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I’ve deliberately given myself a quieter day than yesterday – not least because of the heat, which was pretty fierce today – but I did prune a few shrubs so I could at least feel that I’d done something useful.

R (who after spending the morning working had spleen to vent) moved several barrow-loads of stone from the pear tree bed for me – the chap who owned the house before us seems to have had the idea of turning that bed into a rockery, but because he used small pieces of stone from old farm walls the result was more like a slag heap, and I’ve had to pull the stuff out a lump at a time as I’ve cleared and cleaned the soil for planting. R also ripped out a lot of cow-parsley, which has self-seeded all through the garden – after all of which his mood was positively beatific.

Photographically I didn’t have the best of days. I had thought I might be going to bring you the best insect porn yet – a Hairy Shieldbug orgy – but because they were sitting at odd angles and in differing planes I couldn’t get a close shot with all of them well-focused. Besides, I’m not sure you’re old enough yet to learn about that kind of behaviour. Then I photographed (with great excitement) a hoverfly I’d never seen before – but the photos were only good enough for recording. And yet again I had four different species of butterfly in the garden (including, I think, a Holly Blue), but they just would not keep still; the only one that settled for long enough to be immortalised was a Speckled Wood, and that at a distance.

Luckily I had these pretty Icelandic poppies to fall back on – they have self-seeded in the top of the dividing wall between our garden and our neighbour’s, and were dancing rather prettily in the quite strong breeze that was blowing this afternoon. I photographed them yesterday, and the shot received a positive reaction in the AYWMC Facebook group, but today I noticed that more had opened and that I could get an angle which had sky as a backdrop rather than the neighbour’s back door. I find them rather cheerful and optimistic, and I hope you like them too.