Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Science

The Kissing Tree – a mistletoe book for children

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As part of the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival 2018 a new children’s book, The Kissing Tree, has been published, written by local author Helen Wendy Cooper.  It is part of the Tenbury Mistletoe Association’s promotions this season. The story centres on Jack the Jackdaw who is searching for the perfect tree for mistletoe to grow on – but is thwarted by a Robin that eats all his mistletoe berries. An imaginative and educational book for […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Birdlime #1 – Sticky Ends

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Turdus ipse sibi malum cacat, an old latin proverb, relates directly to mistletoe, and to the capture of birds.  It translates as ‘the thrush excretes its own trouble (or death)’ and is all about Birdlime, a sticky substance once used widely to capture small birds.  One of the traditional, and perhaps fundamental, ingredients of Birdlime, was mistletoe, especially the sticky juice form the berries.  The proverb is about mistle thrushes, eating mistletoe berries and creating […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard , Religion , social history

Radio Gloucestershire, despite the snow

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I was talking mistletoe, and mistletoe Grow-Kits, with Kate Clark from Radio Gloucestershire this morning. In the studio in Gloucester, despite the snow. Can’t add audio direct to the blog but click the link below to go an extract of the mistletoe bit: http://mistletoe.org.uk/audio/BBCGlos10thDec2017.mp3?_=1 Or, for the whole programme try iplayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p001y3bx/episodes/player And for Grow-Kits themselves try here:  https://englishmistletoeshop.co.uk or here: http://growmistletoe.co.uk

Biodiversity , Gardening , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard

Turdus turds – of pure mistletoe

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‘Turdus’ – the latin name for thrushes, can sound a little rude. But it’s simply the latin word for thrush and therefore perfectly apt. Nothing to do with ‘turd’, which means excrement. But making the link is inevitable – and many people snigger when told that a Blackbird’s latin name is Turdus merula, a Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, a Redwing Turdus iliacus, a Fieldfare Turdus pilaris or a Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus.  So much turdus! That last […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

Mistletoe in The Quercy Local

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The French have a lot more mistletoe than we do here in Britain – their climate is better suited to it, and it is a common sight in many regions (though also, as in Britain, utterly absent from some parts).  That abundance doesn’t lessen its mysteriousness though – there are many French traditions and customs relating to le Gui. It was once (and possibly still is) especially valued as a un Porte-Bonheur, a Good Luck […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

Not-so-wild but fairly western mistletoe

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How far west can mistletoe grow in Britain? The main population is in the south-west English Midlands, overlapping into eastern-most Wales in Monmouthshire. But despite this being western-ish (this is definitely west of Britain’s geographic centre) it is not really a western plant, being quite rare in Devon and Cornwall, and in the rest of Wales. There are a few isolated populations, here and there, but they can be hard to find. And those odd populations may […]

Biodiversity , Blogroll , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science

Fallen mistletoe – good enough to eat!

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Last week’s storms brought down yet more mistletoe-laden trees in our local orchards, and I went to look at a few in yesterday’s sunshine. None of the casualties were a surprise – they were all old, neglected apple trees, with far too much mistletoe on them for long-term survival. The storms have (probably) just accelerated some already inevitable deaths. Nevertheless it is always upsetting to see these trees down, especially in the location pictured here, […]