Written to Order

Mrs Turnstone came in from the railway bank where once I met the little girl with a ragdoll. Mrs T had been up there looking for greenery to renew the Advent wreath and decorate the house.

‘Here’s a story for your blog’, she said, as she unloaded branch after branch of holly, each one bearing berries as red as any blood. ‘I began harvesting at eye level’, she said, ‘then looked up and there were all these berries. I’ve never seen the like in all the years we’ve lived here.’ She suggested it was due to the mild winter we have had so far, but why then have the blackbirds stripped the pyracantha outside our window, which usually does not get harvested until into the new year? Are the two harvests, the unusually late and the unusually early, connected, or are there two separate populations of berry-eating birds just a couple of hundred metres apart, each going its own way?

One thing is sure: if the waxwings come looking for pyracantha berries chez Turnstone this winter, they will be disappointed!

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