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Things are about to get a bit exciting chez rusty duck.


You’ve seen this view many times, of course. But what I don’t think I’ve ever shown you before is the looming presence at the back of the terraces. And, indeed, above them.


For this we will need to step back a bit.


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Nope, it still doesn’t work.

I’ll have to move back still further and maybe even turn the camera around:


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It’s going to come down.


If only it were easy. We had toyed with the idea of felling this tree shortly after moving in, when the tree surgeons were here to remove 30 other conifers growing too close to the house. Those were big trees, but only a fraction of the size of this one. Money was even tighter then than it is now and, having just taken on a ‘new’ house, no shortage of other things needing to be done.

Mistake. Since then of course I’ve developed the terraces and there are expensive plants under that tree. To the other side it’s even worse. Yes there’s the drive and the turning circle, giving a small corridor of opportunity for the lumber to fall. It’s just that buried under the turning circle there’s about £10k’s worth of water treatment plant which of course wasn’t there either when we considered the job first time around.


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Now, however, the die has been cast.

In the shade of the enormous tree, aided and abetted by a series of exceptionally wet weather years, moss is starting to take hold on the roof.


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When the clumps of moss get heavy enough, or when an animal disturbs them, they fall to the ground. Along with a handful of rotting straw. If ever you doubted that Devon gets a lot of rain just look at the colour of that moss.. and that’s in July from a south facing slope.

Later in the year the thatcher will be back to ‘comb’ and repair the roof, but first the source of the problem needs to be addressed.


Not everyone will be best pleased..


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The woodpecker likes to sit at the very top of the tree. Although possibly not today because it’s a wee bit blowy!

He must get a cracking view from up there. It seems to be an especially good place for keeping an eye on the bird table and the peanut feeder in particular. Should my presence in the garden conflict with his mealtimes the cacophony of ear piercing chirps lets me know, in no uncertain terms, whose needs come first.

But there are other tall trees. The woodpeckers’ nest site lies much deeper in the wood. And as far as I can tell this tree has no permanent residents. We’re just waiting for a suitable break in the weather now.


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Wish us luck.