Back down to earth after yesterday’s Mottisfont display, we were nevertheless delighted to note the progression of Jackie’s south side garden, begun some time after the kitchen one. With few exceptions, her plants are benefitting from her love and attention, and the warmer weather.
Jackie was running out of certain specific items of bird food. They now take precedence over shopping for human nutriment. So we had to go to In-eXcess near Poulner on the A31 for replenishments. While she bought the avian fodder and sat with her newspaper in the establishment’s cafe waiting for me, I walked a loop taking in Hangersley, Linford, and Shobley. This consisted of sometimes steeply undulating lanes, harbouring idyllic homes, and offering views of sweeping woodland and hillside pasturage. The thick hedgerows are decked with dog rose, bramble blossom, and honeysuckle, attracting much insect life.
As I vainly wafted my ordnance survey map and watched horses switching their tails, I discovered why they are equipped with fly sheets.
The Surrealist artist Rene Magritte’s 1929 painting, ‘The Treachery of Images’ is of a pipe beneath which is the phrase ‘this is not a pipe’. The philosopher was correct. It was not actually a pipe, but the image of one.
Similarly, the insect that alighted on the dog rose, was not what it looks like. This was a harmless individual that masquerades as something else much more harmful, no doubt to scare off the opposition. Not a bee, not a wasp, it was a hoverfly.
Whilst she was preparing our dinner of delicious sausage, bacon, and liver casserole, Jackie was startled by a thud from outside, as of a bird hitting glass. She looked outside and saw a nuthatch on the welcome mat, with metaphoric stars in a speech bubble above its dazed head. It was then her turn to bang on a window as she came round outside the sitting room and I handed her the camera. On her return her little friend had recovered sufficiently to fly, but was disoriented enough to be perched at the top of the kitchen window blind. I don’t think it still had limited vision. It soon disappeared.
The aforementioned casserole was enjoyed with potato, carrot and swede mash; cauliflower; and, by me, the last of the Terres de Galets.