Summer Loving

Summer days are getting shorter now, we have been so blessed with the warm dry weather this year. This unusual white plume moth was spotted on the garden fennel.

 

Emily and Jay have been making the most of the sunshine.

 

There has been camping in the garden.

 

Bittersweet Nightshade is flowering right now. A member of the nightshade family – the flowers are recognisably similar to the flowers of the tomato and potato plants.
I remember being told as a child that the name of this plant was deadly nightshade. Though it’s leaves and berries are poisonous, the name ‘deadly nightshade’ refers to Belladonna – also a member of the nightshade family.
Belladonna is extremely toxic, just a few berries can kill an adult. I have never noticed it growing wild, but it is apparently native to Europe.

 

Red campion grows prolifically along the roadside verges and hedgerows.

 

A few heartsease plants have cropped up in my garden. I like these little flowers much better than the large headed commercially grown pansies that get all spindly within a few weeks of planting. Their heads are in much better proportion to the rest of the plant.

 

The poppy seeds given to me by my neighbour last year have made a wonderful show of flowers this year. Some of the flowers are almost as tall as me.
Their seeds heads are just as striking. I am collecting and drying some of the seeds heads for use in cooking. Poppy seed cake and poppy seed butter on toast sound promising.

 

Summer smiles to you 🙂

 

And the end of an era for me as Emily and her year group say goodbye to primary school. Here she is in the limousine off to enjoy their leaving party.
Sixteen years I have walked the mile and a half there and back through the village – twice every school day. Three children and now my youngest has finished. I can’t quite get it into my head that I don’t have to do it anymore. No longer do we have to struggle with umbrellas and raincoats through storms and hail and gale force winds. No longer will we be splashed by thoughtless drivers driving through puddles or inadvertently step in dog poo left by a careless owner.
I say these things like I am glad. But actually I am going to miss that walk most of all. When I first started taking my eldest child Josh all those years ago, before there was even a path and we had to walk on the road, and navigate a very dangerous corner, I used to hate it. How I wished to be one of those who could drive their children to school safely and warmly.
But all those years of walking has put both me and my children in a much closer relationship with nature. We have seen and learned so much. If I did not have to walk I would not have learned the name of so many wildflowers, I would not have got to stop and talk to friendly neighbours with their dogs, I would not have seen squirrels and rabbits and newly born lambs, collected hazelnuts and blackberries and so many more interesting finds, I would not have learned to live in rhythm with the seasons.
I shall have to find new reasons to go for walks through the village. Maybe we should get a dog?
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