Tuesday 31 July 2012

Identification problems . . .

I saw a moth on Barry’s hat this morning and of course I had to try and identify it – without success so far, I have to say.
side view
detail - so delicate
Anyway, in the course of my research I came across this note –‘passes winter as an egg’ and that made me laugh. I started thinking how difficult it would be trying to metamorphose backwards, as it were, and fit into a receptacle now patently far too small. In human terms that is a ghastly thought, not to mention eye-watering.

I also discovered that the Ghost moth, among others, has no tongue and cannot feed. What a sad life that must be. I suppose it’s akin to human parents raising their young and then popping their clogs. I know it feels like that sometimes and often we feel redundant. Let’s be honest, we are redundant once the bank of Mum and Dad serves no further purpose and our young people have flown the nest and are busily growing their own credit ratings and treating overdrafts as a challenge rather than a limit (or was that just me?)

It is sobering to realise that so many beautiful creatures live very short lives. Dragonflies spend more time as somewhat unattractive nymphs. They live in the murky depths of ponds for three or four years, terrorising the more peaceable inhabitants. Then they emerge from their hard cases as diaphanous beauties, bringing colour and pleasure to onlookers, though not to the unfortunate insects they hunt without mercy. 
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Not as great a beauty as the Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
What a stunner - but completely helpless on the ground for dragonflies cannot walk . . .
Laying eggs
So much beauty, such a little life
They mate, they lay eggs, they die. However, they have no thought for the future, no understanding of their ephemeral existence. What do I know, though? Maybe they have a very complex belief system and look forward to dragonfly heaven where food is plentiful and life never ends. Would I have found them so attractive had I lived/existed in prehistoric times when they had wingspans up to 75 cms? Nonetheless, they are fascinating beasts.

However, and I hate to repeat this cliché, it’s all relative . . . We live but a blink of an eye when compared to galaxies. Who knows what the Mars probe will reveal? (provided it lands safely, of course!)

Monday 30 July 2012

The Fourteenth Blog of Augustus Lazarus Cooke (Gus)

Hello everyone!

Something exciting happened to us the other day. Tia, Foxy and Buster came to stay and all our humans went out but we weren’t left on our own. Two humans we didn’t know came to look after us so when our people came back we were pleased to see them but we didn’t go mad like we usually do – well, I do.

Anyway, the two new humans, Carole and Roy, came to look after us again when Bethan got mad. They spent the night with us and gave us our breakfast the next day before our people got back. We didn’t have our usual food – we had kibble. Mrs H says a bit of junk food now and then doesn’t do any harm, but I liked itJ I would have liked to go and see Bethan get mad but there was no room for dogs. Anyway, Winston wouldn’t have liked being left all on his own.
Gus and Bertie
Bertie’s taller than me now but he’s not as broad. He’s ever so good at running and swimming and Jenna doesn’t bother to chase after the Kong ‘cos she knows Bertie’ll get to it first and if he doesn’t I will. When we can’t find the Kong Jenna lends a nose to help us. The ponds in the forest are really, really full and the water’s deep. It’s great. It’s lovely to plunge in when we’re hot and thirsty. I can drink as I swim – I think that’s quite clever, really.
Gus, Frodo, Jenna, Tia, Mrs H, Foxy, Buster (behind Foxy), Bertie
Tia and Foxy and Buster’s people have gone on holiday. Buster really misses them but they’ll be back in a little while. Buster’s a bit afraid of me ‘cos I tell him off when he gets too rough. I’d never hurt him, though, ‘cos he is only young and still learning. Foxy lets him get away with anything and that’s not good for a pup.

The smaller children– that’s Elliot, Eve and Louis - came to stay a little while ago. I like it when they come ‘cos they make lots of fuss of us all.  We all like children. Yesterday in the forest we met some children and they played with us – it was fun. Children are more fun than people. What? Mrs H just told me that children are people, too – they’re younger and faster, that’s all – oh, and noisierJ

I’ve heard that there’s going to be a baby soon – I’m not sure I know what that is. Is it like a puppy? I expect I’ll find out all about it when Susannah gets it. I don’t know where she’ll get it from, though.

Well, that’s all for now. Be good!

Hwyl fawr am nawr! (That’s Welsh for ‘Goodbye for now!’)

Friday 27 July 2012

Green Day 6

Fiona at Raindrops and Daisies hosts Green Day. Just post a photo of something green and link back to her blog. Quick and easy . . . 
I love the marbling on this nasturtium leaf. It makes a very pretty foil for the yellow and orange flowers. All parts of the nasturtium are edible - the seeds can be pickled to make Poor Man's Capers. The only trouble is that you have to get to the plant before the black fly do . . .

July 21st - Wedding Day

July 21st – Wedding Day
Detail from Bethan's dress 
After what seemed like months of endless rain Bethan and Robert’s wedding day dawned bright, warm and sunny. It was a long, busy day but such a joyous occasion. The ceremony was simple and moving and the affection for Bethan and Robert was expressed warmly and vociferously.

They had engaged a photographer to take formal and informal shots of the day. Consequently, none of us took any photos of the bride and groom – something of an oversight, I think! I hope that others took some. 
The bride and her maids . . .
The one I’ve posted here shows Bethan with her bridesmaids. I think one of the bridesmaids’ boyfriends took it.

 I don't know who took this photo! 
Our grandchildren, Marnie's boyfriend, Dean, and David Walliams
After the official photographer had left Barry took some photos.
Some danced . . .
. . . others watched
A small marquee in the grounds made a pleasant lounging area  away from the disco beat 
Unfortunately, Bethan wasn’t feeling at all well on the day, though no-one would have realised it as she smiled and mingled and looked radiant. She didn’t eat anything and managed the first dance but then went to bed. 
She came down for breakfast the next morning but again couldn’t eat anything. Fortunately, she was feeling better and able to eat again by the time they caught their flight to Santorini in the early hours of Monday.

Barry and I are rarely ill but neither of us was very well, either, and the day passed in something of a blur. We’re all on the mend nowJ

Notwithstanding, it was a lovely day and it was a joy to celebrate it with Bethan and Robert and their friends. It was a delight to have all our family together, too, and our grandchildren had a wonderful day, first as junior ushers and bridesmaids, and then as cousins having a good time with their Norfolk cousins.

Wednesday 11 July 2012

To get your toes tapping . . .

Andre Rieu will not be playing at Bethan and Robert’s wedding but we shall be singing this. Think I might end up dancing down the aisleJ

Didn't Andre Rieu and the orchestra have such great fun playing this?