May mowing marathon


It’s the last day of May already and – as often seems to happen here – the late Spring has brought amazing weather. Along with lengthening hours of sunshine has come a vast and rapid growth… of grass in particular. We’ve taken turns wearing a pedometer and it appears that between us we do 6 miles when cutting all our various different patches of lawn/meadow. I’m not complaining really (!?) – as Steve says, when we are mowing it means the weather is good.

Over the past 5 years I have improved my knowledge of the local wild flowers and trees, and even begun to be able to identify them prior to flowering. At the moment we have the following in full bloom: campion, pink purslane, buttercup, stitchwort, cow parsley, broom, hawthorn, yellow rattle, speedwell, bistort, cuckoo flower, chive, forget-me-not, tufted vetch, thyme, Welsh poppy. It looks as though the meadowsweet and willowherb are going to take off very soon, which the bees will love. The latter are well-behaved and industrious, and are the subjects of endless speculation and cautious admiration.

I think my favourite sighting recently has been the chimney sweeper moth which accompanies the blooming of pignut. It’s a dainty little black day-flying moth with a delicate white rim on its wings.

Steve has been busy with the pond, turfing the edge and planting wild flowers and grasses. He has added a couple of sticklebacks and some weed but we were delighted to find that this new source of water was found almost immediately by whirligigs, pond skaters, water boatmen and several varieties of beetle, without any need for road signs or sat navs!

I know undoubtedly what Steve’s favourite sighting recently has been – the swallows dipping in the pond and demonstrating enthusiastically the joys of Spring.