Is It Spring yet?

Recently we have had a few rainy days and the mornings were misty.  I have, therefore, been a the little late feeding our visitors with whom we share our garden.  I was not talking about the bees for once, but the birds.  Before Amelia and I even finish our breakfast, they gather outside our dining room hoping that I would hurry up and feed them.

sparrows waiting for breakfast

Eventually, I tell Amelia, I will go and feed the birds before I have my second cup of tea.


The blue tits are my favourite – but don’t tell that to the sparrows; they might get jealous!  The blue tit waits in the olive tree for her chance.

Blue tit in the olive tree

Lately we have another little visitor, but that one can not fly.  He also comes to take his share of the breakfast.

little mouse

Amelia is always telling me off for leaving too much seed on the ground.  But honestly, it is not my fault.  You might not believe that these little birds eat five kilos (over 11 pounds!) of seeds each week.  If I forget they literally tap on the window or sit outside the French windows begging!

I know that this is not a brilliant picture, but the wren – another of my favourite birds – has found a little hollow in the ash tree outside the study.


Forgive me for another poor quality photo, but recently each time we have entered the so-called atelier, Amelia and I have heard more noise coming from the barn owl house.  So, my curiosity got better of me and I climbed the ladder and stuck my camera rapidly in the entrance and had a quick shot.  There you are.  Our owl visitor has brought his girl friend to share his studio flat.

pair of Barn owls in the barn

I had been warned and I withdrew my hand rapidly just as the male flew out touching my sleeve.  As at that time I was not sure what picture, if any, I had managed to take, I had another sneaky shot. The female was there giving me a cold shoulder and hopefully guarding her precious eggs.

Barn owl (female)

So, the bees and the birds are all getting ready for the new season.  Our plum tree started to blossom just as February commenced.

Plum tree in blossom

I know it is too early, but often I like to walk to the bottom of our garden, beyond the beehives, in the woodland walk along the river Seudre, and I imagine that the winter is over.  The river bank under the canopy of trees reminds me of Percy Bysshe Shelley:

I dreamed that, as I wandered by the way,

Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring,

And gentle odours led my steps astray,

Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring

Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay

Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling

Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,

But kissed it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.

– Kourosh



44 thoughts on “Is It Spring yet?

    • Thank you so much. Whenever I write something for Amelia, I am not sure if her readers would appreciate that, since my writing style is somewhat different from hers.
      I really do not like disturbing the wildlife any more than absolutely necessary. But sometimes I feel if I am prepared to share my life with them, then they should not object too much to my small intrusion.
      Shelley has always been my favourite poet.
      Thanks again
      – Kourosh


    • Thank. That made me laugh. Actually, if you keep it a secret, I managed to catch the mouse in a live trap and released it at the bottom of the garden, It jumped in the river and swam right across to the other bank.
      – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t have wished for anything more than to make someone happy! Amelia and I are so very happy to share our garden with the bees and the birds. Well, not so sure about the mice!!
      – Kourosh


    • Thank you for your comment, Mark,
      The birds certainly seem to know us now and even tolerate our presence. They don’t even mind sharing ‘their’ garden with us. After all their family have been around here longer than us.
      At this time of the year I assume the birds need to stock on fat and energy to allow them to rest in their nest for longer times when they sit on the eggs.
      – Kourosh


      • Hi Kourosh. It’s nice to see they are so cared for around the world.

        I’d have thought birds live from meal to meal, not having capacity or instinct to put on weight due to instinctual imperative. A fat bird is a slow bird is a dead bird.

        But then they would need to eat more to produce eggs, wouldn’t they.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am sure you are correct about their instinct. I suppose I, too, work on instinct as nurturer. Sometimes I feel they communicate with us in more ways than their songs. In any case I enjoy their presence very much. Without the birds, as it was almost the case when we bought here, a garden is just not the same.
          – Kourosh


    • I had noticed the barn owl flying in and out ever since we bought the house. I suppose our atelier or barn was a safe, dry place. As we store firewood there, there are mice for the owl too.
      It is just a couple of years ago, I tried to give them a little helping hand by placing the old suitcase as a roosting place.
      I had always wondered about the raptor on your arm. Thanks for explaining the mystery. They are wonderful, majestic creatures. – Kourosh


    • Perhaps the joy that the birds and us give to each other is in equal measure. At times I feel it is more a duty than a responsibility. Is the garden theirs or mine?
      – Kourosh


    • Thanks. I am glad that you liked the post. You are right, the weather has been a little chaotic lately, but nature is waking up; our bees are out in force and the birds are beginning to make their nests. We all long for spring and summer.
      – Kourosh


    • Thank you for your comment.
      The bird communication with us amazes me, sometimes. As for photographing the owls, I really do not like disturbing nesting birds, but I do hope they will forget and forgive my intrusion. – Kourosh


  1. Lovely post Kourosh, your relaxed life style with the birds to keep you both company and the walk to the river, thinking of poetry idyllic. We have a mouse or two here, we take them to the field at the bottom of the garden, I dare say they make their way back again though. More than a little envious of your Owls, what a privilege!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Julie, for your comment. I appreciate your encouragement.
      I did the same as you mention. I caught the mouse in a live trap and released it at the end of the garden near the river. But I suppose if there is one mouse, there must be more. – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, congrats on having barn owls. They are beautiful.

    That’s funny about the birds pecking on the windows. When I was young we lived by a lake and there was a particular trio of mallards that would fly up onto the trash cans and look in the windows when they wanted food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your own experience. I always had wondered why people sometimes call them ‘dumb creatures’. The animals, notably the birds do appear to have an amazing way of communicating with us and each other. – Kourosh


    • Amelia and I lived for a while in the NY State (way up near Buffalo) so we did taste your cold winters. But your Springs when they come are mild and your autumns are beautiful with those amazing colours.
      Our plum tree is now covered in almost full blossom. I do worry, as we, too, can have a freezing period right into February. – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Your garden visitors are delightful, and it’s so good to see your garden is a haven for all sorts of wildlife, just as ours is in New Cairo. I love the wren, and you did well to photograph it at all, they are such shy little birds. I am interested that you have plums in blossom already – no sign of any flowers on our trees or on those I saw on a farm in the Delta recently. But walking in the sunshine in one of Cairo’s loveliest parks today we saw mango trees about to flower and orange blossom nearly ready to burst open: the winter almost over, we are waking up to smell the perfume!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Many years ago, I used to visit Egypt very regularly and I loved Cairo and Alexandria. I’ve promised that I will take Amelia one day there.
      Although I remember January and February used to be still cool, I saw beautiful plants and birds in Egypt. I remember walking through an open space at Memphis, thinking that it had probably not changed for thousands of years. There were broken statues still on the ground and the wild flowers and birds just next to them. I wonder if Memphis has now changed and well developed as another district of Cairo.
      Our plum tree is almost in full blossom, although I worry as we have had a few cold nights with temperatures near zero. But I still like to hope that spring is just round the corner for you and for us here. – Kourosh


  4. Ha ha…Every time my wife asks me to get more bird feed, I think to myself, once you get started feeding the birds, there’s no end to it. The sky is the limit. 🙂
    Our plum trees are blossoming too. I just barely got them pruned. I still have a few apple trees to clean up. We are having a little warm spell, but we know the weather will get windy and rainy again, probably until mid April.
    Very nice photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For myself, I have no complaint feeding the birds. The pleasure that Amelia and I get watching them, building nests, then later when they come down to the terrace to feed their young is absolutely priceless.
      In return, I am fascinated with your natural beekeeping which it seems to me, is yet another labour of love.
      Thank you and best wishes – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Once birds get to know you, they will tap and nag until you feed them, anyway! I, too, love the little blue tit. I even love the mouse (and hope you’re right about it not flying as, if a hawk or owl were to get it, then it would fly. You were brave with the owls. Lovely birds but very wary with humans. I enjoyed this post – and so many others, so far, in this blog. I’ve not been here long so hope to read more later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad that you liked the blog. I hope that we can share our garden with you more often and even come and visit. Occasionally I write something in my wife’s blog ‘a french garden’, about my honeybees and sometimes our visits here and there.
      It seems to me that you and your husband – same as us – are more than happy to share your garden with all the variety of wildlife. I love the birds and my beehives, but when we first came over from the UK, there were hardly any birds in the garden. Now there are literally flocks of them every day. I admit that I have planted many fruit trees and Amelia has planted a lot of flowers. So, there is something for everyone.
      We even have a few hazelnut trees, but a couple of red squirrels know the exact time of the year to come for a visit and somehow strip the nuts. But, frankly, I don’t mind too much.
      – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

    • So do I. Since the first year we bought our house in France, some fifteen years ago, I noticed the barn owl visiting our so-called atelier regularly. Presumably he was catching mice and roosting there.
      When I modified the old trunk and hung it on the wall as a roosting site two years ago, I just kept my fingers crossed. Now that at last the female has joined him, I am more hopeful. – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful wild aviary of birds in your garden! I’ve also noticed sparrows can get very jealous – I suspect we’ve a nest in our eaves and they seem to get very sqwarky when I leave mealworms in the groundfeeder for the robins. Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Emma. Amelia and I are lucky having all these animals, great and small letting us share THEIR garden with them.
      Sparrows always remind me of cheeky little boys. They make a lot of noise if I forget feeding them. We can’t buy mealworm here in France, but my sister-in-law has supplied us with a bag and Amelia is carefully rationing the robin!
      – Kourosh

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s