Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

The Berry Report


I was concerned in the heat of the summer that there would be a shortage of berries for the birds this winter, great swathes of the best blackberry banks had withered and died,

Blackberry bank.jpg

The winberries, had the very life blood sucked out of them by a young oak.


And of course my beloved pink rowan, had failed to flower, oh how I will miss it this winter, the birds will probably be more adaptive about it than me.

But things have rallied, acorns are abundant, I thought I’d be seeing the jays with their stitching flight, working across the field to their favourite oaks, but I’ve not seen one, I think they have found one tree and scoffed themselves silly, until they are unable to move

The red rowans are heaving with berries, well they were, the chickens have made inroads into them, further than you’d expect of a chicken.

Chicken berries_.jpg

They seemed to be having training seminars on how to get to the best position,

Chicken seminar2.jpg

I wouldn’t mind but I’d put the wire cloches there to stop them digging up my plants

Chicken rowan.jpg

The same flourish can not be said of the grass. Farmers are still very short of feed for the winter.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “The Berry Report

  1. All of our rowan berries have gone to the blackbirds.

  2. Rowan berries are new to me, but I noticed this weekend that some of our berries are beginning to ripen: beautyberries, snailseed, peppervine. The fact that I’m seeing some berries still on their bushes suggests it’s a good year for them. During a drought year, what shows up is eaten in a flash.

    Love the chicken pics. Clever, those creatures!

  3. Surprising to see blackberries withered like that. I wonder if they will reappear next year. xx

  4. Does Rowan flavouring mean you will not need to add as many herbs when the day comes?

    The pigeons benifitted this year from my gooseberries that I forgot to cover up early enough – they had virtually every one from six huge bushes, but thankfully as usual nothing seems interested in the bumper crop of late raspberries that Don’t bother protecting.

    I have no idea why they are not popular with the wildlife, they’re fat, juicy and very sweet!!!

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