Mainly Greens

Last year there was hardly an oak leaf that wasn’t tattered and almost skeletonised by caterpillars. This year the opposite is the case. Almost every leaf is pristine and perfect.

These reminded me of jigsaw puzzle pieces… A puzzle of oak leaves with the puzzle pieces cut into oak leaf shapes…

The light through the filmy transparency of newly unfolding beech leaves. You can eat the leaves when they’re this young in salads. You can also put them in alcohol and make a liqueur called Beech Leaf Noyau: fill a jar with young beech leaves, cover with vodka or clear alcohol for fruit preserving (some people use gin but I think the taste of the gin too dominant), leave (pardon the pun) for at least a month before straining and re-bottling. Add some sugar depending on how sweet a liqueur you like…

A slightly grainy photo of what looks to me like a ‘happy’ Green Hairstreak! Its face looks smiley!

Blackbird’s egg I’m pretty sure. Unconnected, but yesterday morning there was an irritated or upset blackbird in the barn. Making its incessant warning/distress sound. When I got there to see what was going on, a beautiful and huge Barn Owl – who had obviously been the problem, flew straight past me. I don’t know whether it was more bothered by the blackbirds harrying it, or by my turning up and demanding what was going on? I’m wondering whether if the owl roosting in the barn is the reason for the swallows abandoning a previously reliable nest?

A first generation Map butterfly. Glimpsed as I walked in the field next to the house. Not green at all – but the grass is…

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