This is not an unusual sort of day for me; it is not the first time I have had to spend an hour scrubbing a stinking dog clean and nor is it the first time I have plucked a wet bee from the pond.
It is, however, the first time I have done both on my birthday.
Poppy picked up her dubious perfume while we were out on out first ever Bee Walk. I saw 3 buff-tailed bumbles, 2 red-tailed bumbles and one who could have been a carder bee, but as Poppy was busy trying to eat him at the time the main focus of my concern was to retrieve said bee from her mouth before said bee was no more. I vaguely clocked a stripey bottom as the bee buzzed off in a dazed and soggy sort of way. There were about 7 others, all flying higher than head height so I couldn't tell who they were. Still, not a bad start on the whole.
There were lots of fox poos to choose from in the vineyard- there must be a healthy population only I rarely see them. We hear them at night sometimes but they don't venture into our garden (thank goodness, as that's where the girls live). Poppy (of course) picked the smelliest.
While we were out I saw my first chiffchaff singing in a tree. A fairly nondescript little bird, but I was pleased to see him nonetheless. I also spotted a pheasant, who luckily saw us while Pop (who was in the lead) was busy looking the other way. The pheasant shot off like a turtle on speed but couldn't help letting out a frightened 'phew! that was close!' when he reached the safety of the longer grasses, which rather defeated the object of his flight in the first place and made both the dogs look round for him. Not high on the fast uptake stakes pheasants, are they?
When we got back I washed Pop under the hose,which she hated.
'Huh!' (I told her) 'let that be a lesson to you. If you don't like the hosepipe, don't wear fox poo perfume.' Small chance, I feel, of her heeding my warning....
She spent the next ten minutes scraping herself all along the patio.
Doubtless this was an attempt to get the smell of shampoo off and replace it with her more normal perfume of soil, leaves, sticks, chicken poo and anything else she can get hold of, but it was while she was doing this (Ted keeping his head down and hiding beneath the table as he knows all too well what it means when The Hosepipe makes an appearance) that I spotted the bee drowning in the pond....
I scooped him out and put him on the grass, only to have to rescue him again when he very nearly toppled back in. He was obviously disorientated. By this time the dogs had followed me up to the top of garden, Ted taking up refuge under the seat that wraps round the apple tree this time (evidently to avoid being used as a towel and therefore the risk of also ending up smelling of shampoo...) and Pop was standing on the top looking for him......It was Quite Funny- she had no idea where he was.
|'Has anyone seen Ted?'|
|'Ah! There you are!'|
|(don't look behind you now....)|
So that's been my day, interspersed with lots of lovely cards and messages from friends and family. M gave me a Witch Hazel tree, which I have wanted for ages; the dogs gave me some seed balls containing seeds that are good for bees and butterflies (how clever of them); L gave me a butterfly ID book, Denise sent me some beautiful narcissi from the Scilly Isles that smell divine, and my lovely friend Mrs M gave me a shabby chic designer bird des res, which will be going up in the garden this weekend.