Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Sad news.... and a family frenzy

First, some very sad news to report - the end of the road for our oldest and much-loved cat - Willow. We were biased towards "The Willows" as soon as we saw the name, but we both had a feeling that he'd be like Moses - never quite reaching the promised land. Goodbye, old friend - you will always be remembered.

Willow, 1992-2010, RIP

MUCH more positively, there is progress to report, wildlife to write about, and a major family conflab to be happy about. We've started mist-coasting the new plaster (lots done actually), although the damp issue in the western wall is a bit worse than we thought, so we're going to have to go back a stage and have a DPC done.

Simon plays misty for us both

Zaz the electrician has done his survey, and is ready to roll very soon, and we have definitely turned the corner ready for a summer of construction to balance a winter and spring of destruction!

Wildlife-wise, we've been blessed with lots of Hobby sightings, plus Lapwings much in evidence (have they got young yet?), deer scat, more baby Rabbits and best of all, lots of Odonata! Top species has definitely been a brief Scarce Chaser, a nationally rare species which has only recently colonised the Hampshire Avon. Top banana!

The moth trapping has been good too, with Elephant Hawk-moth new, plus Lesser Swallow Prominent and lots more. Just off site, but worth a mention here, was a lifer for us in Bob's Blashford moth trap:

Brussels Lace

And on Sunday, a huge descent of Casson and Kemps made it a really fun day in the sun - walks, food, drink, cricket, mower rides and lots of catching up - great stuff!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

The wanderers return....and friends visit

Back from a half-term break in Finland, and summer is definitely here. The garden is buzzing with damselflies (mostly Common Blue, we think!), and the odd dragonfly.

Mating Common Blue Damselflies

Soldier Beetle

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers have young, there are junior Greenfinches about, we heard a Cuckoo (species number 81), and there is an unspeakably cute baby bunny rabbit hanging about the bird feeding area.

Cute bunny time - and Simon stalking it!

Best of all, we ran a moth trap, and caught an excellent 133 moths of 44 speces - highlights included four species of hawk-moth (Poplar, Eyed, Lime and Privet), Buff-tip, Figure of Eighty, White Point, Pale Tussock, Small Seraphim, Sharp-angled Peacock and stacks more.

We got lots of clearing up done (the last run to the tip for a while!), and also installed a new sunshade, petrol mower and picnic bench - DIY-tastic.

New garden furniture

We also had to perform some impromptu tree surgery on one of the ornamental cherries, which had half collapsed. Was it trying to tell us something?

Dealing with the fallen tree....grrr

Sunday was further enlivened by a very welcome visit from Jon and Carol, who arrived for coffee and were pleasingly enthusiastic about everything - including the lawn mower, which got yet another test drive (or two!). We had an excellent (if hot) walk around the lakes, and then enjoyed a slap-up lunch back home.

Jon and Carol and Tony

With the house now basically tidied after the building works, and with Rupert and Adie GONE (well, nearly - slight glitch with the central heating to be sorted out....), we are really starting to enjoy the place a bit more! It feels like ours again. Rubble cleared, tiles gone, floors swept, electrician booked for this week - almost ready to decorate.

Julia enjoying the summer heat and the fantastic flag irises