I don’t get out much these days – I spend much of the day sitting at a computer and writing. I’m not complaining – it’s what I want to do, but I am a bit deskbound.
The other day I heard a bird call come through the window that was closed to keep the heat out. I knew immediately that it was a red kite – and I moved to another room, to another window, to get a glimpse of the long-tailed, red-tailed, fork-tailed beauty drift by. A common sight these days – and I suspect that if I spent an hour in the garden every day I would usually see a kite or two.
Hasn’t it been hot? I love it.
I have been playing lots of US music on Spotify and Springsteen’s ‘Girls in their summer clothes’ seems appropriate.
Did you have an amazing thunderstorm on Monday night? I don’t think I have ever known such loud thunder. Our electricity went off for a while and there were car alarms sounding all down the street – didn’t keep me awake though.
On Wednesday I put out the washing and did the Big Butterfly Count. I was going to do it at the weekend but then it was cloudy; and then I was going to do it on Monday but it rained quite a lot; and then I was going to do it on Tuesday but I was out (you see – I lied, I do get out a bit); so I did it on Wednesday. And I saw some small whites, some large whites, a ringlet and a meadow brown. Not bad I thought (and I hung out the washing). I did notice though, that the Big Butterfly Count is like the Big Garden Birdwatch – next door always seems to have more than I do. Why don’t you do it too?
Over lunch one day I saw at least half a dozen buzzards high in the sky, and at least a couple of red kites. I wonder how long I would have to stare at the sky before one of them was an osprey or a honey buzzard – maybe I’ll do that some time.
But it has been the evening when most of my sitting in the garden has been done.
On one evening I watched 10 Chinese lanterns, or fire-bombs as they should be called, drifting beautifully across the evening sky. Very attractive, but then so, I’ve always thought, is the spread of fire across a pavement caused by a Molotov cocktail. I would ban them (as I’ve said before on this blog) but I’m just an old socialist with Stalinist tendencies. These days we are supposed to think that we should trust people (except foreigners, of course) and the State shouldn’t interfere. If we ‘all’ vote Tory again then they’ll be disbanding the laws banning murder and saying that very few people are murderers and the number of people murdered is very small and so it isn’t an appropriate area for State intervention. Let’s get back to the garden…
There have definitely been more swifts around this year. One evening there was a group of about 35 of them very high, and screaming. They’ll be off soon but it’s been good to share these dog days with them.
Pipistrelle bats have been flying around the house every evening, and having the bat detector next to the open bottle of Rioja seems to work well. I did my PhD on pipistrelle bats and it’s always lovely to hear the ‘pitter patter’ of their sounds rendered audible by the bat detector and an occasional feeding ‘buzz’ as they home in on an insect.
A toad was sitting as if he owned the place one evening. He doesn’t – I do.
It’s quite a while since I saw a hedgehog in the garden. I’ve never seen a fox here.
We used to have house sparrows nesting under the eaves and copulating on the fence – I miss them.
That’s my garden over the last few days. How about yours? I feel I am giving nature a little bit of a home.