“Honour the sacred. Honour the Earth, our Mother.
Honour the Elders. Honour all with whom we share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones, swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people. Walk in balance and beauty.”
Native American Elder
It’s been very hot this week, some evenings have been positively muggy and last night we had some of the strongest winds we’ve ever known here and it was just too noisy to remain upstairs. Not a lot of sleep was had by either of us, and whilst I’ve been (to say the least) rather languid today, Joe has been out strimming the dried out grassland.
It would be an ideal time to be using the blow-up pool but because of our water problems this year and last, we haven’t been able to think of using it. This year I’ve seen a few dragonfly flitting around, but nothing like the number we had when the pool was in use. We marvelled at their aerobatics; the rapidity of their stall turns and dives and the whirring noise their wings made.
However, one of them wasn’t quite as adept as the others and fell headlong into the pool. Joe scooped him out with a small sieve and then had to hold him aloft for at least ten minutes until he’d dried off and was ready to fly again.
The English lavender bushes are pulsating with life, honeybees, bumble bees, butterflies. I came across something that was beige colour and stick-like so I immediately thought it was a stick insect but it turned out to be a juvenile praying mantis.
Praying mantids are normally a nice grass green and quite distinctive in their weirdness with a tiny triangular head and large forearms. I found this one tucking into a large grasshopper and he was reluctant to move as I walked by.
Apart from a type of blue butterfly which hasn’t stayed still long enough for me to get a good clear photo to identify it properly, the two most common butterflies around here are the Spanish Gatekeeper and the Wall Brown.
I know they’re all God’s creatures, but we have this huge orb spider living around the cabin which I don’t like one little bit. In my mind he’s a mini tarantula and although he’s harmless, he’s big enough to cause my heart to flutter, leaping out every night when I water the self-seeded courgettes and then disappearing into the wood cladding.
The honey bees have stopped droning around in vast numbers now. I confess to being a little ignorant about their life cycle, but maybe the queens have stopped forming new hives and they’ve settled down to a life of routine domesticity without too much swarming. This is the hive that Joe had to remove from behind our wood cladding – our neighbour took it away because she wanted to try and make beeswax polish. I do hope the hives below us haven’t been decimated by disease, or worse, that the keeper has decided to kill them off as he’s not getting a grant any more. Pure conjecture I know, but what else do I do as I sit here looking out at nature’s wonder?
I’m having difficulty identifying so many of the beetle species. We have the standard type of ladybirds here, but I couldn’t find out what the elongated version is. One reference said vaguely, ‘type of ladybug’. But a ladybug is a ladybird. Anyhow, they’re quite spectacular, aren’t they?
The scarab or dung beetle usually starts plodding around in the cool of the early evening. This year, I haven’t seen one incidence of any being attacked by ants, nor have I seen any rolling up dog or fox poo. Talking of foxes, I went out of the back door one early morning and there in front of me was a young fox who just stared at me and then ambled off down the steps into the garden.
Fox poo is everywhere; I like to think of it as little gifts from them, but what ridiculous romantic tosh that is! I won’t bother to include a photo here! It’s obvious they are just marking out their territory, and judging by the hoarse calling-out noises I hear most nights, someone somewhere is a bit lonely and maybe wants to attract a female, who knows.
Looks like the wind is getting up. Whatever the elements throw at us again tonight, however much the wind screams, I know we will wake up like we did this morning, with nothing out of place or damaged outside and we’ll be once again full of wonder at the power and grace of Mother Nature.