… midsummer will have come and gone. Isn’t that an awful thought?
Not really, because what it means is that all around us life is happening. Although the house martins have found another nesting site this year (I hope), we have activity elsewhere, some of it more welcome than others. The moles are making their presence felt, laughing at the efforts of the roller, doing their very best to ensure that there is enough fresh and dry soil to bed those mighty slabs that have to be moved.
The pair of collared doves have been joined by a third, spending time together on the bare trunks of the willow tree following the efforts of the surgeon and his team. They seem to be enjoying the open views.
The goldfinches may have had their fill of the sunflower hearts, perhaps busy doing other things elsewhere as the spring air warms between the showers. But the siskins, now there’s a treat. And there’s lots of them.
Bouncing on a hollow dandelion stalk, dipping beak into the remnants of the seed head. Or feasting in the husks and debris fallen from that sunflower feeder, now that there are no chickens down below, for the moment.
There is a new bird table too, beginning to get popular. It is nestled against some thick conifers, sheltered from the winds. Anywhere else and the stray cat leaps high enough to knock it over, bringing the goodies down to cat level; breaking the wood, my patience too.
It’s a good year for dandelions. The little patch below the office window that is supposed to be a rockery is looking more like a dandelionery. Slowly the garden machinery comes out to take the spring air, and the jungle. The trimmer has had first the first couple of charges to the battery, and the hedge-trimmer is next. There’s a new mower to put in the new dry shed, running in, every week now.
But such has been the sprouting and the budding and the spreading that we’ve had to resort to the trusty hoe, and the little fork, for some manual labour, and sweat and sore backs. And that’s when you see the things you don’t notice walking behind petrol engines. Butterflies are in plentiful supply, even before the buddleia bursts into bloom. White wings flutter about, some spotted, some plain. There are colours too, dabs of black on fields of orange.
And indoors there’s more fluttering, more cursing. Bloody clothes moths. We’re off on a larvae hunt, again.
All of a sudden it seems the lilac blooms, and runners that have spread are rising, bringing new flower heads where none were before. The laburnum is threatening to have a good year, just as those on lower ground are fading away.
And midsummer will be with us soon. Already plans are under way for the RSPB Big Wild Sleepout to have a couple of excited Urchins creeping around the garden at silly times. A torchlight procession they want. But the sun won’t be down till when? Oh my goodness, after ten o’clock, then the dusk. And they’ll be up for the dawn chorus when? Half past what? Four. Too few sleeping hours, in a tent of giggling children. They’ll be on their own I’m thinking. Wonder what favourite uncle’s doing that night? Sailing I’d guess, a subsequent engagement, once he hears of these plans. Hmm, Big Wild Sleepout – how about a yacht in a bay somewhere; sans parents?