Six on Saturday: 3 March 2018

Tempus fugits, (note that that was two six-letter words) as they say. I’m keeping to the six theme here. Without further ado …

1 Six Stalactites

If you can’t remember the difference, just remember that tights come down. This photo was taken on Wednesday but the icicles were still here on Friday evening (which counts as Saturday in my book) in the continuing sub-zero temperatures. The diaphragm washer in my roof tank clearly needed replacing. I replaced it. When the great thaw of 2018 arrives to follow the great freeze of 2018, I’ll find out whether the plants in the planter survived.

Forget the tiny things on the right, the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that there are six icicles in the central mass. That’s SIX.

I could, of course, rest on my laurels here. Six icicles are six things. But I will move on rapidly to:

2 Six Packets of Seed

I am a little more restrained than he who makes up the rules (gardens in the middle east, Birmingham, wherever, whenever) and who has probably sowed most of next years’ seeds as well by now. I have waited patiently to sow the first batch of seeds wot I will be sowing this year. Well, waited until tomorrow to be precise. So today, the six packets of seed remain intact. The trays of compost are warming in the conservatory.

Honestly, until I took the “sow now” envelope from my seed box, I hadn’t realised there were six packets in it.

So that’s my second six sixes; technically my fourth if you include words.

3 Six Containers with a Difference

Edifice 2 is now more or less finished. You might have followed the first four episodes of my mini Edifice blog series. Episode 5 will appear on Tuesday and complete the series. But for the moment, I leave you with the third of my six which just happens to include six discrete planter areas. Weather delayed delivery by a few hours but I got shovelling and kept shovelling as the weather closed in and it got colder and snowier. And my back got backier. And the wind got windier. And a neighbour came out and suggested it might be sensible if I packed in and lived to fight another day. So I took his advice and retired to a nice warming drink, leaving a third of a bulk bag of soil to shift and some raking and levelling to do, And a few bits of capping to cut and fix in place. If the delivery hadn’t been delayed, I would have finished it all, honest!

You’ll get all the gory details in my final Edifice post on Tuesday. Links to the previous ones are at the bottom of this post.

So my third six sixes (and the fifth if you include words). I’m on a roll here!

4 Six Clumps of Frogspawn

They were at it pretty much daily until things got freezy. Then the spawn clumps sank as they do (they’re good predictors of temperature), only to rise again as the pond thawed out. Which it did with a modicum of assistance from me after I noticed a couple of headbangers under the ice.

Then the pond froze again. Then it snowed on top of the ice.

You’ll have to take my word for it. There are six clumps of spawn under the ice that’s under that snow. I do wish that resident cat would stop walking on water (well on the snow that’s over the ice that’s over the water).

Hence my fourth six sixes. Yeah, yeah! The sixth if you include words. Victory is mine. Eh wot? I’ve got six and am only on four. Or, arguably, I’m on 24 (or 26) and passed it (stop sniggering – note the spelling. I’m using a six-letter version “passed” not the four-letter “past.” We’re talking relative positions here, not historical ones.)

5 Six Fieldfares

I’ve not recorded the appearance of fieldfares in the garden before. Indeed, I didn’t recognise them and had to look them up in my Ladybird book of birds that visit the UK in winter (it can be difficult to identify some birds though as there are no pictures of a Manbird). They’re winter visitors and will soon be on their way back home to Scandanavia. Perhaps the sudden cold snap has driven them to search for food and they’ve found my crab apple tree. They’ve been flocking in for a nibble and, with consummate patience, I’ve been taking photographs. Lots of fives and sevens but, at last, six landed at once. So I can bring you six fieldfares:

I’ve ringed them to make spotting easier
I politely asked this individual to stand still while I got a close-up with my “new” camera.


6 One Stalactite

So, having neatly morphed from six to one, for number six I will give you one. Fair exchange, wot? This is another stalactite (singular this time)  but is something of a mystery. Although it falls from the mouth of a water feature, the pump cannot have pumped as it is isolated for the winter to avoid accidental activation. So where has this water come from? Who knows but it makes for an interesting photo anyhow.


So there you have it. A veritable feast of sixes. I will be taking next Saturday off so see you all in a fortnight. Until then, enjoy your garden and enjoy the other Sixers’ contributions which you will find if you pop over to our great leader’s blog, zoom in on his post of the day and scroll down to the comments for a multitude of links to all and sundry, including the inestimable (and snow-contained), Gill Heavens. Gill went for a haircut yesterday (Friday). A neighbour of mine went for one a week ago at a cost of £165. I pay my haircutter a fiver a time (which is more than she asks for). Obviously it’s better to employ male gardeners. Their overheads are likely to be lower. 😉


26 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: 3 March 2018

  1. Fieldfares are so exciting. We had a right mob appear in a nut-tree which they used as a forward base for raids on the cotoneaster a few metres away. They stripped it bare of berries in a day, and peak fieldfare was fourteen! Didn’t know they were on their way to Scandinavia, so I’ve learnt something here.

    1. They live oop North so they’ll soon be on the way back homeafter their winter visit to the UK. I’ve never seen them before so guess they were driven in by their normal supplies of invertebrates being inaccessible. One mob stripped the crab apple (but unlike blackbirds didn’t crap all over the car), another mob went at everything they could in the back garden. Fun to watch though.

    1. Thanks Brian. I’m glad it’s (almost) complete. I don’t have anywhere to saw indoors at the moment so am waiting for a dry day to set up the Workmate on the lawn and get out the electric saw……… I hope to start planting next week.

  2. How amazing to see those Fieldfares all at once! The singular Stalactite is fascinating. I’m rather partial to sciences of all fields but how water behaves in cold conditions it’s quite marvellous ☺️ Greet to see a good mix of winter things they don’t involve the white stuff A grand SOS xx

    1. Thanks Nic. I waited patiently to get exactly six of those fieldfares on the tree. Strange, never seen one before and yesterday they swarmed in. I’d love to know how that single stalactite developed. Must have been something dripping onto the spout from somewhere. But there’s nowhere (unless the conservatory guttering has sprung a leak – must check).

  3. Whoa, that’s taking 6 on Saturday to a new level, with 5 lots of 6! Great photos of the Fieldfares, and those stalactites look incredible!

    1. OK, I failed. I was aiming for six sixes but just couldn’t come up with that final one. This evening, the stalactites have all gone. But they were nice while they lasted.

  4. Ooohlucky you to get FieldFares! I love watching the birds in my garden. Frogspawn….our old pond (we haven’t finished the new one) was frozen all the way through so I hope the little pond critters are ok! Those icicles are impressive!

    1. I’m worried about the spawn. The randy blighters usually lay it in an area of the pond where there is some depth for it to sink when the weather turns nasty. But this year, most was laid where the planting basket levels are barely below water level. I’ll have to wait and see when things thaw out in the next day or so. Tho with your new pond, the absence of “cover” may mean that birds can get at the spawn. We’ll both have to see.

  5. Really lovely photos this week. So glad someone’s taking advantage of your crabapple. I loved it the first time you introduced us to it & I love it even more filled to the brim a/fieldfares. Don’t know what we’ll get here yet, altho a robin was cursing me as I shifted pots around this morning. As long as there’s corvids, we can hear the song of our peoples. Is the water tap a water feature, then? Would love to see a wider angle on that one.

    1. You’re embarking on an adventure. I’m looking forward to your take on your new garden, pea gravel (!) and all. Watch the raisins, though! Birds can pick them up and then drop them (that’s how so many plants escape into the wild). The spout is part of a plastic half-barrel fountain thingy that someone gave me years ago but which I quite like cos it’s noisy. I’ll do a full-frontal sometime.

  6. Nice picture of fieldfare! And lucky you got six in a row … very nice Six as always, … even for me because I could detect and understand your style your humor …! Great moment.
    About the haircutter, nothing like mine – 10 € only … Ok I don’t have much and I’m a man… 😉

    1. Ten euro for a haircut? I’m thinking I should come out of retirement and set myself up as a hairdresser! You don’t know how long it took to get a photo of exactly six fieldfares! Actually about as long as it took me to clear up the half-eaten fruits and bird poop off my drive, the pavement, the lawn today!

  7. So envious of the bird shots. But then I am only using the phone camera. I think I am still a few weeks off sowing my seeds – won’t be able to get to compost while path anyway. More sitting back and drinking tea!

    1. I mix phone/camera/new camera for photos. Whatever is to hand and easiest to set up. I’m only sowing some seeds tomorrow because I need to feed things through the production line. Space in the heated propagators and all that. I hope you realise that your path will have to generate as much interest as my edifice. So no tea-drinking. You’ll need to be outside taking photos.

  8. A suitably frosty Six there. I’ll have you know i haven’t sown all the seeds. Have plenty of veg unsown and i haven’t sown any annuals yet. So there.

    1. Does your GP know that you may be suffering from some illness unbeknownst to modern man?

  9. Thanks for your help with my link, John. I am rubbish at websites. Love the six field fares. That is a great shot. Must get my haircut this afternoon.

    1. It’s not unusual to find new sixers having problems as they dip their toes into the blogosphere. Once you get to grips with WordPress, you’ll fly. I often wonder why people always want to get a single hair cut. I usually go for a full head job. 😉

  10. Your edifice is rather wonderful – look forward to seeing it in high summer.

    1. Thanks. I suspect it will feature in a few sixes to come, and a few non-six blog posts too. I’m looking forward to the planting. I have a number of plants which have been grown hard so I can get going next week.

  11. Even at a fiver, mine gets at an hourly rate of £60. Nicely Photoshopped picture of Fieldfares. Nothing very interesting has been desperate enough to visit our feeders, though I just saw a Goldcrest on one of my pines.

    1. Photoshop????! Don’t touch it. Cropping and yellow rings all done with MS Paint (the old 2D version) though I had to reduce the file size of the close-up (using Irfanview freebie) before I could upload it. Feeders here are usually just tits, finches, sparrows and robins with the occasional woodpecker. Blackbirds strip anything with berries and wood pigeons vacuum the ground. Don’t get starlings since I removed the bird table. The horde of fieldfares was a big event here!

    1. Well that Duke of Cambridge fella paid someone about the same just to run hair clippers over his head. You could always do a musical six (as you can sing now). You know, “Six gin bottles hanging on the wall ….”

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