21. The summer solstice meant that it was the longest day of the year. At around 10pm it was still really light outside, but I noticed the moon was bright and beautiful. I therefore grabbed my binoculars and did some moon-gazing. Even with a pair of binoculars you can see craters and the distinctive ‘seas’.
22. I spent some time at my Grandma’s house in the afternoon before going for afternoon tea with her, my mum and sister. Whilst I was there, we watched her garden birds and I topped up her new bird table with seeds and mealworms (which had all gone when we returned from our tea).
23. Saturday was spent at my in-laws house. They had blue tits nesting in one of their birdhouses this year for the first time, and throughout May their eggs hatched and we could hear the chicks chirping as the adults went back and forth with little green caterpillars. They hoped they would see them fledge before they went away on holiday at the beginning of June, but unfortunately they didn’t time it right. We discussed the birds, when and how the fledging would have happened and are now hoping more nest there next year for us all to see!
24. It was my mum’s 60th birthday, so we had planned a lovely garden gathering to celebrate the day. We literally spent all day outside relaxing in the wonderful sun (protected of course). It was a very nice day indeed.
25. About two months ago, I was gardening and found a moth pupa under an upside down plant pot that I moved. I left the pupa where it was and found it the next day half buried in the soil. I kept checking on it, where it remained in the soil for weeks. I couldn’t identify it so had no idea how long it was meant to be there for or if I would ever find out what sort of moth is was…
Then, last Monday evening (25th June) I went outside to see if it was okay in the heat and noticed the pupa now on top of the soil. I hoped a cat hadn’t fatally dug it up… but then something caught my eye on the fence about 40cm away from the case! A beautiful olive and pink Elephant Hawk-moth!!! It stayed still for a few minutes and then it’s wings began to vibrate (which I managed to record). I stayed and watched it until it flew off to start it’s new life as a moth.
26. It was a very busy day at work, but I made sure I left the office and had some time outside. I walked to the park during my lunch hour and sat in the shade for a bit, watching the trees moving lightly in the breeze.
27. I planted a few sunflower seeds back in May, but as soon as the shoots started appearing, they were eaten by slugs! A few weeks ago I read about a clever ‘hack’ and thought I would give it a go. I found a recycled plastic bottle, cut it in half around the middle, added some holes and then covered one of the remaining seedlings with it. The idea was that over the next couple of weeks this would act as a little ‘greenhouse’ as well as keeping pests away… and it actually worked! I was able to remove it on the 27th as the plant had reached the top and another had also started to grow with it. I separated these to avoid competition, so hopefully I will have at least one sunflower by the end of summer.
28. I have a half an hour walk each way to and from work every day, which is great for my fitness but can easily become repetitive and not pleasant when there is a lot of traffic and noise on the roads next to me. On the 28th I had the opportunity to walk in from a different direction, across a sun-dappled park and enjoyed the peace and quiet very much!
29. Another thing I noticed on my usual route home (near the main roads) was just how much litter there was hidden in the long grass alongside the pavement! My attention was drawn to it as a teenager was kicking a plastic bottle along the floor and instead of picking it up, decided to do a final big kick into the grass. As soon as I got home, I looked online for local litter picking groups I could join and found the #LitterHeroes via Keep Britain Tidy where you can find events in your area, get advice and support on organising your own litter-pick and access Keep Britain Tidy resources. I have signed up and will keep my eye open for local events.
30. My back yard is canopied by a lovely big tree, so I was able to comfortably keep out of the sun and spend some of the morning doing a bit of gardening and generally neatening up the outside area.