Friday, 11 August 2017

Friday 11th August 2017

The last blog for a while.

The biggest and most stressful event of the day was the great cat roundup. Herding three cats whilst appearing not to be stressed, and three cats being very stressed. And then there is Mulder's bowels.

The plan was to lay in bed until seven, go down and give them a few kitty kibles, then WHAM, ambush each one and put them in a basket. That was the plan, and a plan which we executed perfectly, and by ten past seven, three cats, in baskets, and we could relax. And after covering them with blankets, the meowing calmed down, until it was eerily quiet.

Two hundred and twenty three Jools went to work at half seven, I had breakfast, got dressed, so that at five past eight I was loading the hire car up with cats and camera gear, and leisurely driving to Denton to the cattery, not getting mixed up with the boy racers on their way to work, no just tootling along at the speed limit, soothing Mulder as we go.

And it worked out perfectly well, I arrive just as the cate to the farm was open, paperwork checked and cats put in their pens. And the task was done.

So the trickiest part was over, but that doesn't mean we won't miss the mogs, we will. But as bad as putting them in the cattery is this time, the reverse is true when we collect them upon our return.

I have an appointment in St Margaret's, but have 50 minutes in which to get there, so I take the country lanes through Barfrestone, Coldred and Eythorne to West Langdon and home, along many sis foot sixers, as the road signs stated. I do come home, have breakfast, scrambled eggs on fried stale bread. Lovely. But it is already quiet in the house, no meows to break the silence, just me slurping my brew.

I am at the monument at quarter to ten, and search for the ALT spikes, to prove to the council there are there. Dan, the man from the council is no time, I show him the pikes, and reveals that his conservation expert had not been able to find them two days ago. Well, I found 11 spikes in total, and he agreed no mowing at the front until the end of the month. I explain the life cycle of the orchid, as they have Bees outside their offices and are thrilled about that, so I advise him to make sure the rosettes are not mowed after Christmas.

I can then go to Temple Ewell, to the downs above the village and hunt for orchid sand butterflies in the glorious sunshine, until the wind was due to pick up after lunchtime. I wanted to see more Adonis Blues, and see at least a dozen within 50 yards of the gate to the meadow, all bathing in the sunshine and glinting like sapphires against the green of the vegetation.

I was also looking for the Silver Spotted Skipper, a rare butterfly, now only found in the south east. But nearly two hours of searching revealed no skippers. I bump into two other snappers, and they had not found any Adonis but had snapped the skipper, so we swap info, in fact I take them to where I had seen most of the Adonis, and indeed within two minutes I had spotted one a few yards away.

To find the skipper, I had to climb further up the down, and where the trees die out, among an ancient track, is where the skippers should be. I see clouds of blues and Meadow Browns, but nothing that looked like a skipper. I few yards up the bank, I see an insect crawling among the grass. It was a Silver Spotted Skipper!

Silver Spotted Skipper Hesperia comma I get a few shots, not good ones, but good enough for me, meaning I could say I had completed my task and now the princess should be freed.

I walk back down to the car park and drive into town, I have supplies to get; insect repellant and cream for bites and stings. Just in case. I buy some shorts, meaning the US will be treated to my knobbly knees.

And that is that, all jobs done, tasks completed, I go home via Reach Road as I love to look over the Channel to France. And once home, I put the radio on to wait for Jools to come home, and so falling asleep on the sofa. Being on holiday is hard work!

Jools comes back at half four, and we make the decision to return the hire car back right away, meaning we didn't have to do it later on in the evening or tomorrow. Traffic lokked bad, but we get the job done in half an hour, back home and me cooking rice to go with the defrosted chili I had got out of the freezer that morning.

With the chili we much our way through the most of a bag of doritos and a bottle of pink fizz too. It is a fine way to start the holiday.

We pack, repack and put in stuff we had forgotten, but by nine we had two cases and my big camera bag packed, all ready for the morning. I think we are ready, is America?

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