Monday, 9 June 2014

June is in full flow.

Everything is 'busting out all over' now.  I love this time of year, before everything begins to look tired and windblown.

We have two bats.   I don't know what kind they are, but all the time I have lived on the farm (twenty one years) we have always had two bats.   Can they be the same two?   How long do bats live?
We see them flying up and down the yard at dusk every night.   They obviously never have babies or the group would get bigger, so we can only assume they are the same sex!

My poor Buff Orpington cockerel died yesterday.   It was a hot, sunny day and he used to make a nice dust bath for himself by the holly hedge in the pasture.   When the farmer walked down the field at tea time yesterday with Tess, he was there as usual but he had died at some time during the day.  He must have been seven or eight years old and he has been slowing down over the past year, but I am sad to see him go.

Looking through a piece for today's date in a book by Derwent May, who writes the Times daily Nature Notes, I see he is writing about field poppies.   I love them.   They have become symbolic of the loss of life in war.   As children we used to pick bunches of them but they usually died before we got them home - or at the very least lost some of their petals.   As I write this I remember how, as children, we used to make dolls from poppies by bending the petals back and tying them round the middle with a blade of grass, thus making a red dress and leaving a 'head' of the seed head.   We would take bunches of these home.

It's funny how things like this come back to one out of the blue.   Simple country pleasures which seem to have all but died out in this computer age.

10 comments:

Cloudia said...

Our memories are precious, and not only to us



Aloha, P

Heather said...

I don't remember picking poppies but we did pick bluebells which we found irresistible even though they wilt so quickly - quite useless for putting into a vase.
RIP Mr.Buff Orpington - very sad.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Buff Orpingtons are nice looking birds. Sad to hear he went to the Big Coop in the Sky.
Only memory I have is picking dandelions for my mother when I was very small. Put the bunch on the kitchen table, and 20 minutes later the table was full of ants. Oh well...

Dartford Warbler said...

Sorry that Mr Buff Orpington has died. His ladies will miss him too. I`m sure he had a happy free range life with you and the Farmer.

sackerson said...

At least one species of bat can live to be 33.

Cro Magnon said...

I've not counted our bats, but there must be at least 6. Ours (I think) are Pipistrelles (sp?).

Hildred said...

We made our ball gowns from hollyhocks, - can't remember poppies being very prolific on the prairies, at least not where we lived in the City. There was a lovely little corner of willows in an abandoned field where we made room for our flower 'dressmaking'. The imaginations of childhood are so precious....

MorningAJ said...

I used to get into trouble for picking poppies because the 'goo' in the stems stains clothes and is very difficult to wash out.

Em Parkinson said...

So sorry about your Cockerel but he's had a great life with you.

I often sprinkle field poppy seeds around the garden in the hope they will germinate but they never do. The soil isn't poor enough probably!

Leilani Lee said...

For several years in a row a small brown bat used to fly up into the stairwell off the garage and roost on the wall during the day -- not every day -- but periodically through the summer. And then some sort of "white nose fungus" began moving through the bat colonies, and for two years now we have not seen it. Could have died of old age (have no idea how long bats live, but can only assume it succumbed to the disease. I suppose not everyone would be happy to have such an occasional "bat lodger" but I miss him/her. I still catch myself looking up when I leave the house to go into the garage to see if it is there.