Friday 10th July 2020, 5.25pm (day 3,242)
When the sun shines, we all deserve to perch on a fern somewhere and stretch out at 5.25pm on a Friday evening. Lockdown or no, it’s been a busy week. And butterflies have a lot still to do.
Well into our fourth month of paranoia and I (and this jackdaw) can’t be the only ones looking like this. I remain just about functional in a technical sense, but I’m just pointing my camera at things at the moment rather than being creative. There is so little to appeal about the world right now.
Plenty of rain over the last few days has swelled Yorkshire’s rivers, including the Wharfe: and high winds last night and today presumably have brought this big chunk of tree down into it somewhere upstream of the weir at Wetherby, which is where this picture is taken. For now, it waits here… doubtless to continue its journey toward the sea once the next swell takes it over the lip.
This is a follow-up shot to last Monday’s shot. As we have more flowers on the squash/pumpkin/potential producer of large orange fruit, but a lack of insects buzzing around inside our house in the brief hours of flowering, we’ve been doing our own pollination, with cotton buds. It’s a good thing my hay fever has gone down over the years — though the weather was so revolting today that I doubt there was any of this stuff doing the rounds outside. If you don’t believe a whole country’s weather can turn from Mediterranean to Arctic in three days, you’ve never been here in June.
This squash plant is growing on the window sill of our room. Now I’m no expert on botany, and it is true that one rarely gets the chance to observe flowers in such controlled conditions. But I have never seen a plant that blooms in such an ephemeral way. This flower had not opened at all last night: here is what it looked like at 8.30am. But it was already withering. By 11am it was visibly drooping and by not later than 4pm it had shrivelled away to the state of the one visible behind it — which had done all this two days ago.
I hope it got what it wanted out of its few hours of glory, anyway. You have to hope that evolution still knows how to build things that are fit for purpose.
One of those days where I pointed my camera a lot at nice things, but didn’t manage to come up with many photos that I liked. But these cows will do — they look suitably ruminative and peaceful, a state of mind I am trying to occupy at the moment, even if mostly, I am failing.
The beetle negotiates the wood crevasse, in its funny little helmet (where are its eyes?) and feeling the way ahead with that unicorn horn, which is so protuberant that here it’s become annoyingly just out of focus. I have no idea what species this is; it’s not a European rhinoceros beetle as it’s the wrong colour and we’re not supposed to have them in the UK anyway. It was about an inch (2.5cm) long.
Digitalis purpurea, the common foxglove, always brightens things up at this time of year. Both its Latin and English names come from the way the flowers slip perfectly over one’s fingers; but as bees like to crawl up them too, don’t try this without checking first.
These kinds of things are universal, aren’t they. I probably had a similar look when seeing Joe off into town that first time.
This was taken on the Rochdale Canal in Mytholmroyd, making this the first time there have been two pictures in a row from outside of Hebden Bridge since March 10th and 11th.