Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Flies, bats, other stuff

The composter is attracting flies, even as we are fast approaching the Winter.  This must mean the composter is generating a certain amount of warmth, which is nice.  Getting rid of the flies is something of a must, however.  I don't mind flies, they do their jobs in the ecosystem and the world keeps turning; but they encourage spiders, which I personally quite like but which my sisters get freaked out over.  It's bad to put house spiders out in Winter as they won't last the night, so I resist doing that, but I don't want to swell their numbers by letting a fly explosion run unchecked.  The solution is to assert a biological control over the flies. More spiders are out of the question.  Frogs are crap.  Wasps scare the living shit out of me.  Birds can be great, but there's quite a spread with birds and you don't know when putting in a bird box whether you'll attract the sort of bird that likes flies or the sort of bird that likes your crops.

I've decided on bats.  London has many species of bat, and Strawberry Hill comes alive at dusk with the tiny, leathery sound of pipistrelles in flight.  I'm picking up a pair of bat boxes tomorrow which I'll fit high up in the big Maple just as soon as I can get ten minutes use of an extension ladder.  Eventually I'll set up BatCam as part of the BirdCam project, but for now the priority is pest control.  It's also nice to be able to offer shelter to an endangered species.

I'll need to stain the bat boxes so as to protect the wood from the elements.  Should I stain them a blending colour like green or brown?  Red like the fences?  Something like purple or blue to be bold yet stylish?  Something that really sticks out like a neon pink?  Or should I stain them black and then paint a little batman symbol on the front?  Decisions decisions...

Mike's doing well.  The beans are doing well.  The strawbs are doing well.  The lawn has a hole in it.  Those Thymus are doing well, though I still never figured out that 'lilac' business.  The brambles seem to be doing alright, to the point that two of them have shown overt growth while a third is budding.

I'm getting a budget from the household in January to make improvements to the garden, which should be sufficient to finance a shed, the beds, and a greenhouse tent.  This is awesome!  I mentioned before that the ramp out front is bridging the DPC and needs to be replaced, well so too does the patio out back.  This'll put the shed, beds and greenhouse on hold until it's done, but it should be done fairly quickly.  I think I'll stain the shed blue an paint the trim (corners, door frame, window frame) white.  I think that'd be bold, but look nice.

In other news: there was some kind of magpie turf war going on in the Buddleia earlier today.  It was quite intense, more so when a shitload of parakeets and a raven got involved.  Bill stayed indoors for that one, and of his own volition too, which I guess means he's smart enough to value his eyeballs.

I need more tea.  Down the bar last night...  Okay, it's a bit of a long story.  Jesse disappears for donkeys' at a time because of work.  When we see him again; he, Liam and myself have a thing of sitting about the bar in our boxers and drinking.  I don't normally have more than two pints on a night out, three at most, so now my head feels like it's been carpeted.

On the other hand, it isn't every day that one's arse gets a round of applause.

Bye xx


  1. Just got back to my desk and seen the plant. LOVE the writing on the pot. All glory to the Hypnotoad indeed! Thank you very much - I'll put it in the lab now. :)

    1. Cool. Pics when you do and I'll crosslink. My readership are mainly growers so it'll be nice to show the plant rehomed.

  2. If I remember rightly some bat species are brilliant pollinators. Dunno if Pipistrelles are one but a good thing for the garden if so :)

    1. Not a Scooby about that one mate, but I hear bat poo is good fertiliser.