Well, more one way than another if truth be told.
Pops has recovered from her op and as far as she is concerned that means she can now revert to her usual hooligan self. As a result she is tearing about the place showing scant regard for wounds or stitches, people's legs, Teddy, walls, stairs, bookcases, chairs, sofas or The Rules.
She ignores completely my instructions to take it steady and feigns deafness when I plead with her not to jump on Teddy's head again. Instead, she gets a mad look in her eye and whizzes about like a demented thing, making me wince at every leap and bound.
Do Not (said the vet, in the 'taking your pet home after an operation' paperwork) under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES allow your dog to have anything other than SEVERELY RESTRICTED exercise ON THE LEAD for the next ten days.'
Are they mad?
And have they never met a Jack Russel?
I have got grey hairs from trying to keep her quiet.
She is still wearing her 'cone of shame' and her PJs (babygrows) because she has managed to scratch the op site (ouch) and although the stitches are mercifully still intact she can't have them out for another seven days, so is she forced to wear a scratch-proof bodysuit until next week. On Friday night she went to bed with her PJs firmly on, and on Saturday morning she woke up with them in a crumpled heap on the floor beside her with all the buttons still done up.
Guy (our lovely vet) suggested socks when we saw him for a check-up on Monday. I decided to believe that he was joking, because the thought of trying to get socks to stay on Poppy in addition to the cone of shame and the pyjamas is enough to send me to an early grave.
So we've seven more days of being on the lead for wee and poo breaks on the hour, every hour, with all the accompanying wriggling in and out of baby-grows that that entails, and somehow (God knows how) trying to keep her quiet in between times.
|Butter wouldn't melt|
As a means of maintaining my sanity through all of this, I have been
It currently stands at 699, with the highest totals being for plants and moths (267 each). Perhaps not surprisingly, invertebrates come next with 71 different species being catalogued within the confines of the garden. That number is bound to be higher, but invert species can be very hard to ID with real confidence. After that it's garden birds (33), butterflies (17) and hoverflies (11). I've also listed dragon and damselflies (5), fungi (3), bees (7), mammals and reptiles (7), amphibians and molluscs (11) and then mosses and lichen, of which we have lots but I haven't done any positive IDs for those yet. The moths will push the number up, probably by another hundred or so before the year is out, and if I can get mosses and lichens id'd that will help too. I did have to wrestle with my conscience about not adding Buzzard, Sparrow Hawk, Swallow and various owls to the list, all of which zoom about through the sky above the garden, but I promised myself I would be VERY STRICT and only add what physically touched the earth inside our boundaries. There are also species I haven't seen in the garden this year that I did last, which is frustrating because I suspect they are still here but as I haven't seen them I can't count them. There have been some lovely additions though that I haven't seen before, including this rare Longhorn Beetle, who got a brief mention last week but deserves a more specific one....
His smart name is Prionus coriarius, but to his friends he's the Tanner Beetle. If you're on really intimate terms you can call him the Sawyer Beetle. He is quite a rarity, and sadly this one was dying when I found him walking in circles on the patio. Hopefully it means there is a breeding colony here and he wasn't just a loner passing through. He's quite a large beetle as you can see. The larvae develop in the roots of deciduous trees and the adults are generally found singly. They are attracted to light, so with any luck I may get another in the moth box (which should be going out tonight, fingers crossed for the right weather).
More everyday insects are also in evidence in the garden at the moment, although there is a notable dip in everything now that the cooler weather has arrived. M's veg patch at the front of the house usually yields a goodly crop of interesting insect people. For example, this seven-spot ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata) was busy wandering around on a sorrel leaf:
|Seven spot ladybird|
|Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa)|
In the same area of the veg patch my eye was caught by this amazingly colourful insect crawling up a willowherb branch. For a split second I thought it was a Firebug. I had just started to do my Excited Insect Discovery Dance when I remembered that the only breeding colony of Firebugs in the UK is in Devon, and Hampshire is a long way from that county for insects who can't fly.
It's almost as good though. This is a Cinnamon Bug, or Corizus hyoscyami. It gets its colloquial name because (believe it or not) it smells of Cinnamon. Unfortunately, I only found this out after I'd seen it, otherwise I would have sniffed it and let you know :-) Although, as my neighbour caught me on my hands and knees in the drive last week sniffing a mayweed to ascertain which type it was, it is perhaps a good thing I only learnt about the Cinnamon afterwards. I expect the discovery of me sniffing a bug to see whether it smelt of cinnamon would probably tip her over the edge.
Anyhoo, these bugs belong to the Rhopalid family and they can fly. Although they are relatively common in the south, they aren't yet widely spread around the UK and I have never seen one before so I was really pleased to add him to my garden list. Striking looking, don't you think?
|Cinnamon Bug, Corizus hyoscyami|
|Love the spotty tummy (reminds me of Pop who's tum is covered in spots)|
|Common Groundhopper (Tetrix undulata)|
|Little and Large Coreus marginatus. Dock Bug|
|Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina).|
|Early instar Green Shieldbug (Palomena prasina).|
These pillars are less welcome (as far as M is concerned). Large Whites. They have stripped his kale more or less bare. I don't know whether he has noticed so shall be listening out for the yell at the weekend...
I wandered down to see the Goat Willow and ask him if he had anything for me. He showed me this. Which is probably a Leafhopper, although getting down to species level for these insects is well nigh impossible without the dreaded genital exams and we don't go there, as you know. My best guess is Thamnotettix confinis, but that is said with tongue firmly in cheek as it's a visual only ID. It might also be Kybos sp.
In a way the ID doesn't matter. What struck me was the camo, which is pretty darn good, don't you think? A quick glance and you'd take this little insect to be a leaf bud. Which is presumably the point when you're a leafhopper....
And finally I found this nettle gall Dasineura urticae, caused by a small Cecid fly which causes galls on nettle in which the infant fly developes.
I have to go now and bring in the soaking wet washing, before taking Pop out for a pee break and then trying to persuade her to remain still and sensible for the rest of the day.
Job's a good'un, surely........?