Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Go Wild in the Country...

Over the weekend, C managed to get this picture of a new visitor to one of the water dishes. It's very sweet, but I'm not sure I want to have it, and its entire family, roaming around so close to the house. Let's hope it's just the exceptional heat that's bringing it in to the garden for a drink... but, just in case, perhaps I should stop trying to shoo the big, black moggy away!

We were invited down to share a lovely lunch with friends on Sunday - sitting in the shady part of their garden, eating pasta and cheese, and drinking homemade elderflower cordial. Perfect! Then we walked across the meadows, and along the old railway line, to Long Melford for the summer fair. The weather just now is absolutely gorgeous, and such a contrast to a couple of years ago when it alternated between bright sunshine and torrential downpours, and we got drenched as we walked to the fair for the first time. It was one of our first tastes of the friendliness of the area we'd moved to, as a passing driver took pity and gave us a lift, sodden as we were.

The weather meant that the 'birds of prey' display consisted of completely drenched (indeed, fair drookit) owls and the like, sitting on their perches looking utterly miserable and endearingly comical!

But that also allowed us to see the impressive wingspan of the larger birds, as they spread out their feathers to dry them off whenever the sun came out.

Not so this year. The birds sat, snoozing in the heat, seemingly oblivious to the excitement all around them, and looking rather more beautiful than they did two years ago.

There were some gorgeous reptiles on show, and the children enjoyed holding this tiny creature which looked like something a Pixar animator had conjured up... A Tiger Gekko, I believe.

Snakes were stroked, like this beautiful Corn Snake, which twisted and turned itself into knots and slowly wound itself around whoever was holding it. I didn't hold either of these (too busy with my camera) but I once held a (small) tarantula, which felt like fairy feet tiptoeing over the palm of my hand. Fascinating!

This dog wasn't on show, but who could resist that fabulous face? I did feel sorry for all the dogs being walked around in their great hairy coats, with their drippy, slobbery tongues, panting furiously...

As well as the animal life (some of that in human form...) there were the usual suspects, like the brass band, a Punch and Judy show, stalls selling vintage country staples, food and drink (C went off and bought me a jar of honey) and a general air of bonhomie. All lovely!

On the way home we spotted an unfamiliar use for worn out walking boots in someone's front garden - perhaps it gives out the message that the owners are busy doing far more adventurous stuff to bother with gardening!

And we spotted some more slightly less exotic, but just as colourful, wild flora and fauna on the way home... a perfect day.

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