Our Riley Green Barn Owls

jacod203frame 006 jacod203frame 010

From time to time we get visited by the Barn Owls.
Usually it’s too late at night for the Mayoral Camera to be effective. However last night, the Mayoress asked me to light her BBQ, she was having friends round for supper (The Mayor & Mayoress of Hoghton Bottoms). I was just finished with my chores when the avian visitors came on cue. I managed to take a couple of pictures though darkness was approaching.

Surrounded by fields and sandstone walls

Grasshopper wooldaybed 017 wooldaybed 016

Riley green is alive with fat lambs at this time of the year.
Here is an inseparable pair of twin gimmer black lambs, not quite so common as white ones. Also on a Riley Green wall close to the Mayor’s Parlour sat this Grasshopper early on Sunday morning. It certainly would find nothing to eat there, maybe it was planning breakfast on the mayor’s Lawn.

Secret thoughts of the Chauffeur/Handyman/Cameraman

203selectionwoolfabric 075203selectionwoolfabric 001203selectionwoolfabric 078

Since there is still no news of the Mayor’s whereabouts I think it’s safe for me to promote myself to chief blogger and bottlewasher.
The Lady Mayoress insists that I accompany her wherever she goes.
Riley Green has the only Hawthorn forest in Britain and she said for me to take the camera and show the flowers to their best effect. All three colours can be seen around the forest, white, pink & red.  A bee got in the way of the red hawthorn flower!

Walking Out with the Lady Mayoress

With her newly found freedom our Lady Mayoress is feeling like a new woman. She asked to go for a walk with me! With her Regalia dangling around her neck, it easily gets caught up on stiles and low hanging branches, etc.. I suggested she removed the whole lot and put it in the Mayoral Safe. It was just like a weight off her mind, she said she felt as though she was incognito without the regalia…….

I took her to the Riley Green Bluebell Woods, she was very happy.

mayday arc 005 mayday arc 007

She’s not used to the wild things of life, up to now, formality has been the order of the day for her. I pointed out that the bluebells, though very beautiful were the Spanish type, heavily frowned upon by RHS. mayday arc 001

After our walk, I decided to build a Maytime Arch in her honour. I used self seeded birches from an old demolition site. She was even happier. Now when we return home in the Roller, we glide through the arch and she knows she’s home.  On special days I may festoon the Maytime Arch with the Old Mayor’s Regalia. Thank goodness we haven’t seen him now in weeks! These days together are making me very fond of her. With her hair up & her regalia down, she is an attractive woman……

Spring again, Riley Green

Before the sun broke through the Riley Green morning mist this Long Tailed Tit was perched on a Beech tree. Not sure if it was drinking from the water droplets or catching unsuspecting insects. It was with the usual gang of at least a dozen or so, none of them really giving the photographer much chance of a decent shot, forever on the move between quick snacks.

Later in the afternoon, after a warm sun had encouraged these fat lambs to rush relentlessly around the fields, sometimes jumping two feet up in the air, fatigue takes over for some of them.

catherinegardenapril 004cut

This one basks in the sun, dreaming. Do we know just what a fat lamb might be dreaming? Maybe “when I grow up I want to be just like Shaun the Sheep”. Little does it know that within only a few weeks it will be off to market, and will soon be valuable Spring Lamb on the butcher’s slab! (& very nice too.)

Spring is in the air.

20,000 eggs have arrived

20,000 eggs have arrived

 Having visited France some years ago, our gourmet Mayor jumped at the chance of what he thought he’d heard from another villager, did he want some Frogs Legs. When they arrived in a huge bucket and were tipped into the Mayoral Pond, it was too late & he was too proud to decline the offer of Frogs Eggs! The trouble with frogs is that once they begin to lay there’s no stopping them. Each single female frog may lay up to 20,000 eggs! Each male frog has to fertilize each and every one of those eggs. The mind boggles………….

Exhausted smiling male

Exhausted smiling male


Sparrow Hawk

When all the little garden birds in Riley Green vanish from the feeders we know there is something afoot. More often than not the Sparrow Hawk is eating a Blue Tit bit for an in-flight-light-bite!

Sparrowhawk 006rileygreen

This Sparrow Hawk lands on the Weeping Willow after its meal. It seems to think that the little garden birds will return! There is no chance, once bittern………………




Owl Boxes

barnowlboxweb littleowlboxweb







Our well used Barn Owl Box pictured above, with the new Little Owl box below. Little Owl male birds like to perch close to the nest. Baby Little Owls like to walk outside the nest before flying for the first time.

The Mayor’s odd job man was fully employed last week. Of course he doesn’t even qualify for a zero hours contract, nor does he by any means earn minimum wage. He realises that he is so lucky to work for the Mayor of Riley Green, that wages never enter his mind or his bank account.

Three Barn Owl boxes and one Little Owl box were made [Read more…]