“It was an Indian summer, a bluebird sort of day as we call it in the north, warm and sunny, without a breath of wind; the water was sky-blue, the shores a bank of solid gold.”
As usual, as soon as the children were back at school, the sun came out with a full vengeance. It had been a glorious sun-filled week and I’m not complaining. According to the weatherman, tropical storm Leslie that wreaked havoc in Bermuda was the main culprit to why we were experiencing high temperatures and tropical sunshine. The hurricane and tropical storm tracked over the western to north Atlantic and got caught in the jet stream which continued running to the north east bringing warmer conditions. And here we are in September, enjoying a prolonged dry warm and sunny spell of summer-like weather in early autumn. Woo-hoo
This week was the National Zero waste week. It was time to declutter, recycle, reuse and relove. We try our very best to reduce waste. We bring our own bags to carry our shopping and I have some very lovely recycled jute bags in my collection. My brown waste-bin for gardening waste were always full and the blue bin for recycling newspapers, bottles and tins were only put out on the kerb once a month. And so was our ordinary waste bin. We don’t put it out every week. We have a compost heap where all the peelings, egg shells and teabags were deposited and then spread over the vegetable patch. When we moved houses, we gave away a huge load of gardening equipment to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust conservation team. And I think we might need to borrow some back because the further end of the garden was turning into a mini Malaysian jungle :-).
With such beautiful weather, it was a real shame to be stuck indoors. As soon as the clock strikes one (not that I’m watching), I’m out of the door ASAP. It was fabulous by the lakes, sitting on the bench with the sun and the breeze on my face having lunch. I tried not to eat by the main path because you’ll suddenly be surrounded by aggressive Canada Geese which will grabbed your sandwiches from your hands. I always had mine in a little clove at the end of the lake where a robin will be singing for a few crumbs and a family of moorhens darting in and out of the bushes. I was very surprised that they’d a brood of very young chicks this late. I think it might be their 3rd brood because there were different stages of juvenile chicks hanging about.
I know if I close my eyes for a second, I’ll fall asleep. It was quite hard to leave the warm bench back to work. But I did promised to sit for CC’s CIG presentation next week. She is presenting a paper on Shelf-ready books which was not a popular topic among our profession. It was a brief and concise presentation and I’m sure she’ll do it brilliantly. I do helped with Shelf-ready books when CC was away and honestly, I don’t know how management think it was a good idea.
Another day and another lunch break. This time a nice walk in the brilliant sunshine towards Nursery lake and Lakeside. Hundreds and hundreds of dragonflies patrolling the area, some furiously mating and others laying eggs in the water, dipping and depositing eggs for the next generation. Dozens of Canada Geese, Greylags and mallards were basking in the sun enjoying the quietness before the students return.
I walked further up and played hide-and-seek with the inquisitive wagtails. They came quite close and as soon as you pulled up your camera, whoosh, off they go with their piercing cries trailing behind them. Then they flew in closer again to check you out and the same thing repeats itself. I sat on the bench at the end of the lake and were joined by more dragonflies basking in the sun. If you pull the camera very s-l-o-w-l-y, you will be able to get some very amazing close-ups. Again, I could have sit here the whole day, but I’ve got to earn my living.
The next day was another lunch date with HI at our favourite place, The Fusion Bar. We’d been planning for ages but we couldn’t find the right date. We walked towards the Piazza which was humming with people having their lunch in the warm sunshine watching the Paralympics on the big screen. I wished I could join them but my lunch awaits me. I ordered the yummy vegetarian noodles while HI tried the Thai Massaman chicken curry. We kept each other up-to-date while finishing our delicious meal. After a nice, long cold drink it was a very slow dawdle back to work. I’d a hard time staying awake :-0
Babe came over to meet me for lunch the next day. He wanted to take some photographs of the dragonflies that I took at Lakeside. Unfortunately all the disabled parking along Library Road had been taken over by contractors and builders!!! Why? Shouldn’t the Security people do something about this??? We managed to find a disabled parking space beside Humanities. As it was too far for Babe to walk to Lakeside, we headed towards the fountain to see if any dragonflies were out and about. There were a few but they were too busy patrolling their territories. I took the opportunity to take a photograph of the Zeeman building which was featured in the Telegraph in its list of Britain’s most beautiful universities. Hmm…not too sure about that. A modernist design, where the Department of Mathematics was based, and was named in honour of the Japanese-born British mathematician, Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman, who was known for his work in geometric topology and singularity theory.
I ended the working week with another leaving do for CT from the Acquisitions Dept. She was heading to greener pastures in London and will be working at Kingston College Learning Resource Centre. She wanted to disappear silently but her colleagues don’t want any of that. Hey…any excuse for a party. As usual, the table was groaning with food and we’d a wonderful time tucking in. The party ended with drinks at Dirty Duck which I didn’t attend. But I bet everyone had a wonderful time. Good luck CT and please keep in touch.
On another lovely Saturday morning we made our way to Bradgate Park to check out whether the rutting season had started. As usual, a pit stop at Groby Pool. It was quite depressing to see the pool full of rubbish. From time to time, a shoal of small fish leapt over the water trying to escape a pike, we think. A Great Crested Grebe swam across taking advantage of the chaos. At the edge of the pool, a pair of juvenile dunnocks were pecking on the bread crumbs left by previous visitors.
When we arrived at Bradgate Park, it was heaving and we’d to park on the 2nd overflow car-park. Everyone was taking advantage of the last rays of the summer sun. We didn’t have to walk far. A herd of deer were feeding along the path, much to the delight of the visitors. A few of them were gorging their antlers into the bracken. This was done to strengthen their necks in readiness of the rut. It was quite hilarious to see these handsome beasts with clumps of bracken, ferns and grasses hanging from their antlers.
We continued walking and noticed that every bit of space along the River Lin was occupied. Children were cooling off and swimming in the murky waters. The ducks were standing by the banks, looking a bit pissed off. It was so warm that I’d to join the queue for ice-cream. We walked towards Lady Jane Grey’s compound hoping to catch a glimpse of the Little Owl. But I guess all the birds were keeping themselves in the shade. It was just too hot to be flying about. And we agreed. We walked back to the car and the mercury hit 31C!!!
Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
We’d an early morning trip to our favourite playground to get the ring seat at Steely Hide. By hook or by crook, I’m going to see the kingfisher. We managed to squeeze in between 3 early birders and waited and waited and waited… and one by one the early birders left. We took photographs of dragonflies patrolling by the reeds and waited and waited…Then one by one the hide started filling up and it got noisier and noisier…and noisier. We just had to leave. As Babe said…there was a reason why it was called a HIDE!!!
We walked through the forest towards Baldwin Hide. The main island had its annual trim and we could see what was on the island more clearly. There were plenty of Lapwings, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Mallards and Tufted ducks enjoying the warm sunshine. Then one by one, the hide started filling in and the noise started building up again. We got up and left and decided to go home. It will be the same in all the other hides. It was just not our day. As we walked back to the car, we spotted a flock of swallows sunbathing and flying around the cement factory. I bet they were discussing when was the best day to fly back to Africa. Bonn voyage and fly safely.
I wanted to check out the small blue butterflies that Babe photographed earlier this week by the tip. But it was too hot and we were already feeling the heat. We did check the watering hole by the reed-beds. There were plenty of dragonflies but they were too fast for our cameras. We could hear the Green woodpeckers calling from deep in the forest. We walked back to the car when this handsome buzzard flew over us. The sun was still shining brightly. It had been a wonderful weekend. Our summer had finally arrived and it was about time too.
“The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season, and infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled.”