Apart from Hazel Irvine's verbal inanities that trashed Elbow's contribution to the Olympic closing ceremony, Sunday turned out to be a very pleasant day indeed.
For the first time in ages the weather was decent and we headed off up the Meon Valley to see what's been unfolding in our absence. We pulled into the entrance to the Hampshire Hogs cricket pitch and there to greet us was a sky full of tumbling kites, buzzards and a raven - I've never seen thermals so full in my life! It is still joyous to see kites over a Hampshire downland and I doubt that this feeling will ever fade.
Onto a quick reconnoitre at the 'Big Field', to check the state of play there and at last the crops have been harvested. There was too much of a heat-haze to pick out any hare-bear-ears, so an early morning or evening visit is due soon.
Back to Beacon Hill. To walk out on chalk downland in full flower is a privilage and delight. Clustered bellflower, autumn gentian, marjoram, round-headed rampion, field scabious, eyebright, harebell all added to a wonderful mosaic of colours. Among the flowers, danced chalkhill blue and tiny brown argus butterflies, but sadly we couldn't locate any silver-studded skippers. I hope that we simply missed them and they have not been lost from this site.
Perhaps I should have allowed the mellowness of the day to continue back at home and extended Elbow's sentiment of 'open arms' to overactive gobs, but honestly why do they do it! I'm not normally grumpy.............really!
Well something must be happening somewhere. Before starting work at the coalface this morning, I had a quick look out the studio window (posh name for back bedroom!). With no great expectations of even seeing a sausage - knock-me-down-with-a-featherduster the birch tree was full of chiffchaffs.
Flitting, hovering and generally busying themselves in search of food amongst the leaves. Some where greyish others bright yellow. I quickly collected a page of shapes before they gathered together in one group and moved on to grace another garden. I counted seven at one time, but I suspect there were more.
The birds are the keepers of our secrets.
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