My A-Z posts this year are based on my garden – flowers, animals, the birds and the bees, butterflies - with a bit of poetry thrown in. For some letters I am expecting to cheat somewhat – wishing they were here.
O – Oceanus, Osteospermum, Owl, Osprey
O! O! O! Three ‘O’s on which I’ve cheated. If it hadn’t been for a fine blue shrub I would have come up with a big fat ‘zero’ for ‘O.’
Unfortunately it got so large it swamped everything else in the border, so it had to go; a decision I’ve regretted ever since.
A few years ago we grew some of these:-
However the photo is from the Longwood Gardens in the USA; I didn’t get a shot of ours at the time,
The last time we saw an owl in our sycamore tree was in May 2010. We frequently hear owls at dusk and after dark. But it and they are not owls like this, scanned from an old birthday card,
As I’ve cheated to include the bird I might as well go all the way and quote a poem in full.
The Barn Owl
While moonlight, silvering all the walls,
Through every mouldering crevice falls,
Tipping with white his powdery plume,
As shades or shifts the changing gloom;
The Owl that, watching; in the barn,
Sees the mouse creeping in the corn,
Sits still, and shuts his round blue eyes
As if he slept, — until he spies
The little beast within his stretch-
Then starts, and seizes on the wretch!
I lived in Rutland, England’s smallest county, as a boy. Since then the Empingham Water reservoir has been created; each year it becomes the home of another magnificent bird.
I have not seen one there, but I am pleased to say I have in Scotland, near Aberdeen.
Once more I hear the osprey cry
My name across the northern sky
But I am far away from there
- The Barn Owl – Samuel Butler
- Osprey Calls My Name – John K Zimmerman
- Osteospermum – Longwood Gardens; by Raul654 – CC BY-SA 3.0
- Osprey – from Flickr; by flythebirdpath; CC BY-SA 2.0