I identified closely with Mr McGregor in the garden last week when I discovered that something was nipping the tops out of the runner bean plants; not all of them, but enough to be a cause for concern. I haven’t seen a rabbit inside the fence lately, but that’s not to say that one isn’t making overnight visits. There were some holes in the wire down one side, so some stitching and patching has been done, just in case. I set up my trail camera to see if I could identify the culprit, but only managed to view footage of Jackdaws and Pigeons in close proximity, but I’m not sure if either is guilty of committing the crime, but investigations will be ongoing.
I had a lovely encounter today when I was walking past a pair of trees close to the stable block at Moyns Park. There was quite a commotion overhead, plenty of flapping and twittering; I’m not very good at identifying birdsong, so I wasn’t sure what I was going to spot as I peered into the foliage above me. What I did see made me beam, as I spotted 3 or 4 newly fledged Nuthatches being instructed by a parent. It’s not uncommon for me to see a Nuthatch while I am at work, but I have never seen a family group like that. Another welcome sight was a Cinnabar moth, which appeared last Wednesday afternoon; I tried to get a photo on my phone, but it wasn’t very cooperative, this was the best I could get; it’s actually more beautiful than this depiction.
Things are growing well in the garden now, with broad beans cropping prolifically, potatoes flowering, lettuces plentiful, glossy leaved chard standing to attention, and courgettes yielding their first fruit. In the greenhouse the aubergines are in bloom, and the early tomatoes have lots of green fruit developing in heavy trusses; it really is summer now. Some overnight rain wouldn’t go amiss, followed by lovely warm days. Sadly, with the change of season comes the annual menace of horseflies, which have already tried to take chunks out of me. And have you noticed how many mosquitoes are around this year? There are loads of them down in my neck of the woods, and a couple have already tasted my blood….blighters!
This week there will be asparagus (probably the final week), courgettes, aubergines, chard, broad beans, lettuce, parsley, new season onions, carrots, summer savoy cabbage, new potatoes, mushrooms, beetroot, garlic, the last of the old potatoes (limited availability), oranges, lemons and kiwi fruit.
The football World Cup begins in Russia this week, fortunately the time difference means that I will get to see a fair few games; those played in the afternoon will be difficult to catch, but not so the evening matches. England’s chances? Well let’s just say that I hope that I don’t draw them in the sweepstake at work! But at least it’s a young team, and not too much is expected of it, so anything beyond the group stages will be a bonus.
Last Tuesday evening I went with a friend to see Misha Glenny talk at the Apex in Bury about organised global crime. He wrote a non-fiction book on the subject titled ‘McMafia’, which was subsequently sexed up and dramatised on the BBC, though he said that everything that appeared in the series was based on real events. The talk was very thought provoking, shocking in parts, and made one feel very grateful to live in sleepy old East Anglia. Glenny was at one time the BBC correspondent for Eastern Europe, and has come across a lot of pretty shady characters, many of which subsequently met untimely ends. He has since written a number of books that delve deep into the underworld, which must make him something of a target. It’s hard not to admire a man with his courage and convictions; I wish him good health and longevity.
I will be at Wyken on Saturday for the farmers’ market, where I will be keeping a watchful eye on France V Australia, one of the few occasions where I will be hoping for Aussie sporting success.