Starling the Show

Singing a song for us.
Admin1 is reading the 700+-page Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson, which posits a high-tech solution to climate change, along with its drawbacks and political problems. In typical fashion for NS, the digressions along the way are much of the appeal: Punjabi stick-fighting, microwaving grapes, eagles vs drones, Netherlands royalty, how to tie a turban, the Line of Actual Control, Texan feral pigs, skycranes, and much else.
Admin2 is reading the 900+-page Anathem, also by Neal Stephenson.
We scored 8 on the GSQ.

Critter of the Day: Starling

We put our fruit bowl outside to entice the fruit flies out of the kitchen and the tits went for the fruit instead. But here is a starling of sense eating the bird food.
Admin1 is reading The Three Evangelists by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading The Killing Kind by Jane Casey, a horrible book about horrible people.

Critter of the Day: Cabbage White

Pieris rapae feeding on our lavender.
Admin1 is reading Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas. Admin2 has been reading The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, which is like a fiendish logic problem, not helped by its old-fashioned style and Admin2’s ignorance of aristocratic Japanese culture in the 1930s.

Critter of the Day: Cinnabar moth

Hello, pretty patterned fly-by-day moth. We look forward to golden eggs and stripy caterpillars on the ragweed. Oh, and hello Fiona too. Long time since we’ve had a house guest.
Last month was the third sunniest June on our records: 252.4kWh.
Admin1 is reading The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor. Admin2 is reading Smoke Screen by Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger.

Scarborough (reasonably) Fair

Our trip to (occasionally) sunny Scarborough involved pirate ships:
Donkeys (go, Audrey!):
Many, many seagulls (and distant dolphins leaping above the waves but too far away to photograph):
Scrumptious fish and chips from Winking Willy’s famous emporium with its amusing signage:
And finally, let’s all go down the…
A wonderful 20th wedding anniversary trip was had by all! Well, apart from Dave and Bob, the latter of whom had his bubble burst at primary school and they have to isolate 🙁
We stayed again at the Green Gables hotel (great breakfasts, but it bears more than a passing resemblance to Hilbert’s Hotel), and again failed to photograph its magnificent but elusive cat. Next time…

Batting for Africa

One of the questions in yesterday’s Guardian quiz prompted a family discussion about the Kasanka National Park in Zambia and its enormous colony of bats. Admins 1 and 2 paid a visit there in 2010, which involved getting up in the middle of the night, trekking through a swampy jungle with some armed guards and climbing rickety wooden towers to view the bats flying around. It was spectacular. Here’s another shot we took:
Anyway, in a weird coincidence the Park turned up in today’s Guardian. Apparently some company wants to open a huge commercial farm which would have a catastrophic effect on the wildlife. The paper also has a nice photo essay on the Park’s bats.
Admin1 is reading The Special Dead by Lin Anderson. Admin2 is rereading The Second Sleep by Robert Harris.

Critter in the Cupboard: Pholcus phalangioides

This long-legged lady is living in the cupboard with the coffee cups and jars of jam. God knows what she eats and who fertilised the ball of eggs she is lugging around.
Admin1 is reading Save Me by Mandasue Heller, but gave up halfway on this melodramatic soapy nonsense (only got that far by treating it as a farce).
Admin2 is reading Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton; a school siege in a snowstorm which was so captivating that I expected to hear about it on the news.