Thursday, 16 May 2019
May In The Land
There's a good deal of life going on here at the moment. Two nests of great tit babies have fledged into the trees around the garden and are being vocally bossy to their parents about food all day long. Mr Sparrow is being kept busy from dawn till dusk supplying the nest in the wall of the house with food- I see him flying in and out, in and out. Earlier he had a twist of grass in his beak, possibly sent out with an instruction to do some flying repairs. He dropped it near the feeder so hopefully he won't get into trouble. Mr Robin is feeding Mrs Robin whenever she comes off the nest- I love watching them do this, it's about energy saving so she doesn't use up valuable time incubating the eggs looking for food, but it's very endearing to watch.
The blue tit nest in sparrow terrace (a row of three nest boxes which the sparrows have never used) is squeaking as is the one on the wall. This year, so far, no woodpecker assaults on either (both now have plates on the front). The blue tit nest in the roof of the house where one of the tiles has slipped is also producing offspring. Added to that, there are large red damselflies and blue-tailed damselflies laying eggs on the duckweed in the pond, and either common or azure damsels also flitting about (I'm awaiting Tensey at Tense Towers to explain the difference to me, which I know he did last year but I've forgotten). I am a little worried that I keep finding dead dragonfly nymphs floating in the pond- six in the last couple of weeks. Any thoughts, anyone?
I'm very pleased to report there are two crab spiders in the garden, one on an oxeye daisy which only opened yesterday so that was fast work, and another on the ceonothus which is festooned with honey bees from the hive in the chimney pot. I found a grey-haired mining bee on it yesterday too- a first for the garden.
I'd been mulling over putting the moth box out, because I miss them, but I worry so about collateral damage. Then a pair of muslin moths appeared on the wall and an orange footman flew down onto a daisy at my feet so perhaps for now I will be content with them.
I saw a small copper and two small torts out in the fields this week- all poised to get a picture when Pop came over to see what I was looking at and set the flutters off into the air. Hmm. There have been lots of orange-tips around and we have two Brians on the cuckoo flower (caterpillars- you may remember they are always called Brian), but I haven't seen so many holly blues this year.
The Hares have had some lovely runs through the land recently, with added dogs, and also took part in the Broadlands Relay Marathon last weekend, where a team of ten compete to run 26.2 miles as fast as possible (each member does 2.6 miles). We were 65/ 161 teams which I was thrilled with. All the money raised goes to charity and it's a lovely day out for the town with lots of friends and familiar faces there. We took picnics and a gazebo and chairs and were there in the sun all day. A jolly day out.
Race-wise, I also did WSR Ox Frolic on Saturday morning- 5:30am get up for an 8am start. Yikes! It was a fab race- lots of hills through gorgeous countryside and woods thick with wild garlic. The medal is the most amazing one I've yet had and I couldn't resist one of their fabulously designed tees. Unfortunately, I've come down with a hideous sore throat and cough as of yesterday, so currently off running and missing it very much- Pop and I had got into a great routine of running an hour every morning through the land which she's been loving- lots of opportunities for her to swim in rivers, brooks and streams which seems to be a thing with her this year. Teddy has even come on a few with us too which has been lovely. All this has meant that my regular weekly mileage has been close to 50, so not being able to even do one at the moment is making me feel slightly stir-crazy. Hopefully a few more days and I'll be back to it.
How are you all? A Levels start here on Monday.....