Waiting for the rain to stop. . . .

I have been endeavoring to have a brisk walk every day – and living where I do- it necessarily involves a hill or two! Quite a “work out”.  However, having decided I would walk late afternoon today, it has not stopped raining.  The BBC weather forecasters cannot seem to time the rain fronts very accurately.  It is very heavy, squally,  thundery rain as well.  Quite unpleasant.  Perhaps I will have to give in shortly and don wellies and mackintosh and just tramp up the lane.

It was the “parish picnic” today ( a lovely community event) held in the village hall if it is wet or the adjacent field if the weather allows.  A sumptuous “bring and share” lunch.  I did walk up to the pre-picnic church service and back, but it is not much of a walk really.  Necessity dictated taking the car to the more distant hall so I could transport food easily.   The lane up to both is covered with broken hazel nut shells, which crunch satisfyingly as you walk over them.  Although nowhere near ripe, the grey squirrels are already feasting on the abundant hazels and chucking their “litter” into the road as they go.

Grey squirrel

 I also find little holes all around the lawn where they are burying their hazelnut treasure.  I frequently have to pull hazel saplings out of the flower beds.  Long forgotten squirrel hidden nuts.  I have not seen a live red squirrel in the UK since I was a small child.  The interloping “greys” have pretty well pushed the “reds” out altogether.  There are just a few spots they survive. The “greys” are quite a nuisance, apart from anything else and cause a lot of damage.  (See previous post re: squirrel attack!)  However, I was reading an article from the Guardian by George Monbiot,  from a while back, saying in Ireland they grey squirrel is almost eradicated by the re-introduction of the native pine marten which eats them!  Whereas, they are unable to catch the quicker, lighter native red squirrel. . . . .   depends how you  strongly you feel about grey squirrels I suppose . . . they do look quite cute and I enjoyed painting this  . . . .

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