Pay back . . . . .

For the glorious, unseasonably, hot weather in May.  It is now hammering down with rain.  it is much needed for the ground as there is very little moisture in the soil, but it is pretty miserable outside.  The poor old horse has had to stop out in the wet and wind tonight as GOS is in the process of laying a new concrete floor in her stable.  he is having to do this section at a time using our 30 year old concrete mixer.   The floor is cobble stones currently and these have lifted in a lot of places leaving large holes in the surface.  It makes it extremely difficult to muck out.  Anyway in a few days we will be able to use the stable again.  She’ll just have to rough it for a couple of nights as it promises to be wet for a few more days.

The warm dry has been great for keeping up with the lawn cutting, but this wet is going to test us!

Although with it being so wet I did take the opportunity to do some planting.  I have been away a bit as you know and have a got a  bit behind with the garden.  I nipped down to the garden centre first thing after breakfast and purchased 3 butternut squash plants,  a cucumber, an aubergine and an outdoor tomato plant; all of which I want to try outside this year.  These were duly planted along with my runner bean row.  I had managed to prepare a manure trench for these on Saturday.   As long as the slugs don’t get their teeth into my plants we should be well away!

Heralds of summer

I have been following a fellow blogger – jeanmakayart : “Drawn In”  – who often includes art “lessons” on her page.  She does some marvelous illustrations.  Recently she explained how she often uses a grid system of illustration  and suggested people try it – so I thought I would give it a go and I am pretty pleased with the result.

I have resolved to do one of these at the start of each month to give a flavour of what is happening at this time of year. . . . .  above depicts . . . .

“Redstart” which are back in the garden, which is fabulous.  We haven’t knowing had them here for a couple of years.  They are quite shy summer visitors, but very striking in appearance if you catch a glimpse of a male redstart.   About the size of a robin, with a really bright chestnut red breast and under carriage, black face with a bold white flash above the eye.  There has been one flitting about regularly between GOS’ golf patch in the garden, the hawthorn hedge and the front paddock.

Although its is June the hedge rows are absolutely thick with hawthorn or “may blossom” as we call it, though it will be starting to drop its petals following today’s battering by the weather.  In this part of the world it generally comes out latish May.  It does not however give off the most pleasant of smells rather a “stale” sort of odour.  When I  was a child it was always considered very unlucky to bring may blossom into the house; that it invites death, but I haven’t heard anyone say that for years.

The foxgloves are also coming into their own.  I did have some white ones in the garden, but gradually they seem to have reverted to the pink of the wild ones.

On warm evenings too, although they are called “Maybugs”, we still hear the drone of the occasional cockchafer.  After dark they will often startle me crashing, disorientatedly into the lit windows of the house.

What we also have a lot of this year around the garden, as I may have mentioned before, is rabbits.  We have not had many for a long time.  I think this has been a lot to do with having a very active cat.  But now she is twelve or thirteen and has become quite sedentary  over this last winter .  However, she has livened up a bit in this recent warm weather and has  been out hunting .  Witnessed by the rabbit she dragged back into the porch the other morning.  Yowling pitifully;  pleading to bring it into the house.  No way! Eventually,  she took it off elsewhere presumably to eat it.

Anyway, best go and push her outside now for a little bit – she won’t want to go outside in the wet. . .   She can come back in for bed then  a bit later.  In her dotage she is allowed to stay in the kitchen at night on a cushion.  If she is let loose in the rest of the house at night she prowls round seeing whose bed she can curl up on.  If the bedroom door is shut she will keep knocking at it until the occupant of the rooms gives in and opens the door.  She seems to be quite happy on her cushion in the warm though.  . . .





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