Summer journeys almost over: butterflies, bees and boars.



From a very lush and wet warm summer in London, through the beautiful greens of France, stained glass of Chartres, Cloudy heights of the Pyrennes, Cool air of Bejar, to the hot and dry Sierra Aracena. However, the Sierra is always green in summer because of its varied trees; chestnuts, oaks and various poplars and willow.

The red admiral landed happily on the sunflower planted by my daughter in London. She loves the garden, birds but is not so sure about the flying insect world! The wild bit at the back with nettles helps the red admiral thrive.

Arriving at our finca there were few wild flowers. It’s the wild carrot time and a few yellow mullein. Most was quite dry. Apart from my garden areas where Ruth had admirably kept the plants well watered from the drought and heat of July and August.

A pretty wall brown landed for a while on the echinacea near the house. Bees and other pollinators seem to like this cultivated flower.


Another long journey. This cricket was on the windscreenwipers. We thought it would jump or be blown off. It stayed on its green home, our car, while we collected our freshly baked bread from our local village. It is an alternative bakery with organically grown wheat or rye flour. A large traditional clay oven is used. The cricket waited.

And the cricket returned for its photo opportunity and chance to be a celebrity in my animal stories of Navasola! We think its pholidoptera griseoptera, a dark bush cricket. ย There are so many, and then there’s the true crickets. And the cave cricket. And a camel cricket! It was light brown and the Dominion guide suggests there are several similar species in Southern Europe.

There is certainly a cricket with a high pitched chirp and it keeps me awake at night too. At least its not aircraft noise and it is rather soothing.


In April and May it was so wet. The rainfall in May filled our pond to overflowing. We went down to investigate the water level in the pond now. There was nothing. Last year it had retained water at a lower level through the long dry summer. Why had it dried out? The evidence was before us. That wild boar family that loved rolling in the mud in May. I guess now they’ve scored an own goal. No more water in the pond. Tusk marks in the strong, expensive, plastic base. Without this, the water did just drain away. We will have to rethink on this one. Seems a shame to put a boarproof fence around a water hole.

We’ve also just been reading about reports of wild boar, jabeli, visiting the beaches in Spain. At dusk I think and still not quite sure which beaches.The report in Spanish was about the increase in the wild boar population. Not enough hunters? I say, not enough wolves! We’ve got 7 more baby boar on our small finca. Perhaps some will move to the coast?

Apologies for not much blogging recently. I think I have been suffering from my own drought. I have been trying to re edit the first chapter of my novel.It’s been quite a journey writing it, literally as it has taken in a quest through Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Holland and the UK. A nature quest! I have also spent a lot of time struggling with rewriting the beginning and becoming anxious about the next stage. There have also been the chores and the DIY and clearing of beloved brambles and the heat! Most needs to be done in the early morning!

Thank you to all who read this far and have been following my journey. I look forward to some more catching up with you all. The weather is a little bit cooler. I have re edited my first chapter!

31 thoughts on “Summer journeys almost over: butterflies, bees and boars.”

  1. Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ It is fun to look at your photos and hear about your adventures! Beautiful sunflower and red admiral. I haven’t seen the chestnut, phlomis, or yellow mullein flowers before. I have noticed the butterflies and bees like the echinacea. It is too bad about the holes in your pond’s plastic base. The boars must have been rolling in the mud and water enthusiastically. Good luck with your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lucky you to have someone watering your garden! This was a brutally hot summer in Oregon and I’m afraid my mostly natural plants have suffered. It may be time for an irrigation system.

    Admire your writing pursuits – writing about one’s travels is really a worthwhile effort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I am fortunate and here we seem to have enough water in the well to keep things going. Not sure though if there would be enough for commercial growing. The chestnuts once were and the trees need the wet side of the Sierra.


  3. Great reading your blog! Clearly didn’t make it to Spain…wondering if me and Chloe can catch you last week of October (half term) when Kate will be in Australia!!..let me know your plans for October. Love to you both n Ruth n Sol!!and the wild boar!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck with your book. I am sorry your pond has been wrecked by the boars; it will be difficult to keep them out of it now whatever you try to do with it. BeckyB’s suggestion of two ponds is a possibility if you could find suitable fencing. All hard work and time-consuming too. It is nice to travel but, as we’ve found, there is so much catching-up to do in the garden when we get home. I can sympathise with your attempts at an ID for your cricket; I can spend hours trying to name something and still be unsure or more confused than ever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Being I n different places has a cost but my daughter seems to like looking after the London garden now. Here it is a challenge. My friend likes the boar now around her orchard, they help plough! But are not welcome near the roses. It seems odd the boar didn’t destroy inside the pond last year but with so much water in May I think they begun to enjoy mud baths! Am metaphorically ploughing on with the book now! Thanks for your comments

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Enjoy your posts so much! and sympathise with your experience of drought. When it gets bad here the wallabies break through the fences and chew ornamental plants like old roses down to mere stubs.

    I have only been to Chartres twice but I can close my eyes and see that unique blue any time. I envy you the Mediterranian countries…although I enjoyed Denmark, Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany etc, years ago, I enjoyed Spain and Italy more. The further south, the better..Strangely, in Britain it is the other way around. there, I am a natural northerner.

    I wrote a novel once. Quite an experience. My enthusiastic publisher no sooner had received the MS when he fell face first in his soup and died. In the wash up (pun intended) the small company went back to educational publishing and I decided, quite independently, that I was better suited to non-fiction writing…and Poetry, of course.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and enjoy being connected to so many different folk. Those wallabies sound a handful. Chartres was incredible and also the stained glass museum helped show the stories in the glass. At least you wrote your novel. I am almost there and would like to think some publisher somewhere might accept it but perhaps best not to be too attached to outcomes! Your poetry is your strength but it is good to try other forms.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That katydid must have liked his perch on your windshield. I don’t know how much damage the boar did to your pond. If it’s repairable you might be able to cut some pieces of plastic and use PVC glue to attach them. If you get a new pond what if you were to try lining the bottom with largish river rocks? They might not want to walk on them, let alone wallow there.

    That’s great that your writing a novel! Be prepared for a lot of hard work though (at least of its anything like mine was!). The writing was the easy part. Then comes the editing and publishing (if you’re self-pubbing) unless you find a commercial publisher. I still haven’t. If you do find a publisher everything else should be much easier as they take on those grueling chores themselves. Anyway, I found the writing to be BY FAR the most enjoyable. Once you’re done and you have that book in your hands you’ll get a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Enjoy it. Writing your own novel will be a huge milestone in your life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for th encouragement as I am not enjoying some of the editing whereas the writing seemed to flow and be creative.But needs to be done ! That’s a good tip about using rocks at the bottom. Because there was so much rain in May I think the boars got used to daily wallows and then it just dried out!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Live the photos with captions explaining them. Deer, skunk, opossum, jack rabbit, & racoon do the damage to gardens here in South Texas. I envy your travel. I have only been to Switzerland with a short day-tour through Germany. Europe is beautiful. Just majestic. I long to return.

    Thanks for stopping by #formidableWoman. ๐Ÿ’


  8. What a beautifully penned description!. The “star” is defintely the clay! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    you reminded me of a movie (Which I think was Empire of the Sun)… the boy put a clay in a alittle Wicker basket and many years later, he found the basket and the clay is still alive and singing… it seems they live a long life! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sending love & best wishes. Aquileana ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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