Tuesday 7 May 2013

Surprised by Joy

Punctual to the day, the swifts are back! Regular readers will know this is always a high point of the year on Nigeness. This year it took me by surprise, as I really had expected them to be later, after all the foul weather was had through April. But, while I was taking a quick turn in the garden this morning, I looked up and there they were - a pair, flying low and fast - and this brief encounter was all the more joyful for being unexpected. Summer has begun, the world is turning.
  The sudden spell of warm sunny weather over the last few days must have sped the swifts on their way. It's been quite glorious, and the butterflies have been making the most of it - Holly Blues, Orange Tips and Speckled Woods all flying in cheering abundance. Yesterday I took a trip into the Surrey Hills, hoping I might see a Green Hairstreak, perhaps Brown Argus and Small Copper too - but when I got to the familiar butterfly-friendly slopes, virtually nothing was flying. The grass was too long and lush for downland early fliers to thrive - a legacy of all those months of rain, I suppose. But the bluebell woods were at their dazzlingly beautiful, fragrant peak, with Wood Anemones still in flower, and Cuckoo Flowers among the Bluebells. Mrs N was impressed.
  But still no Red Admiral! If I see one now, it will be an unheard-of tenth on my species list. What is going on? I dreamt one last night, a beauty - but I guess that doesn't count...


  1. Beautiful; an inspiration to get off to a glorious bluebell wood close to the River Weaver at Dutton. Thanks Nige.

  2. Yes, another inspiring post, one among many. I'm a bit concerned that you are dreaming of butterflies tho' - my reverie last night was utterly bizarre; the very last part, which woke me up, featured the late Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf, falling backwards off a low milking stool, and me (with great difficulty) hauling him back onto it. His skin was, weirdly, jet black, but he was not negroid - it was him, but he was black. The message is, I feel, that I need to get out more, perhaps to the South Downs, and you Nige should spend more time at home - indoors. I'm sorry, but somebody had to tell you...

  3. Thanks for the tip MM - that's virtuoso dreaming there!
    Enjoy those woods John...