Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Strawberry Alarm Clock

No, it's not a new variety of Strawberry
Or a reference to the 60's rock band.


But these are flowers on Strawberry Buddy, an ever-bearing variety. I featured this variety last year, and explained that it flowered and fruited throughout the growing season, not just in June. However, here we are at the beginning of January, the middle of our UK winter, and it's flowering.


Oh, and did I mention it's fruiting as well ?  I really don't think the fruits will ripen, but who knows. Anyway, I've tidied the plants up, a job I usually do to strawberries in early spring, and I'll see what happens next. In fact, I've already started doing a spring clean in the garden already. With hellebores now in full bud, and bulbs showing through, I thought I'd prepare for the spring display. I know it's very early, but with the mild weather we're having right now, it won't do any harm, I hope.


A few days ago, I saw this magpie in the garden. Now it's not my favourite bird, by any means, having seen it take many a young bird every spring. But I couldn't help but notice its remarkable plumage. And now, not only are there two magpies in the garden, but they've started building a nest, already. Is my calendar broken ?  It is midwinter, isn't it ?

And finally, a look at that squirrel-proof feeder, you know the one that works:


Well they never claimed it was mouse proof, did they ?

18 comments:

  1. Chyba się porom roku coś u Was pomyliło. Truskawki w styczniu :))). Pozdrawiam.
    I think the seasons mixed up something in you. Strawberries in January :))). Yours.

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    1. I know it's weird, but it's happening.

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  2. Strawberries in January, mice in the bird-feeder and magpies nesting....it's all a bit weird. and yet quite 'normal' in the Crystal garden (lol) :-0)

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  3. I remember the band and the song. Fun memories. Quite a lot going on over there with such early activity. That strawberry and the birds are pushing the season with so much potential cold weather ahead.

    Silly mouse, after all the effort you went to for the squirrel proof feeder.

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    1. I'm hoping that the mouse just fell in and was trying to get out, but somehow I think that's wishful thinking. More likely, it's found the mouse equivalent of McDonalds.

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  4. In the cooler Highlands in Malaysia, we have strawberries year round. Didn't realise that magpies have such beautiful colours. You have to give credit the mouse for ingenuity.

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    1. Here in the UK we usually get just one harvest of strawberries in June. The ever bearing varieties are a new development but our climate will never allow year round fruit.

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  5. There's a moose loose!! :)) I did smile. I'm visited regularly by magpies that deepest blue of their foliage is tremendous when it catches the light.
    I've been doing a lot of tidying up myself, my hellebores are nowhere near budding yet but bulbs are growing at an enormous rate.
    I do hope the birds don't go nesting too soon - the forecast isn't great is it!!

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    1. I think the birds were just checking out the nesting sites whilst the weather was mild. When this cold spell finishes, spring should really get going.

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  6. write down the blog and have noticed a wonderful love of nature

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  7. A mouse in your feeder? Frustrating, possibly, but very cute! We have blue jays that have similar habits to your magpies. Beautiful but occasionally deadly to baby birds. I hope your strawberries ripen. What a wonderful treat that would be! :o)

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    1. I don't think they'll ripen, we're having a cold spell now.

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  8. The mouse popping out of the bird feeder made me laugh. What else can we do?

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    1. I'm wondering if I should put signs up, the wildlife here is so clever that reading shouldn't be a problem for them.

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  9. Hi Crystal,

    I had Strawbs still attempting to ripen in December ;) Been a crazy old year, for sure!

    Think it might be a rattie; but either way it's not exactly what you wanted in your birdfeeder :D Half expecting to see the same in mine tbh, especially with the snow. Time to check the compost bin, see if we've any visitors living in there again.

    Have you been hearing the other birds singing? I have here; heard them on a walk around Meersbrook on NY day. Seems far too early, especially as it hasn't been as mild as last winter.

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    1. No, its definitely a mouse. We've had wood mice in the garden for several years.
      The birds have been singing, but they've lost their voices now in this cold spell.
      It might be wintry but it's very calm weather.

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