Posted by: kathandroger | May 1, 2016

Toms’ Boots, Moles and holes.

We live in a throw away society. Especially with clothing and footwear. Tom, my father in law, recently threw away his old boots, but they had a long and active history and deserved a better fate. Bought some forty years ago in Yorkshire, they had given him exemplary service and had guided him many many miles, especially over the North Yorkshire Moors. Having taken early retirement from teaching he was still much too fit to give up exercise and became a leader for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, leading teams of youngsters all over the local countryside, in hail rain and wind. His boots were an indispensable part of this period of his life but were cast aside like an old shoe. I felt they needed more respect. A few coats of varnish, and an old bit of oak, and they were soon on display.IMG_3358But then an amazing thing happened. I am not sure what old bits and pieces of detritus Tom had left in his trusty companions, but after a couple of days and a few heavy showers, the boots had changed more than somewhat.

IMG_3360I reckon he must have left some of the North Yorkshire soil inside, and will continue to look after his crop in memory of those trusty old friends.

Our moles are back in the Orchard, but not this time trying to destroy the badminton court. Instead they seem to have taken a fancy to our chickens eggs, and are attempting to slowly get closer and closer to their house and probably force an entry. I would love to see a mole trying to eat an egg, and thinking about it those little tough hands of theirs would be ideal tools for breaking and entering. IMG_3363I spent some time in the orchard today trying to find out which bird was nesting in our old rotten plum tree. I could see a brownish bird coming and going, but it would not feed its chicks if I was within 30 metres of it. I fetched the old binoculars, sat under another tree and waited for this rare and timid visitor to reappear. Blue tits and a pair of chaffinches sat above me about five feet away, but only after many minutes did the elusive parent appear. A bloody starling! IMG_3364No, I musn’t be birdist, I love them all, but I would have preferred to see a rarity.



  1. LOL re the starling 🙂 You should have guessed what it was so early in the season. Starlings are lovely sparkly little birds, and here in Europe I can enjoy them. In Australia they are a proper pest. Curiously I had no trouble transforming my attitude to starlings when we moved to Europe, but sparrows I still can’t quite love (maybe because the little blighters nest in my office roofspace and rustle and chirrup all day and half the night.

    Re the boots — now we know where Kath gets her love of triathlon etc.

    Re moles — I wonder if a mole would figure out an egg was good to eat? A bit different to worms… The row of mole hills heading for the chook house does look ominous though, doesn’t it?!

    • You are right about the starlings. In the UK they always seemed to be the local hooligans, in gangs annoying all the other birds, but they are more refined here! I also love to see them wheeling about in the great swarms in autumn. But I also love our local sparrows, cheeky little energetic chaps who try to eat the fatballs like the tits but haven’t got the agility!
      The moles are interesting. In our field they are always around the sheep houses, and I guess the sheep poo attracts the worms which attracts the moles. I think the same is happening with the chicken house, but I move that around each time I mow the lawn, so they are going to have to shift about a bit.

  2. My old man used to refer to the starlings as his “little helpers”…. he reckoned that it saved hours of lawn spiking!

    • I haven’t seen them spiking our lawns, but our great spotted woodpecker does the job instead!

  3. Lovely old boots!

    • Tom has just mailed me to say they are over 40 years old, and he only got rid of them under wifely pressure!

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