saw parakeets on top of a tree at Hyde Park four years ago.  I thought they were not really a natural bird for cold UK.

As much as they are so lovely to look at, there are some negative implications to our local birds.

Our Home Harvest 2016


Our Home Harvest 2016


When we were both still gainfully employed,  😉 it was hard to maintain our fairly long back garden, where the lawn must be mowed, the bushes regularly trimmed, the pond life fed, the garden furniture repaired, etc., the list went on.  We, therefore,  paved over parts of it, but still kept some smaller flower& plant beds and a good size lawn.

A good idea in any size garden is to use plant pots or troughs to grow plants, flowers and vegetables.

Some of the larger pots are fitted with small wheels (like castors) on the base.

This means that we can easily move large plants, such as the tomato plants, to follow the sun as it moves, to maximise exposure to the light and heat.

This spring, and as in previous years, Jean & I decided to try and grow some tomato plants in three of our large pots.  Tomatoes are quite inexpensive and plentifully sold in shops and supermarket during the summer, but growing your own has its own reward.  You can be sure of the freshness and they seem to taste better 🙂




This year’s weather has been mixed in London & SE England.

A rarely frozen and wet winter was followed by rain alternating with hot sunny days in summer, extending well into September. This combination has resulted in a nice crop of tomatoes. some have ripened and hopefully the others will soon as well.

Our two potted small apple trees have produced their ripe fruit nearly a month early this year.

They are ‘Jonagold’ apples, which are sweet and a little bitter to taste but simply delicious.

We found that If you have two potted apple trees, keep them near each other in order to get at least one good crop, this helps cross fertilisation from the bees etc.

We find each year that one tree produces more apples than the other.

However, this year both tree have a lot of apples, thanks to the weather.

our-pear-treeWe have one potted Conference variety pear tree, near the end of the garden, and as with the apple trees we also need to get another one as this lonely tree only produces a pair of pears each year.

Our wild blackberry bush has also produce a bounty of berries this year too!

We wonder if this year’s winter will be cold and wet again. Snow has not fallen to settle on the ground here in nearly the last two years, much to our grandson’s disappointment who is wishing of building a snowman in the garden!

When Bert Met Bubbles

Bert & Bubbles, iphone photo by JMorton

Bert & Bubbles, iphone photo by JMorton

Bert & Bubbles, iphone photo by JMorton

Bert & Bubbles, iphone photo by JMorton

Our pet budgie, Bert, has been alone in his cage for a couple of years now.  Though he is very friendly with our dog, Diesel, we thought it was about time to get him a companion of his own kind, and so we did today.

Stacey, our daughter-in-law, found a pet shop, that sells budgies.  The shop was the Jumanji pet shop, which is located at the Kilburn High Street, just by Lloyds Bank, next to Iceland supermarket.

At the back of the shop, is where the animals are.  There were rabbits, guinea pigs, mice and even rats (ugh)  And there were lots of birds.  There was a pair of lavender-coloured love birds, which only had eyes for each other. 🙂

Luckily they have budgies and we had to look for a female one, apparently as we have a male already, he would need a female companion.  Another male would mean cage war.  🙁

Bert did have a female companion when we got him, but sadly Lolly died.  She hurt her wing while trying to fly and never really recovered.

The female budgie we got today which costs £28 was a beautiful blue one.  Bert, thought so too.  As soon as he saw, Bubbles (named after Nathan’s bubble gum), Bert had not stopped preening. In fact, he looked so much better, his plumage is much  brighter, emerald green.  He is so attentive to the new bird.  He was ‘kissing’ her all the time.

The shop assistant at the Jumanji pet shop, advised to return Bubbles within the next 7 days, if she doesn’t get on with Bert.

Fingers crossed, it seems they are getting along just fine.

Jumanji Pet Shop was very clean and all the animals are well looked after.  They had food and water.  A trusted commercial establishment for pets.

Galapagos Tortoises

Zoo 2012 571

Astride a statue tortoise, photo by PH Morton

Zoo 2012 572

Galapagos Tortoise at ZSL London Zoo, photo by PH Morton

Zoo 2012 574

Galapagos Tortoise at ZSL London Zoo, photo by PH Morton

Galapagos tortoises are the largest in the world and they can outlive me very easily as their life span is up to  150 years.

These galapagos tortoises played a major role in Charles Darwin’s revolutionary theory of Natural Selection theory when he visited Galapagos Island in 1835.

Man’s Best Friend


Man’s Best Friend

jean & diesel

Did you know?

According to findings, dog owners are fitter and less prone to depression compared to those who do not have a canine pet.

This is rather bizarre but studies also show that just by looking at photos of cute puppies can increase your productivity at work.

Not only that owning a puppy/dog can enhance your social life too.  I remember a friend who used to ‘borrow’ our cute yorkshire terrier so he can walk her in the park.  Apparently our little yokie was a babe magnet. 🙂


Jelly Fish, Jewel of the Sea

Jelly Fish @ The London Zoo

One of Peter’s passions in life is to one day, keep an aquarium full of jelly fish. He found them absolutely fascinating.

James & Stacey know of this passion that they have given Peter a very life-like automated/mechanical aquarium one Christmas. It was beautiful and they glow in the dark. LOL

Real jelly fish is beautiful but can be lethal! I supposed an aquarium of jelly fish is better than one of piranhas, tarantulas or snakes! yuck

Jelly Fish, Jewel of the Sea

Jellies are one of the most unsual and also most beautiful animals on this earth.

Moth – Superstition and more

Moth on curtain

Moth on curtain, photo by PH Morton

Moth – Superstition and more

Isn’t the moth above beautiful?!!!  The photo was taken by’s resident photographer, PH Morton.

I was in our study three nights ago, on my computer, when a moth circled and circled me and then stop right above my head in my curtain.

There was a superstition about moth that they are a conduit of the dead and bringer of some news and comfort.

I thought of my grandfather immediately.  He passed away twenty-odd years ago.  Actually he was/ is the person I could trust most in the world.  He had never let me down.  I was a horrid child, who grew up into an ultra-sensitive, self-centred little madam and yet he loved me and was really proud of me.  I heard him once saying to someone that I was not just a teacher but a professor in university.  He was so proud!

Anyway talking about the moth, lately I was worrying about family, especially those in the Philippines.  I hope the moth was as a reincarnation of my grandfather, lol, who was there to assure me that everything was going to be alright.

The next morning, the moth was still clasped contentedly on my curtain.  I called Peter to free it into the wild of our garden.  Goodbye, Lolo, I am sure everything will sort itself up.

Spiders Spinning Webs


Golden Spider, photo by P Morton

Spiders Spinning Webs

It is a true wonder of nature how spiders can  weave superior and intricate webs!

Spiders are a particular source of phobia for Peter and yet he was happy taking photo after photos of these eight-legged insects.

Probably spiders are less mysterious and threatening when they are outside the remit of one’s abode, afterall a man’s house is his castle and he has a right to welcome or make unwelcome anyone entering his house, including the dreaded spiders!!!

Below are the photos Peter took over a period of a week.

Thank goodness, we do not presently have any spider inside the house, not that I know of.  Probably this is because I have put conkers in strategic places. Apparently conkers are anti-spiders. It is hard and frightening to imagine a spider freely moving in the bedroom while one is unconscious to the world.

I read somewhere that everyone swallows at least 60 insects, of which 7 are spiders, in their lifetime, while asleep! Can’t bear thinking about it.

Did you know?

There is a specie of spiders that is named after Harrison Ford.

Robins our Garden Guardians


As spring turns into summer in the UK, we have enjoyed the budding flowers and trees. Also the first visits to our gardens  of a family favourite, the robin red breast bird.

The European robins (Erithacus rubecula) are descended from Old World Fly catcher birds Muscicapidae.  

A robin  will select a particular garden to live, feed and sometimes nest.

They prefer a garden that has lots of bushes and plants  for them to hide and live in & also provides supplies of ready insects, worms, slugs and snails for their meals.

Robins are fiercely territorial and will sometimes fend off intruding birds to ‘their’ garden.

Every year, we enjoy seeing our cheeky little garden robin hopping about among our bushes and plants. They are also not aversed to having a bath on the running falls by our pond.

He/she is not scared or wary of us and follows us about when we are in our garden,  He or she would remain still watching me mow the lawn and he would happily dart down curiously to the freshly cut grass.

I photographed our robin last week, then yesterday while sitting in my mate Mick’s garden, we saw and I photographed his garden robin 🙂

Our garden Robin

Our Garden Robin!, Photo by PH Morton

Classic pose for the Robin in my friends back garden

Classic pose for the Robin in my friends back garden. @ Mick’s garden, Photo by PH Morton



%d bloggers like this: