It started with a hungry caterpillar

Aeonium arboreum
Who’s nibbled me aeonium?

Well actually the weekend was all about hungry things. First the mystery of the Aeonium arboreum muncher. A few months ago small caterpillar poo appeared on the leaves just after I had brought it in for the winter from the garden. OK you think, it will pupate soon, no worries. However a few weeks now down the line and this weekend large poo, bigger than mouse poo, but definitely caterpillar! So I had to find it, it was getting ridiculous -one big fat green, very torpid caterpillar was found and dislodged.

But a new discovery,  who’d have thought aeoniums have scented leaves? It appears some do, in my caterpillar probings a pleasant sweet scent could be detected, and a few times I’ve walked into the conservatory and thought, where is that scent coming from? Now I know.

Other hungry things – two Sparrowhawks, a grey backed male and brown backed female calling and making sorties past the bird feeders every few hours, seemingly not too bothered by my presence in the garden.

Mouse corn stash
Someone has been hiding corn

Voles are eating crocus corms, the shooting tops lie scattered on the soil. Many of the summer pots have become repositories for fist sized stashes of stolen chicken corn, probably field mice. Some stashes show themselves through a telltale shock of green sprouts, others by the stinky mush of semi rotting / fermenting grains, as I found when re-planting a peony that had been in a pot all summer.

After a night of rain and wind,  today the flooding came higher than it’s ever been up the garden, in the half light this morning silvered lakes of water occupied most of the garden, by 4:30 pm the water had retreated back to the swollen stream leaving tidelines of old hazel leaves to mark its passing, and a certain squelchiness underfoot especially the swollen mole runs. Where have the garden’s moles retreated to I wonder?