I keep having to remind myself that, whilst it’s quite warm at the moment, it is also August. Mid Summer in the UK, although to look at the weather over the last month, you might be hard pressed to be able to tell that this is likely as good as it gets!
At the same token, I have managed to spend some time sat outside in the garden, without full waterproofs or one of those thick woolly jumpers that Sea Captains are always depicted wearing in films and cartoons (think Captain Haddock in Tintin if you don’t know what I mean).
And to top it off I started August 2015 with a cold! Where did it all go wrong?!!
Anyway, today I’m sat in the garden, and whilst the sun seems to have left Stockport for the time being(we do grey clouds at a world-class level here) it isn’t actually unpleasant. Well except for a cloud of flying ants who have decided that ‘today is the day’ and they’re off to wherever flying ants fly off to. Magaluf I presume……….
The garden has certainly been confused by the weather this year, with things starting with a mild winter, then an unseasonably warm bit followed by an unseasonably cold bit and a typical wet bit. And a few frosts thrown in at near random, just to keep us all guessing.
As such the tomatoes and peppers had a cracking start, then shuddering (literally) to a halt before being baked to a crisp whilst I was in Scotland, and then rained upon with gusto whilst I was in Kent. The result was a few malformed peppers, some late ripening tomatoes and a lot of slugs eating everything.
That said, the garden is in full bloom (the bits that weren’t devoured by slime-monsters) and most of it seems to be purple, with the Lavender, Buddleja, Sage and Agapanthus all being different hues of the same colour! Only the bit daisies (they probably have a proper name but I don’t know what it is) and the Fuchsia daring to differ, although even the latter plant is an homage to all things purple!
I’ve always been proud of the fact that the garden appears to be very bee friendly; indeed I had a bumble bee nest in the eaves of the house a couple of years ago which I was very excited about. And true to form the bees are having a purple nectar field-day at the moment.
There’s something strangely soothing and mesmerising about watching a huge bumble bee balancing on the end of the longest stalk of lavender it can find and the whole stalk bouncing up and down in sympathetic rhythm with the insect going about its life’s work. My lavender bush, which was a cutting of an old plant which was on its last legs when I first moved in, is huge at this time of year, with the whole bush springing back and forth as a colony of bumblebees and others work their way around the plant.
It appears that bumble bee photography is a lot more difficult than I imagined. Thankfully being in the digital age I can at least delete the many failed images although the best ones will not be winning any awards either!
A old moggy
Squeak had his tenth birthday last week, not that he was apparently aware of this fact, save for a few extra cat treats throughout the day. He’s been slowing down for most of those ten years to be fair, but with the warmth of the days recently he seems to be doing less than normal. In fact he’s spent a lot more time on my lap than ever before. Possibly due to the greater availability of my lap having been away for the majority of July, but he does seem to be nursing a few more lumps and bumps at the moment and I wonder if a younger upstart of fluff has challenged him whilst on his rounds. He’s always been a scrapper, but generally picks on easier targets (like me). Whilst he’s a solid cat, he’s actually on the small size compared to most around here.