Friday, 16 September 2016

Twelve Things From My Week

1. Globe Artichoke Flower

 2. Common Carder Bees on Stonecrop

 3. Illegal Picnic-Table-Top Encroachment (Ted is appalled and can't bare to look).

4. Grey Wagtail

 5. Harvestmen (as above, so below).

 6. Frayed Painted Lady

 7. Pristine Red Admiral

8. Robin

 9. Brown Hawker

 10. Four-Banded Longhorn Beetle

 11. Wildflower

12. Zinnia

A huge thunder storm passed through here last night. It went on for hours. We lay awake from 2am listening to the rain beat down, seeing the lightening flash through closed eyelids and counting the seconds between light and thunder. In the morning, the rain gauge told the tale most eloquently: 30mm of rain (that's an inch and a half to those of us who prefer old money).

The pig fields told it too. All the pigs were pristine, scrubbed a fresh becoming pale pink by the water sloshing down on them. The soil was washed off the surface of the land too, onto the footpath and into the ditches. We squidged through an ankle-deep morass of silt and sand which had swamped the grass.
During the course of the winter, this sediment will be washed into the river, which will carry it to the sea, where it will be deposited along the coastline, increasing nitrate levels and adversely affecting marine and aquatic life. Rural Diffuse Pollution. It's Not good news.

In the garden, life continues much as it has done all summer long, with a few variations. Lots of solitary bees; a Southern Hawker patrolling; a fragile-looking Painted Lady who nevertheless put up a Staunch Defence of her flower when a passing Peacock took a fancy to it.

The Globe Artichoke is an example of what happens when you don't pick food at prime human consumption time. Isn't it pretty? The bees like it. And the Grey Wagtail is the newest member of the garden clan. You may remember the Sparrowhawk making a meal of the last one, so I am mightily relieved to see this chap who turned up at the pigeon's water table this week. In fact, he alighted first on the top of the open patio door where he sat for some minutes contemplating me working and apparently mulling over coming in. As the dogs were snoozing on their beds beside me at the time I was Quite Relieved when he opted for the pigeon's water instead.
The BTO recently moved the Grey Wagtail off its Amber list and onto Red, which is bad news because it means numbers are dropping.

The Brown Hawker has been popping in for a chat every now and then over the past fortnight. He sits on his bamboo cane and snaps at passing flies. He has fine ruby veins on his wings that glint copper in the light.

The Four-Banded Longhorn has been around all summer, on and off. I have a soft spot for Longhorns. There are 68 species listed for the UK, although several are now extinct. They are beetles of ancient woodlands, because the larvae need several years of feeding in dead wood to mature, and dead wood has become scarce due to over-zealous tidying up of parks and gardens. The message is a simple one- if you want Longhorns, leave piles of wood rotting in your garden.

Ted would like me to tell you all that he had to endure FOURTEEN people in his house last weekend, not the SEVEN that he was told about, and one of those was a five-year-old boy who was Rather Vigorous with his ears and failed to show Teddy due deference. Needless to say, after the ear-pulling episode he only came out from beneath the table once, and that was to stare pointedly at the back door until I opened it. He took refuge in the greenhouse, which is his go-to place when he wants to be left alone, and wants to make a point of wanting to be left alone. Fortunately, a small amount of cheese by way of an apology later on saved the day.
I suspect this breaking of promises about people numbers was to the forefront of his mind yesterday though, when he rolled in the wettest, stinkiest badger poo you've ever seen. It went everywhere and was GRIM, believe me. I keep catching whiffs off it, despite shampooing him and washing every bed/ towel/ lead/ collar/ blanket in the place.

Hope all are well?

CT :o)


  1. You cross Ted at your peril I think! I'm very impressed with his revenge. We have a grey wagtail living by the stream by the Scout Hut. I was pleased to see him yesterday evening as I hadn't seen him for a while. Bad news that numbers are falling. I duly have my pile of rotting wood in the garden and I'm adding to it slowly. The rain sounds appalling. We missed it completely here, but I can imagine the erosion these downpours cause. Wishing you a good weekend, and wishing Ted a quiet weekend with cheese. CJ xx

  2. Lovely post, I'm letting things go to seed for the wildlife,

  3. Some lovely photos from your week. The painted lady looks very worn and it's great to see a new grey wagtail appear. It is depressing that they're now on the red list. I had to smile at Ted's weekend; his retreat into the greenhouse and his cheeky revenge!

  4. Lots of great photos there CT. The wildflower looks a bit like a pink, an orange pink. I spent ages trying to take a photo of a dragonfly but despite 14 photos it was still a smudgey dot, not like your expert ones. x

  5. Havn't seen a grey wagtail for several years, which is very sad. I fear they are in decline.

    What a contrast between the Red Admiral and the painted lady.
    Once again butterflies have been in short supply here, even though I have butterfly borders. I always look at it, if they are not around they will not feed. Again a concern.

    Poor Ted.........

    Lovely post as always........

  6. Your photographs are all so good but the one which stops me in my tracks is the 'wildflower' - I don't know what it is but it is really so beautiful.

  7. The colour variation of carder bees, as illustrated by your picture, is really marked. Some are a really bright orange, others very grey-brown

  8. such gorgeous photos, as usual. i'm having a bit of a snigger at the Poppy/Ted/table one...he's clearly Not Involved. :)

    oh. badger poo. i can't imagine. my Oscar used to favour raccoon poo which is probably similar in odiferousness and tenacity. i feel your pain. naughty Ted. although he had Good Reason as far as he was concerned, i'm sure.

    things are winding down in the garden here...everything's looking a bit worse for wear and the bird populations are on the move. it's welcome,'s time for the change. xoxo

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed the storms last night but our town was flooded in parts and even made the national news. Such beautiful photos of your week. I especially love the picnic table interloper and am chuckling about Ted's revenge! xx

  10. Poor Ted ... not the ears!! I have a "rotten" child at times giving my pup a stomp right on his legs! You caught all kinds of beautiful images of the bugs and the birds. I love the happy smile on the brown hawker ;)

  11. Whenever I come to your blog I always know I will find something interesting, beautiful photos (even bugs) and the most fabulous Ted and Poppy !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. I forgot the Bader poo, thehamish would have loved it. Not sure he would have rolled in it.
      And, yes a five year old needs and CAN know no ear pulling !
      Poor Ted he is a gud dug !

  12. I feel for you with Ted's revenge,that happens here on such a regular occurrence! They manage to cover themselves so fast. The storm sounded dreadful,we were also lucky to miss it. Wonderful images as always, I particularly loved seeing all the insects. Sarah x

  13. Enjoying your 12 photos, I feel as if I were reading a fairy tale. Thanks a lot.

  14. What a lovely post full of beautiful photos and words. Our sons dogs are staying with us at the moment and one of them rolls in poo of various types at every chance, on her back legs in the air making sure her whole back is covered! Why do they do this?

  15. What a lovely post full of colour and good to see so much going on in your garden.
    Poor Ted, what a to do with all those people. I do hope he has quite recovered! As for rolling in badger poo...Im sorry I have got to admire his revenge tatics...up there with the best.
    I hope you made him have a poncy smelling bath to get your own back!!!!!
    Love to you all. Sally xx

  16. Lovely snapshots of your week. Those artichoke flowers are beaut -I used to eat my artichokes but now I do leave them for the flowers. Poor Ted, he has a lot to put up with!!! They look so cute -from a distance- when they are rolling in muck -but the subsequent yelling and bath time is such a chore! Love to you all. x

  17. Naughty Ted...animals have such a way of showing their displeasure! Great images and review of your week.

  18. I hope Ted has got over the crowd in the house and you've got over the fox poo! Gorgeous photos. I inadvertently flushed four red admirals from a hedge the other day as I walked past. They flew up over the field where swallows and martins were feasting. I worried about them all the way home! Nature... Hope all's well and you've had a good week. Sam x


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x