A few years ago a seemingly healthy tree in our garden just died. One summer it was alive and growing and the next year - it was bereft of life.
We have been contemplating removing this tree but have held off for a couple of reasons; 1. The dead tree is the perfect hammock distance from another tree. We would have nowhere else to put a hammock unless we BUY a hammock stand. 2. We are very lazy (I refer you to the title of the blog) and would have to arrange chainsaws or get somebody in to cut it down. Now we have a third and important reason. Wildlife. There has been a nest box on this tree for many years now. It has been the site of many successful batches of blue tits. Today while we were all watching telly in the back room, we had a rare treat. A great spotted woodpecker was hopping up and down the trunk of this tree, pecking at holes and making grabs at a small swarm of flying insects near by.
After the woodpecker flew off, The Man of the Place and I went out and inspected the many holes that have appeared on this tree. Seriously, there weren't any holes there on my birthday when I went to hang the pinata on a branch. If there were holes, I didn't notice them.
Over in the other part of the place, I checked on the swallow nest. There was only one egg! I don't know what happened there. Was the nest predated by some other bird or (horror) a rodent?
I really hope that the eggs hatch and that the birds manage to get big and fat quickly enough to make it all the way back to South Africa!