Our Little Helper

Robin RedbreastFeeling a little the worse for wear after last night’s party, I was grateful for all the help I could get digging the vegetable plot. I say vegetable plot, but that is overstating the fact just a little. In fact when we started digging the ground over, it was simply another part of a cottage garden, thick with all manner of flowers, weeds, herbs and trees.

Some of the larger plants, a Sage and a Lavender in particular took some shifting, and there was a lot of chopping and hacking needed to move the roots and stems that had been growing there for decades. The scent of the herbs filled the air as the work progressed and the sun beat down. Naturally, Bumble got stuck in, undaunted by the physicality of the work, despite protestations for her to stop before her neck got injured again.

As the patches of dark earth started to appear from under the morass of tangled foliage, a little flash of brown and red caught my eye. There, on one of the branches of the blossom laden Crab Apple tree, was a tiny little Robin, eagerly scanning the soil for worms, grubs and other tasty morsels.

At first we stood motionless as the little bird flew down and started gathering up a crop full of goodies. But he, or she, didn’t seem at all bothered by our presence and, after a few minutes, we got back to our digging. For the rest of the afternoon, and into the early evening, the tiny creature fluttered and hopped around between the ever growing patches of soil, being most attracted to the freshly tilled earth, with its recently unearthed pantry and coming within inches of us, over and over again.

Each time it had gathered as many goodies as it could carry, it flew off in the same direction, presumably towards its nest. Now I’ve had Robins ‘help’ me in the garden before, but this episode was so rewarding, a real privilege to be allowed to interact so intimately with a beautiful part of nature in such a bond of trust. It all served to make an afternoon of toil into a very pleasant chapter in the growing story of Greystones.

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