Oh hello, I’m back, at least for now. For one reason or another I have been finding blogging difficult. This has gone hand in hand with also finding birding rather difficult. The end result is that I felt compelled to do neither for quite a while. That’s not to say I haven’t been busy, far from it. In fact I consider that I have been as productive as I have ever been, but unfortunately unless I rename this blog “Wanstead Gardener” then the kinds of things I’ve been up to don’t really fit. There were hints I suppose; a photo of a flower bed at Chateau L earlier on in the summer, and then most recently of a plant in the greenhouse doing its thing, but I did rather feel that those fell on deaf ears so I subsided into silence.
Ah yes, when a hobby goes quiet. Phasing. Most often seen in the context of birding, I’ve seen talk of this surface in a few places lately and it has definitely struck a chord. I am hesitant to label myself a serial phaser, after all the whole 'not birding during June' thing is basically an annual event for many people, however this year I have extended this period of abstention into July as I have been busy digging holes in the garden. I did consider going out and trying to find a Yellow-legged Gull, but then those holes won’t dig themselves will they?
No they won’t! It has been a bit back-breaking actually, and whilst I would love to show you my carefully crossed-out to-do lists as they tell a tale of true graft and considerable effort, it actually bores me as well! In summary however the extensive grounds of Chateau L are undergoing a transformation, and I am very much enjoying the visual results of my labour. But given that this is of interest to, oh let’s see, zero other people, I think I’ll leave it there. Suffice it to say that all my obsessive tendencies have been spent on horticulture (itself a victim of phasing in the past) and as such I have felt no compunction to go out birding at all in the UK. I did manage a weekend in Estonia which I plan to share in due course, but compare this to April and May when I spent several hours a day out on the patch and it must be difficult to understand why something that was so all-consuming can so easily and abruptly be dropped entirely.
It’s the same with the camera, it has barely seen the light of day since I pumped 4000 frames through it in the space of 48 hours in Iceland. When I sit down and think about I’ll admit that it sounds odd, but it is just what happens and I don’t fight it. I don’t have any interests that ever truly die, or at least not any more. I have of course dabbled in many things over the years, but I think I am now down to the few hobbies I know I really like, and whilst they might wax and wane from time to time, they’ll always be there. Take birds for instance, I’ve been interested in them for many years, but there was probably a break of ten years from late teens to my late twenties where they barely registered. In that context a gap of a few months is nothing! I’ll get back out there soon I expect, it is beginning to feel about right.
I'm pleased to say that despite the recent lack of use my binoculars have seen, I remain as sharp as ever. Here is a Cattle Egret from Estonia.