God has taken over the watering of the garden today; I did some yesterday evening as the soil was so dry in the new beds in the big field. I had some echinops seedlings to transplant and I wanted to thin out some of the candytuft but after a week of glorious sunshine the topsoil was almost powdery. So it is perfect timing to give the ground a good soaking and thankfully I am being obliged.
Three of my four kids are on school holidays for the summer. The summer holidays are wonderfully long here in Ireland. I don’t know why they are so long but I wonder if it has anything to do with the inclement weather we so often have in the summer. You need a long holiday in order to get at least a couple of sunny days to spend in the park or on the beach; otherwise it’s not a proper summer holiday.
I am very pleased to say that all my kids are pretty smart. We have had a rake of school reports and exam results recently and if they are anything to go by then they are doing fine on the academic front. What I love to see is their creativity being explored. My eldest Mair has a great eye for a picture and I love the passion she has for photography and I am trying to persuade her to paint me a mural on the wall by the kitchen.
I have always felt there is something primordial about painting on walls, decorating the cave and I have done a number of murals for friend’s houses but not so much in recent years. My son showed an interest in graffiti and I gave him the wall at the back of the house to practice on. The graffiti has spread to a number of other places I think he is getting good at it now and I am hoping he might give one of the large walls of the barn a bit of colour.
My youngest Suki loves colouring in, so I have painted an under the sea picture in black and white on one of the barn walls as both Suki and Jasmine have been helping me colour it in.
The starlings are like a street gang at the moment as they seem to be infatuated with the flower spikes from the phormium. They swish through the garden in a flock of about a dozen birds and raid the spikes, which bend and sway under their collective weight. I don’t remember them flying around like that last year and I think it is because the phormium only flowers during hot sunny years.
I was painting away lost in thought when this cheeping sound eventually penetrated my consciousness. At my feet was a very small brown puff ball adorned with copious cobwebs. He hopped between a slate tile and the wall and sat there cheeping away. I guessed it must have fallen out of a nearby nest. The cheeping was being answered by a shriek whistle so I presume mum was nearby. I decided to make a hasty retreat and hoped that mum and chick would be reunited and the little fluff ball might survive. Yesterday I was painting again and I heard the cheeping once more and then an adult wren landed nearby and popped into the inside of the barn with a juicy worm in its beak. I’m sentimental enough to hope that was the same chick that had found a new home or a fellow Troglodytidae had found a new cave.
I have been digging up some early potatoes recently and clearing way some of the grass that had grown up around the bed. I came across what I first thought was a small heath butterfly but it was a bit larger and only showed an orange colouring when it opened its wings. I looked it up and discovered it was a large yellow underwing moth. It comes out at night and even though I have never noticed it before it appears to be very common. I got to the last paragraph of information and then it reveals about its larvae “This ubiquitous species is one of the most hated of garden pests.” Aaaaah! I just thought it was quite pretty. Funny old world