Upside-down Goldfinch

Here’s an indistinct picture of a goldfinch fossicking in some ragweed.
Admin1 is reading Grave’s End by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading Diary of an Ordinary Woman by Margaret Forster, which was as boring as you’d expect.
We scored 9 on the GSQ but hope that the people in the middle of nowhere will give us some extra help. Rescue us, A, B, D and G!
[update]: And they did. So we scored 10. Thanks guys!

An Unusual Occurrence

Tyrannosaurus Rex appears to have laid an egg from which a small human is hatching.
Meanwhile the sunshine on a cool and windy day gave us our best August solar panel output ever: 12.25kWh.
Admin1 is rereading Deadland by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy; a community of transgender hijras in Delhi intersects with the everlasting conflict in Kashmir.

Ragweed and Bluebottle

A blue fly alights on a yellow flower in a Ukraine solidarity moment.
July 2022 saw our hottest day ever recorded but was on average only a tenth of a degree hotter than July 2021 and had a lot less rain but only slightly more sunshine.
Admin1 is rereading Salt Lane by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
We scored 9.5 on the GSQ.

Eye Eye Skipper

A new visitor to our garden, the fluffy-bodied, beady-eyed, long-horned small skipper. Its caterpillars live on long grass so they have profited from No-mow May extending into June and July. And at last we had some proper rain today, but it didn’t register on our rain gauge due, no doubt, to the damn pigeons which have taken to sitting in it and probably using it as a toilet.
[update] and indeed they did. Here’s the evidence:
Cleaning it out added 5.4mm to our rainfall tally which is probably fair. Except that changing the batteries added another 5.4mm.
Admin1 is rereading A Book of Scars by William Shaw.
We had a Chinese banquet for supper and scored 11 on the GSQ, restoring our running average to exactly 10.

Critter of the Day: Hoverfly

Nature’s little helicopter, floating silently before this excessively complicated construction of petals, frilly skirt, dome, pillar, sphere, hammers, nails and curly springs.
Heatwave well over. Top temperature today: 17.2 °C.
Admin2 is rereading A House of Knives by William Shaw. Admin2 is reading The Sun Chemist by Lionel Davidson.

Lavender’s Blue, Lavender’s Green

We missed last week’s family meal so this week we had 2 quizzes to do. We scored 10 on this week’s and a mere 7 on last week’s, even with generous marking, so our running average is now below 10. That bee is definitely cleverer than us.
Admin1 is reading Dead Rich by GW Shaw and Admin2 is reading The Chelsea Murders by Lionel Davidson.

Supermoon Returns

Another lovely full buck moon, photographed by Admin1 who is reading The Dark by Emma Haughton, who overloads her useless protagonist with a ludicrous number of problems — by page 30 we’ve learned that this doctor, who apparently passed a rigorous selection procedure to spend six months on a cramped and pitch-dark  UN Antarctic base in midwinter, is afraid of the dark, afraid of enclosed spaces, afraid of heights, is a drug addict, is chronically insecure, is incapable of normal social interactions with family and co-workers, and suffers from crippling anxiety about herself and her recently killed partner (for which she may be to blame). Oh, and she’s facially scarred. You really have to wonder about this “rigorous selection procedure”. Thrown aside with great force after 100 pages.
Admin2 is reading Eversion by Alastair Reynolds.

Red-Faced Robin

It’s probably just sunburnt. Today was our second most sunny July day ever: 13.1kWh and counting.
Admin1 is reading Eversion by Alastair Reynolds. Admin2 has tried reading Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (distressing), The Dead Line by Holly Watt (jejune) and The Buried Life by Carrie Patel (rubbish) and is now rereading Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson which is pleasantly cooling.

Critter of the Day: 7-spot Ladybird Larva

This unlucky baby lady has nothing to eat in a gardenless street and is lucky so far not to get squashed.
Admin1 is reading This Charming Man by CK McDonnell. Admin2 is reading The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths, in which the archaeologist and policeman continue a lockdown-busting romance and anyone with eyes to read will know whodunnit halfway through, so who knows how the audiobook will work.


Lots of mending, gravelling, tarring and installing huge networks of temporary traffic lights going on, plus people changing the bulbs in the street lights and a lost fire engine.
June 2022 had twice as much rain as June 2021 but half a kWh more sunshine, making it our third best June ever. Average temperatures were within a fraction of a degree of last year’s averages.
Admin1 is reading The Vinyl Detective: Attack and Decay by Andrew Cartmel. Admin2 is reading The Botanist by MW Craven.

Happy Birthday

Admin1 celebrated his miscellaneous birthday today and was treated accordionly. What a surprise! He also got a load of books, a t-shirt, coffee for (and from) Africa and cups to drink it from. We ate emergency sandwiches (not expecting dinner guests) and yummy carrot cake.
Admin1 is now reading Bad Actors by Mick Herron. Enjoy! [Admin1: And I certainly did! Many thanks, also to GDA&B for the wonderful presents and a terrific birthday. I’ve just realised you could base a tune on their names…perhaps I could play it on an accordion 🙂 ]
Admin2 is reading Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel.

When the Nights Are Blue

Happy birthday twins!
To celebrate, some low-down noctilucent clouds, the first of the year, and 13.397kWh on the solar panels, our third sunniest day ever, by 2 watts, what what!
Admin1 is reading Tragedy on the Branch Line by Edward Marston, which was a considerably cosier train ride than Bullet Train, soon to be a big film. Admin2 is reading Crow Court by Andy Charman, another crowdfunded debut, not so interesting.