Monday, January 21, 2008

The Mahogany Mice

We feed the birds. We give them peanuts and sunflower kernels and also some thistle seeds, which the goldfinches, siskins and redpolls love. We need to keep a supply, of course, which we mostly store in the kitchen cupboard, but we have recently been able to buy sunflower seeds at a discount for two large sacks, one of which we decided to store in the garage. Lo and behold a small hole appeared in the base, so we transferred it to an old flip top bin. No problem.
Now we need to fill the feeders at least once a day, so we do get through quite a lot of bird seed. Soon we were into the second sack, using it from the bin. But the seeds seem to be leaking out of the sack – more on the outside of it than in it! So we emptied the sack into the bin.
Then one morning, A went out to fill the feeders and called me into the garage. As he lifted the lid off the bin, there in the corner, in a sea of seeds were two of the smallest, mahogany coloured mice. They looked up at us, huddled together in the corner, a picture of innocence! But, it was obvious that having got in – by leaping into the seeds from the edge of the lid, they couldn’t get out again! In emptying the seeds out of the bag, we had ‘cut them off’. Only one solution, take the bin into the nearby woods and let them out!
Off we set carrying the bin. Once into the woods, we tilted the bin onto its side. No.1 mouse was soon leaping away through the leaf mould, quickly disappearing from sight. No 2 found it much more difficult, scrabbling against the side until we tilted the bin even further over, being careful not to spill the precious seeds, but soon it was on its way.
We walked back to the house, thinking that they would probably be back home before we were, although they had scampered off in the opposite direction. The seeds are now inside, but where are the mahogany mice?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Norway for Christmas 7

The plan was to have a lie in – but I was up quite early and watched the dawn gradually beak over Stavanger. It promised a lovely day, if a little cold. Soon the rest were stirring and we planned to go for a walk after breakfast. Eventually we headed out to the beach at Hellestro; and several hundred Norwegians had the same idea. It was fabulous, though and we managed some great photos looking into the low sun – as well as some mad shadows and crazy people doing crazy things! At last the sun was setting and we had to get back to the car and make our way back to the flat. Tonight we had tagine and couscous for dinner and we watched the History Boys, at last. What a good film. It must have been very good on the stage in the West End.

Wednesday saw us taking M to the airport for the mid morning flight. D had to go to the office, but we arranged to collect him and make a last walk using the red markers in the afternoon. This time we trekked up Bjorndalsnuten, which again gave us wonderful views across to the mountains and their snow, as well as islands in the fjord. Coming down, we took the alternative route, which entailed a couple of extra ‘peaks' and scrambling down the hillside by a steep path, and then around the hill to the car park. A good work out.
Back at the flat, we dismantled the Chrissie Tree, cooked dinner, packed the cases and watched the Devil wears Prada – or most of it. I’ll have to see the ending at another date. Tomorrow we fly home after a memorable time in Norway – as usual.