In other news, all this hot weather is having a big effect in the garden. My Salvia Turks which were grown from seed last year from a plant I bought from a National Trust plant sale are sprouting up. They are such majestic plants.
The tulips I bought from Hilliers last autumn as bulbs and which promised me they were white are actually pale lemon, but I love them anyway. When it's hot they flatten right out like huge dinner plates.
The dicentra has shot up out of the earth and flowered in the space of about four days....
And have you seen the salmon shades of Black Eyed Susan available this year? They are £2.99 for eight seeds!!! They'd better all come up! You have to soak them overnight then lay them on damp compost, cover them with 1/8 cm of soil or something ridiculous and sing them lullabies. Fussy.
The bee fly has been back. Look at that proboscis! This is a dark-edged (can you tell by the wings) or common bee fly. Love them. They fly like a hoverfly so have a look out for them at flowers or on the grass. I saw one nectaring on the lithodora earlier.
I've seen my first Orange Tip flutter of the year. Well, two actually, both boys, both buzzing through the garden at high speed. They are the first real spring butterfly, having not over-wintered as an adult like the commas, brimstones, peacocks, red admirals and small torts. The swallows are back too, but I have yet to hear Whitethroats. They must be here by now so I suspect I need to go and look for them in the hedge where they can usually reliably be found.
Teddy is finding the hot weather all a bit much...
While the drone hoverflies have decided the best place to be is on the King Cups (Marsh Marigolds) up by the pond....
I sat at the top of the garden with the camera on my lap watching the various bird houses to see which ones were being used. After a while I was rewarded by several blue tits going back and forth to three of them with huge beakfulls of moss. The blue tit egg at the bottom is left over from last year.
In other news, I have developed blisters on two of my toes. Potential small disaster with a marathon looming. M said Hmm, I think you might need new shoes, so this morning I buzzed off to our local running shop and explained the problem. Kevin (proprietor and local runner) grinned and told me the shoes he'd sold me last year were aimed at 10k to half marathon distance, but for marathons I really needed something different. So I bagged a pair of Brooks Ghost 10 (in the sale, £40 off, bargain), and discovered when I got home and checked online that they come out top in a lot of distance runner's surveys. Result. They feel like gloves on my feet too. And because they have more grip than most road shoes they'll also double up as trails, which will make them ideal for my marathon which is a mix of trail and road. Can't wait to go running in them. I love the motivational words on the box...
Kevin assured me they would solve the blister problem, but just in case, I also bought a pair of anti-blister socks with my 10% running club discount. No idea if they'll work but I'll take all the help I can get right now :o). And some zinc oxide tape for good measure. The blisters don't stand a chance.
I'll leave you with a scone I've just eaten. Normally, I make them but these (there were two) looked so pretty in their little box decorated with pink and lilac flowers and they were going cheap and I did a 5 mile race with the running club last night and didn't have much tea after so I couldn't really say no. Washed down with a nice cup of tea they did not disappoint :o).
Wishing all a good weekend.