Gone with the Wind

It’s been a fairly normal day workwise – moving sheep (selecting a few for market) and collecting eggs. I had set myself a target of a couple of hours weeding, though so far this is still a plan. There’s a lot to do at the moment removing old borage, foxgloves and forget-me-nots. We’re also cutting down dead poppies and drying them for flower arranging later in the year. Then of course there are thistles…

The wind we’re having is good for blowing thistledown around and I’ve had several lots blow past my face as I’ve walked round this morning. I have a plan for them which involves my flame gun, though I’m having to keep it from Julia after what happened in our own garden at the weekend. It involved dry grass, plastic plant pots and a certain amount of swearing (mainly directed at me by my good lady). She’s having to rethink the dried grass part of the flower arrangement she was planning and I’ve had to promise to be careful with the flame gun.

The group has been out on the field taking environmental readings for the Woodland Trust between the rows of apple trees in the agroforestry field this afternoon – temperature and wind. It’s been a good day for measuring wind as there hasn’t been a shortage. (You can tell that from the way the butterflies have been having to cling on to the flowers).

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Talking of butterflies, we’ve had a Brimstone on the allotment today, though I wasn’t able to get a good picture. I took this one over the fence, then walked round to the gate, by which time it was on a sunflower. Those pictures weren’t too good as the wind rose at that point and it was difficult to compose and focus. Even if I’d managed it I’d merely have taken a picture of a butterfly desperately hanging on to a sunflower. It eventually relinquished its grasp and disappeared into the fields at high speed.

It was good to see as it was the last species from last year that we hadn’t seen this year.

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One of this year’s new species – Common Blue – turned up just as we were walking up the ramp to the centre – pausing to feed on the mint. She posed, with wings half open to show the brown inner colour, and flew off as soon as I raised the camera. That’s how it goes.

As if in consolation the buddleia in the back bed produced a magnificent show – two Peacocks, a Small Tortoiseshell, a Painted Lady, a Comma and a couple of Small Whites, though the two whites acted more like a tag team, one settling for a moment before being replaced by the other.

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