Not sure what to call this update. There's nothing much of substance in it and yet I feel the need to mark my presence in the world.
The lovely weather has definitely morphed into summer. This is marvellous and has made me much happier. Unfortunately, the very high temperatures give me another excuse to shirk on work in the garden, it's just too hot out there for most of the day.
The replacement beans and sweet corn are just beginning to sprout. I did put up a couple of bean wigwams on some land Paul cleared while he was here and hope soon to be able to plant out the Painted Lady runners and a mishmash of climbing French beans, Carter's Polish which impressed me last year and some Cosse Violette which are part of my ongoing search for the lost purple bean of my youth. I'll probably start another half dozen climbing beans to extend the season and there are some bush beans, Royal Red, nearly ready for a row of their own.
I've also got a batch of Striped Bunch half runners but I have to clear the land for them in the back garden where they are isolated from other beans and also from the depredations of deer. To plant out with them I have the Dutch Cappuciner peas that came from the Heritage Seed Library this year and survived mouse attack in the greenhouse. One lonely Moschata pumpkin makes the set for the patch which is sharing with the soft fruit until a new fruit garden can be made for it.
I'm disappointed that the other pumpkins, Whangapararoa Crown and some Sweet Dumpling are yet to germinate. I don't think the seed is too old but they do seem very slow and if they're not up in a couple of days the worst will have happened.
The fluffy girl cat managed to choke on something yesterday evening and has hurt her throat. Her meow, always a bit reedy, has gone altogether and she has had some wheezy breathing over night. I've been worried enough to consider taking her to the vet although I could see no obstructions but she had some breakfast and seems happy enough so I'm hanging on to see if the irritation passes by itself.
Crow is looking skinny and rather seedy too but that probably comes from lying in the long grass waiting for mice to pass by. He is still the best hunter of the three and the most demanding of my time waking me at all hours of the night for no particular reason I can see.
Big fat Rook on the other hand never seems to trouble himself over much. As long as he gets a good cuddle when he wants it, and he'll jump right up and take it, he manages life with dignity and gravitas.
Just for the record, our only pair of swallows have successfully raised their first brood of the year. The strongest baby came out for a flight a few days ago and for the last couple of days there have been four young swallows practising their flight and enjoying the sunshine. It's remarkable how the parents managed to find enough food for them all during the terrible weather of April and May but they did it. I hope the babies grow strong quickly and learn to look after themselves in a wicked world.