So yes, I missed a few birds. Did I miss birding though? Nope. I am feeble, I realise this. But it is also extremely helpful to be able to dip in and dip out of hobbies. Probably a poor choice of verb when that hobby is birding, but you know what I mean. When I do dip in, I do so wholeheartedly. And when I take a break, I really take a break! And I enjoyed my June break very much indeed. All my spare time has been concentrated in the garden. I have given some out of control shrubs including the enormous Laurel severe haircuts (no nests, worry ye not). I have planted a new shady bed up with hostas and ferns and declared a mostly non-fatal war on intransigent molluscs. I have installed automatic watering in the form of soaker hoses. I have cleared out all sorts of rubbish that was hiding unseen behind greenhouses and so on, and in a rare outing taken the whole lot to the tip. I have been tending assiduously to all my Palms, Cycads, Agaves, Aloes and the like, and many plants which have had years of neglect have been repotted or top-dressed. Plants that I had almost forgotten I had and that despite any attention whatsoever had somehow developed into quite impressive and in some cases statuesque specimens have been tidied up and now take pride of place - I could do a whole post on Trachycarpus..... The tomatoes are swelling by the day and the beans are flowering profusely. Less edible but my bamboos have also had daily watering and lots of fertiliser, and as as result have exploded into years of pent-up growth - a Phyllostachys that had produced one cane a year ever since I had it is growing no fewer than 20 and they are double the height of the previous ones. A nocmig panda feels pretty much nailed on at this point. In short everything is spic and span and looking fantastic and I am very pleased at how a locked-down June has panned out.
It looks like July and August will see more of the same. Things are opening up of course, but only if you want to partake and I'm still quite happy at the moment not to. Our family holiday to Croatia just got cancelled, not a great surprise but actually we were not that keen on going as we felt it likely to have been more stress than it was worth and some way from the relaxing break had booked. We'll take the refund and just chill out at home. Or rather, chill out at home some more. But by the time September comes around I think I will be done with sitting around, comfortable though it undoubtedly is. The growing season will be slowing down, there will be less to do and my thoughts will be turning to somehow getting ready for the return of colder nights. Right now I am just fine but it is brewing, I can feel it. There is restlessness just around the corner, and this will need to be dealt with. I will need to go out. Possibly even out birding.
Spring was largely a write off. None of my original plans nor indeed their replacement plans amounted to anything. My dreams of weekend days out on the coast in May shriveled to the odd foray onto Wanstead Flats before the hordes descended. My foreign birding ambitions in Japan (then Argentina), Bulgaria and America progressively vanished as the world shut down. Family trips to Italy, Scotland and Finland were all similarly cancelled. Being at home in my greenhouse is all well and good, great succour in fact, but there will come a time when I get itchy feet and no amount of potted Aloes will sort me out. My worry of course is that it is too early to plan, too soon to know what will happen in the autumn. But I can't help myself, I am a planner and I have to have plans. In the back of my mind I am prepared for COVID-related disappointment, but putting that to one side there has to be something to look forward to, something good that gets ever nearer. The question is what will it be?
I don't know. But I intend to invest some time finding out..