Have to say, it’s nice to be back!
It has been, to my amazement, nearly two years since I last blogged; well, in truth I did blog earlier this year, but my old computer, being of a fractious nature, refused to load the blogs.
For the first time in a very long time, this has been a summer of content. All building work is finished, the garden looks like a garden. We even have a couple of ponds around the place. To my husband’s delight the wan looking pond lily he received as a present two years ago has flourished. We produced a family of frogs. Not actually in the ponds, but in an old trough that had been cast aside and had filled with rain water and algae all on its own. There is no accounting for frog tastes!
The heat wave brought mixed blessings, needless to remark. On the one hand, flower seeds that had lain dormant because of the cold summers and bitter winters, suddenly discovered life. It was interesting to discover plants that had shrivelled into themselves suddenly bursting with vibrant life. The latest find is the Michaelmas daisy I planted that first summer of ’08. A friend recently told me that I sound like something from the early part of the 20th century with my “…back in ’08, and then again in ‘11”. Apparently, all I have to do is start with “I remember” and I have gained my free pass to Downton days. Well, with 60 on next year’s horizon, I’ll allow myself that trip. The downside was the fear of gorse fires. One raged on a nearby hill for nearly a month. Reigniting itself because the grass underneath was tinder dry and winds whipped up a flame.
In five years we have lost our Greenfinches to that virus; gained a semi-tame fox who sits waiting patiently on the rocks above the ponds, secure in the knowledge that, despite his cataract, he will smell his way down to the food YD leaves out for him. My neighbour, who keeps six hens, has lost four of them recently. I was subjected to an angry tirade on the malpractice [sic] of feeding “…those dam vermin…” until he realised that the culprit was a very sleek and crafty eyed chap living under a thicket of gorse on his own land!
While out in the garden I have learned to tell the time by the arrival of the Long Tailed Tits at one of YD’s numerous feeding stations. Seven a.m., eleven a.m., four p.m., and seven p.m., each day. As the summer progresses the times change and by October four o’clock in the afternoon heralds the last arrival.
Mme. Pounce is now nine; geriatric? Don’t believe it. She hobbles around the house mewing piteously to be let in. Upon spotting a potential bird kill she sprints across the lawn with a speed that would allow her membership of the cheetah family. This year’s collection of baby rats down behind the cow house were exterminated with calm, lethal efficiency. Mrs Rat did her best to replenish the stock, but fell victim to our Pounce. She’s working on field mice and voles at the moment. I hear a certain well-known brand of cat food is suffering from financial loss due to Madam’s self-harvested diet.
The battle for Fort Squirrel, The Pines, has been lost by our reds. The grey has taken over. A cute little chap has discovered a peanut holder on the cherry tree that he can raid with ease. I miss the dainty red who used to call each September to November on a daily basis. Mr Flashtail, although a handsome member of the grey breed, has the manners of a slob when grabbing peanuts from the holder. Dainty is not a word in his vocabulary.
The autumn colours are early this year. The garden is looking splendid, and as I look out the window in the room I earmarked as a study five years ago, there is a mellow harmony among the colours. The study is almost there, a new floor will be laid in spring, and a log burning stove will be installed to keep the perma frost out of this room. Beyond that, it is cosy, inviting with a healthy fire crackling in the fireplace and that’s in a July heat wave.
Gee! But it’s great to be back blogging!