Summer is come

This will probably be the last post of May: our two English grandchildren are coming to stay tomorrow – the first time we’ll have seen them for seven months.

This handsome great spotted woodpecker has become addicted to the fancy fatballs I’ve been putting in the bird feeder; he gets through one or two a day, costing me a fortune. The long-tailed tits like them, too. They come in little busy gangs.

Here then is a range of pictures taken yesterday, when here in Cornwall was the only part of the country covered in thick cloud. Elsewhere summer had finally arrived, after a miserably wet, cold month. It’s a week when our feckless PM’s sinister former adviser spilled the beans about the chaos and ineptitude our government has shown most of the time in dealing with the pandemic in the UK. Among his criticisms was the transparently false claim by the health minister that he’d put a ‘ring of steel’ round care homes, when infected elderly patients were being discharged without Covid tests into those same homes.

Let’s lighten the tone. First, the birds have been a constant source of delight during this unseasonably chilly late spring. I’ve still not seen any swallows, swifts or martins around my city, but I’ve posted recently about seeing some a little further afield.

Weeping tree umbrellaYesterday’s walk in the local park took me underneath this wonderful tree’s canopy. It’s a weeping something or other – beech?

Standing there felt like being in a green tent. Just a pity that the sky was grey, not blue.

These vivid yellow flowers grow in the hedge just down the road from our house. According to my plant identifier app they’re autumn hawkbit. I’m not sure about this: should they be flowering in late May, with a name like that?Autumn hawkbit

LilyAt the end of our road are some lovely gardens – I’ve posted pictures recently of some of the gorgeous spring blooms in them. These lovely lilies (I think they’re lilies of some kind) started flowering just over a week ago. What a colour!


A few houses away from us is this garden wall. I rather like this strange plant growing implausibly out of the mortar. I presume it’s some kind of lichen.

This morning the sun finally shone – though there are still some clouds around.

 These beautiful roses are growing in a pot outside our front door. The buds are pink and white, but the blooms are pure white when in full flower. So that’s it for this May. I’ve just finished reading Jakob Wasserman’s strange, gothic novel Caspar Hauser. When I’ve figured out if I was bored or enthralled by it I’ll post here – once the grandchildren have gone home next week.

10 thoughts on “Summer is come

  1. How lovely to see your grandchildren! I’m plotting a get-together with my best friend soon – just had our second vaccinations this week! Lovely photos – it’s peak rhodedendron in our local parks, which I’m enjoying very much.

  2. I ALWAYS enjoy your descriptions of nature and what you observe on your walks, Simon! And I appreciated your take on what’s happening with the conservative government in the UK. Having experienced similar chaos with the former administration and current Senate in the US, I can understand the frustration. It seems to be a worldwide phenomenon.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Donald. At least you’ve voted out your disastrous president – we’re stuck with our PM for another couple of years. I’m glad you enjoy these nature posts. I find the birds and plants a great solace when life is in turmoil.

  3. That rose is certainly a show-stopper; I’m very envious, both of that and the bird feeder. I think I’ve actually seen a great spotted woodpecker on one of my rare birding forays to Europe. He certainly seems to be enjoying those expensive little treats.
    Caspar Hauser sounds quite intriguing. I think I’ve heard of it — feral children maybe?
    I understand your frustration with your PM. At least our equivalent in sulking (and plotting unfortunately) down in the swap;still, it’s much better than those constant tweets. Thank heavens twitter cut him off.
    Have fun with the grandkids! I look forward to your re-emergence!

    • The woodpecker ate another fatball today, aided by various little helpers. Good day with the kids in the sun by the sea today. Read some Cheever stories. Yes, Caspar H was sort of an early example of feral child.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *