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John Masterson: Left unchecked, nature is strictly for the birds

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Swallows... entirely full of poop

Swallows... entirely full of poop

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Swallows... entirely full of poop

The lockdown all began so well. I would sit out in the garden and listen to the cacophony of sound as the birds fed and fought in the early evening. I congratulated myself on the way I had let some grass grow long so there would be more bees, butterflies and insects. Not for me the manicured lawn on which to practice putting or play croquet. There in front of my very eyes, and ears, was the result. There were robins, wrens, goldfinches, jackdaws, yellowhammers, pigeons, thrushes, blackbirds, a kestrel (or maybe sparrowhawk), and wagtails for a start. I felt that glow of self satisfaction that usually comes before everything falls apart. And so it did.

Birds are the enemy. We all know that swallows are tiny little creatures with two wings, two eyes and a beak and that they are entirely full of poop. I know that because at this time of the year, I have to park my car in a different place because they nest over my front door and deposit their excrement so that I have to wash the unfortunate vehicle nearly every day. I put up with it because it only lasts a few weeks.

These are the self same weeks when nature is giving yet another lesson, namely that weeds grow faster than anything you want to look at. They will take root absolutely anywhere. You can go the nature route and dig them out which is difficult on the physique as we are not supposed to spend hours bent over. Or you can spray them which, in the absence of napalm, I am happy to do. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is an environmental crime, but I do recycle. Unfortunately you only have to turn you back on weeds and there they have grown again.