Jonathan's Mistletoe Diary

October 26, 2012

Mistletoe Media round-up 2012 #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jonathan Briggs @ 5:03 pm

This season I thought it might be interesting (and maybe even useful) to review mistletoe coverage in the media on a more strategic basis. Mistletoe Diary has often covered media before, quite often accompanied by my rants about the inaccuracy of some of it, but maybe the concept deserves a more considered approach.  Not sure what that means yet (should I give ’em marks out of ten?) but maybe it’ll become clearer with time…

So, here’s report #1 for this season – and yes I know it’s early, but some of the glossy Christmas mags are out already. There’s quite a few of them in the pipeline this season (and that’s just the ones I know about) so plenty more to come.  Plus the first TV news query of the season came in today so it must be the right moment.

First example of the season is… LandLove magazine, a relatively new glossy bimonthly that’s aiming at the lifestyle/countryside market.

They’ve got a 6 (yes SIX) page feature on mistletoe (there’s a mini slideshow of the pages below) – and it is, largely, excellent – no major complaints from me. And that’s just as well really as Natalie Mason, who wrote it, did talk it through with me some weeks ago – and so if were are any major problems they might have been my fault. Covers our Grow-kits too (many thanks for that Natalie).

Australian Mistletoe Bird strays into UK magazine

My only general concern is the plethora of pictures on the final spread – lots of mistletoe decorations etc. But it is a life-style mag, and these would probably be missed if they weren’t there, so I shouldn’t grumble at that – this isn’t trying to be BBC Wildlife!

But there is one glaring oddity – on the second pair of pages.  It’s that’s bird photo on the left-hand page (see detail left). The bird drawing on the right-hand page is, as captioned, a Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus. But the bird photo on the left hand page is, unless I’m very much mistaken, er, an Australian Mistletoe Bird Dicaeum hirundinaceum. It’s definitely not a Mistle Thush as captioned.

Bit of a mess-up on the ornithology front there – though, to be fair, that Mistletoe Bird pictured is doing its stuff properly – nice pic with a berry in the beak and so could, if you ignore the plumage, be a Mistle Thrush. But the differences are deeper than that of course – and as all Attenborough’s Life of Birds fans know, Mistletoe Birds are those ones with the classy bottom moves.  They shit defecate their mistletoe seeds one at a time, wiping those sticky seeds out and off their bums with a sexy little bum wiggle. That’s a down-under (geddit?) talent that our Mistle Thrushes haven’t yet mastered.

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October 25, 2012

Mistletoe Season – nearly there (again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jonathan Briggs @ 10:19 am

October Mistletoe in a neglected Apple Orchard

Late October, and those mistletoe berries are beginning to turn white, so it’s time for me to get blogging.

Firstly, it’s worth saying a few things about this year’s mistletoe crop.  Indications so far, despite a few worries from a few growers some weeks ago, are that there are lots of berries this year, so we may be in for another good season.  Slightly too early to be absolutely sure though, as I’ve only been monitoring mistletoe in Gloucestershire, but there’s no reason to think it will be different elsewhere. Final verdict  won’t be available until the berries have turned fully translucent white – as it’s only then you can truly assess the state of mistletoe in a tree.

And, as usual at this time of year, it’s worth briefly looking at sources and events. If you’re wanting to buy mistletoe there are the usual online sources – which include the English Mistletoe Shop (in which I must declare an interest), Kissmemistletoe, Intermistletoe, and the English Mistletoe Company – all of whom supply to individuals, and some do wholesale too. If you’re looking for wholesale then you should add TreeTops and English Mistletoe to that list (try not to get too confused by all those ‘English Mistletoe’ brands) and of course the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Auctions.

Talking of which, planning for the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival is coming along nicely – more details on events there in due course.

Now, back to the Mistletoe Diary – for which there are many emerging themes this year, as well as the usual reports on mistletoe crop, markets, sales, events etc. Plans so far include (in no particular order):

  • Can mistletoe keep your cat calm?
  • What Pliny really said about Druids and mistletoe
  • The mistletoe harvest 2012
  • The updated Mistletoe Pages – will they ever be finished?
  • Druid events 2012
  • Mistletoe medicines – the case for the cancer therapy
  • Mistletoe Tea – how do take yours?
  • Calm down, it’s only mistletoe
  • Mistletoe Medicines – the case against the cancer therapy
  • Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival – the Mistletoe Queen
  • Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Festival – the Mistletoe Bride
  • More on the Mistletoe Bride – locked in several different chests
  • How mistletoe grows ‘into’ the host tree
  • Updates on the Mistletoe League survey project
  • Mistletoe Management Workshops
  • Media coverage 2012 – will it be more accurate than 2011 and 2010?
  • Mistletoe Beer – where to buy it
  • Mistletoe rarity – is it really rare or is it spreading, or is it both?
  • Current thoughts on the rare mistletoe insects
  • Mistletoe stories from other countries – who have other mistletoes
  • Mistletoe on oaks – my 2012 experiments
  • Info Sheets from Mistletoe Matters – due in November
  • The Western Australian Christmas Tree – a mistletoe on roots
  • And lots of other mistletoey stuff…

More soon…

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