The minuscule Mint Moth. It also likes a good thyme. Look at its lovely long antennae and beautiful blue eyes.
We had chicken, Yorkshire puddings and garden beans for our family meal with blackberry and apple crumble for afters and scored 10 (with generous marking) on the GSQ.
Admin1 is rereading The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod. Admin2 is reading Winter in Madrid by CJ Sansom.
Pieris brassicae with another bonus hoverfly.
Admin1 is reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
Maniola jurtina with bonus hoverfly, spotted among the weeds on Admin2’s shopping walk. It’s been nine years since we last spotted one.
Admin2 is rereading Fatherland by Robert Harris.
This Vanessa atalanta has seen some action.
July, which globally broke world records for heat, was our all-time coldest and wettest July, and the third least sunny.
Admin2 is rereading Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland, a bizarre book that suggests that a bunch of wasters can save the world by being woke.
First Aglais urticae of the year. Must brave the nettles in search of those golden chrysalides.
Admin1 is reading Blue Water by Leonora Nattrass. Admin2 is rereading The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon.
White and white.
Admin1 is reading Black Drop by Leonora Nattrass. Admin2 is reading Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway.
Black and black.
Aphantopus hyperantus sitting on a blackberry leaf. Their dark wings give them more solar energy so they are active on cloudy days.
Admin1 is reading Titanium Noir by Nick Harkaway, who gives the hardboiled crime genre — there’s even a character called Marlowe — an SF slant (as have various other writers). Here it’s a tale of squabbling ultra-rich tech-heads who’ve had a life-extension process that also make them very tall. Rather different (and shorter) from books like Gnomon and Angelmaker, it seems to have more in common with NH’s novels under his ‘Aidan Truhen’ monicker, which is an anagram if I’ve ever seen one. Thanks Admin2!
Admin2 is reading April in Spain by John Banville. An Irish couple on holiday spot somebody they presumed to be dead. A slow burner with a shock ending.
Today was one of our 15 sunniest days in the last 11 years: 13.09 kWh.
Admin1 is reading The Iron Horse by Edward Marston, which was very dull. Admin2 is reading The Brutal Tide by Kate Rhodes which was somewhat Scilly.
Celastrina argiolus on a pretty plant next door.
Admin1 is rereading The Birdwatcher by William Shaw. Admin2 is rereading Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw. Rhymes!
Cabbage Whites en route to our cabbages.
And here are their lovely golden eggs.
Admin2 is reading The Blood Divide by AA Dhand, a bizarre story in which a low-life Bradford cornershop proprietor is guided to his destiny in India via copious amounts of violence and bloodshed.
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.
A butterfly sitting on the grass of No Mow May.
Admin1 is rereading Slow Horses by Mick Herron. Admin2 is reading Notes from the Burning Age by Claire North.
First peacock butterfly of spring, photographed at a distance in some other person’s garden.
Admin1 is reading What You Pay For by Claire Askew and Admin2 is reading 84K by another Claire, Claire North, which has been languishing on our shelves, unintentionally unopened, for the last five years and now, with its corporate-capture government dystopia, seems even more prescient.
A warm and sunny day, and this fresh-out-of-the-chrysalis butterfly graced our garden with its presence.
Admin1 is reading Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds and Admin2 is reading The Dead of Winter by Rennie Airth.
We scored 11 on the GWQ.
First one we’ve seen all year. Photo is a bit subdued because it was taken though the window at an angle.
Admin1 is reading This Night’s Foul Work by Fred Vargas. Admin2 is reading First Light by Peter Ackroyd: astronomers, archaeologists, Aldebaran and agriculturalists.
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.
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.
Pararge aegeria. We tried to persuade it to open its wings, but it just stayed perched on a leaf in a dancer’s pose.
Admin 1 is reading A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee. Admin2 is reading The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.
First butterfly of spring that hung around for long enough to have its picture taken.
Admin1 is rereading Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith. Admin2 is reading The Cutting Place by Jane Casey. We scored 10.5 on the GWQ.
A Red Admiral perches on one of the few remaining buddleia flowers on the hottest September day since our records began: 33.0 °C. The days to come are predicted to be much colder, and then comes autumn, winter, Brexit…
Admin1 is reading Boiling a Frog by Christopher Brookmyre.
There were also Red Admirals, Speckled Woods and Large Whites flapping around.
Admin1 is rereading The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin. Admin2 is reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi; the autobiography of an overachiever who gets his comeuppance when he dies of cancer in his thirties.
After the eggs, a load of adorable little stripey youngsters cavorting on the ragweed.
June’s weather was pretty average for June; ie colder, cloudier and wetter than the average May and July.
Admin1 is reading Bryant and May on the Loose and Admin2 is reading Seventy-Seven Clocks, both by Christopher Fowler.
The caterpillars are much more colourful than their large white parents. Here are three of them working as a team to demolish the cabbage. They are not the only critters wrecking our victory garden; today the squirrels stole our cucumber seedlings and a young tomato plant. But we had homegrown peas for tea.
Admin1 is rereading The Complaints by Ian Rankin and admin2 is rereading Reconstruction by Mick Herron.
We scored 12 on the GWQ!
Admin2 has been chasing this creature around the garden for days but Admin1 found it while mowing the lawn.
Admin1 is reading The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffifths.
A blank Pieris rapae waiting to be coloured in on another >10kWh day. In the past week we have had 5 of the top 6 sunniest April days of all time.