Bimonthly Weather Report
These two months were considerably more wet than in 2010. The rainfall totalled 35 mms last year and it was 125 mm this year. This at least restored the balance of the drought in the first half of 2011.
Unfortunately the vegetables suffered well before July commenced and although it has been possible to get some beans planted and crop, some crops have been totally futile. The parsnips totally failed to germinate and there was no attempt to plant a third time in July.
As I reported for May-June, the hay crop was appallingly poor.
Nevertheless some fruit crops have done quite well. There were quite a few plums and the walnut and chestnut trees will probably produce good crops. In an entry on this blog I have commented on the fruiting of the True Service trees (Sorbus domestica). Their fruit crops are immense and branches are breaking under the load. Such also happened with apples and plums.
Partridges have been scuttling around as the car approaches along the lanes. But not immediately near the house. The odd hare scampers across the field as I write this piece and we see small family groups of roe deer on some mornings from the bedroom window.
But it seems to me that insects generally have not been as prolific as usual. There have been very few sightings of the horse fly [I seem to think - none!]with large green eyes (Philipomya graeca). The Silver Washed Fritillary butterfly has hardly had a sighting, yet in previous years we normally see several at once trapped indoors and trying to get out of the windows. There has not been the usual numbers of Marbled White butterflies. Small flies of the house-fly type appear to have been less abundant.
There was a fairly good cropping of fungi at the end of July some days after a downpour of rain, but it was not repeated after the 26 mms of rain on the 26th August.
A few Cesar’s mushrooms were seen in July. No cèpes!
Towards the end of August a few Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis – an orchid) have appeared on the pasture and I have noticed that some other flowers are flowering quite well at this time – Sickle leaved hare’s ear is fairly abundant in its accustomed location and the yellow Odontites is quite luxuriant.