Friday, 31 August 2018

Animals in the 2018 Summer Garden

The 1st of September is the first day of autumn for me, so this is the last day of summer. It is a good day to look back and reflect on what summer 2018 has been like in the garden I share with Marty.

The trees and shrubs and herbs which we tend are the ever-changing backdrop of the garden, but the forground is animated by the animals we share it with, and that includes the people who have visited it - everyone made in the divine image.

My garden highlight this year is the visit of two daughters and three grandsons. What joy it was in early August to see my daughter Ellie's three boys, Jonah, Cormac & Soren racing around Marty's Labyrinth garden, and to play 'Grandpa's Footsteps' with them and their Aunt Amy - their energy made me tired just to watch them!

Cormac, Ellie, Jonah, Soren & Amy at the entrance to the Labyrinth

Soren, Amy, Cormac, Jonah and Grandpa played 'Grandpa's Footsteps' - Ellie took the photo
We did so much else in God's wider garden too of course - swimming and paddling in Lough Derg at the swings below Coolbawn, meeting cousins at the Nenagh Show, rowing to Meelick in Luska Bay, cruising with my brother Tom from Portumna Bridge to Dromineer...

And then there was a lovely Waller family barbecue in July on the patio, all descendents of William Thomas Waller of Prior Park (my Great-great-grandfather) and their spouses.

Descendents of William Thomas Waller of Prior Park and spouses
I saw few other mammals in the garden this year, except for the feral cats, but I saw traces of the the badger, and I suspect woodmice took a lot of Marty's pea and bean seeds.

Of the birds, I was delighted to have a calling yellowhammer in the hedge (a little bit of bread and nooo cheese), as we missed him last year, and I saw my first swift, no doubt one of those that nest in St Mary's of the Rosary in Nenagh, passing through.

It was a mixed year for butterflies in the garden - no holly-blues this year, but plenty of speckled-woods, ringlets and meadow-browns. I was pleased to see a single small-copper, and also a couple of fritilleries, probably silver washed. I was very worried by the absence of vanessids until the last fortnight, but now we have small-tortoiseshells, red-admirals, peacocks and even a painted-lady.

That is enough for this post I think, but I shall post again about the plants of Summer 2018.

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