Friday, July 30, 2021

Bugs and a Hollyhock


We're supposed to get some windy weather today as a result of Storm Evert, which is blowing ashore in Cornwall. It's going to be the first true test of my work to rig up the teasels. Fingers crossed!

Not much happened around here yesterday. I read, I went grocery shopping. YAWN.

Later, I was texting with Dave and eating dinner, sitting out on the garden bench, when I looked up and realized with horror that Mr. Russia was clambering around on the roof. It's quite high and quite steep, and he had no safety equipment. My first thought was, "We have no insurance!" (I'm not sure we could be held responsible for his stupidity, and he is part owner of the property whereas we are only the downstairs tenants -- but if he fell and hurt himself landing on the patio furniture, for example, could we be liable?) The Russians have been grousing about a small leak in their roof but they still haven't had roofers in to fix it, and it looks like Mr. Russia took matters into his own hands and installed some kind of jankety (that word again) patch.

Anyway, he didn't fall, thank goodness.

I wandered around the garden taking some photos of our insect life. Above, you'll see a speckled bush cricket on one of our roses.


Here's a bee, dining on the aforementioned teasels.


This wasp caught some sort of tiny green caterpillar on the teasels. Wild Kingdom!


And here's a bee digging deep into one of the burdock flowers. Can you see it, with its head entirely buried?

Also:


Some of our hollyhocks are finally blooming. These are the ones I grew from seed and planted out a couple of years ago. I think this is the last surviving plant. We had one flower last year, on a different plant that didn't reappear this summer. Overall, they haven't exactly thrived, but I think they needed a sunnier location than we gave them. If I get seeds from this one I'll try again and put them in pots on the sunny side of the patio.

Now, off to check up on the teasels-in-traction!

50 comments:

  1. Russians are so brave aren't they? Just like their great leader - Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. What a guy! On his own and without scaffolding, he would have stripped your old roof and re-tiled it before breakfast. Couldn't see Joe Biden doing that.

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    1. YP, the difference between Putin and Biden that Putin, as you suggest, would indeed do it himself. Competently, so I trust. Biden? He'd pay someone else to do the heavy work, take the risk.

      Apropos of nothing, you know what I find most disconcerting about Putin? He doesn't touch alcohol. A Russian not clasping a bottle of Vodka to his dark soul? I ask you. It worries me. And I don't mean this sarcastically. I mean it literally. Not that I would want what's-his-name back but there must be a mellow medium between overindulging and abstaining.

      What worries me even more that once good old reliable soothing Angela Merkel leaves office who will sweet talk the Russians then?

      U

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    2. Before stripping the roof, Putin would have stripped off his shirt and posed muscularly -- but then he IS getting a little long in the tooth for that kind of thing.

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  2. By law you wouldn't be liable for Mr Russia's stupidity. My hair stands on end that even some grown men don't know how to secure a ladder. Or someone standing on a wonky chair to change a light bulb. You do know, don't you, that most accidents happen at home? If there is one piece of advice I'd like to pass on to anyone: Don't take a shortcut. You will repent at both leisure and pain.

    As to "nothing much happened ... Yawn". Be glad. Why do so many people always want something to happen? Give me peace and quiet, nothing happening (other than flowers blooming and a leg not broken) any time.

    Waving a daisy at you and Olga,
    U

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    1. He did't even HAVE a ladder! He climbed out the third-floor window!

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  3. Great pictures as usual!
    We did have a roofer who fell while doing repair without proper safety measures. I'll never forget the thump noise when he hit the patio. He was not seriously hurt and all neighbors called the ambulance at the same time. The paramedics arrived with the police in tow, which was alarmed by them and the roofer lost his job.

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    1. That was my nightmare, exactly: I didn't want to see it happen and have to run for help. (Or administer CPR.)

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  4. Teasel count, three. Great close up photos.

    I wouldn't imagine under English law that you would be liable for what Mr Above did that resulted in injuries through his own actions.

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    1. I hope you're right about liability. I originally come from a country where people invent creative reasons to sue each other.

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    2. Judge Judy sorts them out.

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  5. I don't think you would be responsible for that nit wit's stupidity. Your photos are wonderful. I love your Hollyhocks. They remind me of my childhood. You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

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    1. Glad you like them! I love the hollyhocks too; I only wish more of the plants had survived. I originally planted about a dozen of them, I think.

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  6. Congrats on your garden making it to the telly. You do have a beautiful garden.

    Those shots are amazing, up close and personal, with the insect life in your garden.

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    1. Thanks! I always get a kick out of the bug life.

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  7. I'd think if Mr. Russia fell it'd be all his own fault. Crazy to get up on a steep roof like that!

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    1. I couldn't believe it. My heart was in my throat.

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  8. Your Russian neighbor reminds me of the Little Red Hen. "Well then, I will do it myself!"
    Now here's what I'm wondering- did his wife goad him into crawling out onto that roof to patch it or was she inside with her hand clutching her throat as he made the repair?
    Beautiful bees.

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    1. She was standing just inside the window, but I'm not sure how she was reacting!

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  9. If your neighbor fell it would be his own fault. I'm glad he didn't fall.
    Lovely photos. The first one is such a beauty.

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    1. Thanks! I like that one too. The cricket was still on the flower a day later -- he must be living there. :)

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  10. You described my day for today - I will grocery shop and read! Ho hum is right!
    But the sun is shining and it is a bit cooler today so maybe I will add a nice walk too! Thanks for the great shots of your garden and your insects!

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    1. Take advantage of the nicer weather! I'm hoping to get out some time today if it's not raining.

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  11. I love all your critter pics - insects are so various and interesting!

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    1. I love them. They are endlessly fascinating.

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  12. How restoring it must be to have such a beautiful garden in the middle of a large city. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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    1. It is a huge part of why we love this flat!

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  13. Oh those teasels! I’m glad you've managed to maintain this long for the happy insects. For your own peace of mind, I hope you don’t wake up one morning to find Mr. Russia’s body has flattened your teasels!

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    1. Ha! He'd have to fly like Superman to land on the teasels, but hey, anything is possible.

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  14. Isn't it amazing the things we see if we look closely... Wild Kingdom, indeed!

    I couldn't have watched the Russian. My heart would have been somewhere in my stomach, racing madly.

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    1. Someone once told me that photography was all about paying attention, and it's true. We just have to watch for what's going on around us. I was terrified the whole time that guy was on the roof!

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  15. Your photos are especially good today. I'm glad Mr. Russia didn't fall and injure himself on your patio furniture. Several years ago I had a problem with 2 little boys left unattended all day. They became interested in climbing and ended up going from the roof of their shed to the roof of my garage. I gave them holy hell and called the police. I was not going to have them getting injured on my property.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Yeah, that's the risk, isn't it? It's terrible that we have to be so fearful of potential litigation. (Especially in the states.)

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  16. Holy cow! Your photos are always interesting; these today are exquisite! A good reminder to look closely. Heading out to the garden right now to do so!

    Chris from Boise

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    1. Glad you liked them! I hope you found some good stuff in your garden too!

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  17. After reading your comments about the wind, I popped over the the Abbey Road webcam to see if it was blowing and sure enough, the trees were dancing in the wind. I hope the garden is doing okay.
    You have a lot of insect activity going on back there. That's a good thing.

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    1. Everything endured the wind just fine, fortunately!

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  18. You are on next so excited x

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    1. Woo hoo! Did you see us? We weren't on for long but we had fun.

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  19. So you spend all your time taking pictures of bugs and don't have one single picture of the crazy Russian on the roof? You might have entertained your insurance agent with that if the daring roof climber had fallen onto your patio furniture.

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    1. Actually I DID photograph Mr. Russia on the roof, mostly so that if he fell I'd have evidence of what he was doing! But I didn't want to post it out of respect for his privacy. :)

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  20. I am here to second Catalyst. And you better be glad you don't live downstairs from us. You'd have a crazy American (not me) climbing around the roof if ever there was a leak. Tim is not one to wait for someone else to do a job he can easily do himself.

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    1. I guess "easily" is relative, because this did not look to me like an easy repair!

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  21. PS: I've begun to say 'jankety'. It just popped out of my mouth today and it made me laugh as soon as I heard me.

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    1. Ha! It's very useful! You'll probably say it all the time now, like I do. :)

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  22. are hollyhocks related to mallows I wonder. they look very similar.

    it's so hard to catch bees in a good photo. they are always moving.

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    1. Yes! They are related to mallows, rose-of-Sharon and hibiscus, I believe.

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  23. One thing my husband and I learned when he re-roofed our house five years ago was that in order to install and later un-install the anchor that the safety rope attaches to, you must first clamber all over the freaking roof WITHOUT safety equipment. Also, the body harness is bloody uncomfortable, especially in the summer, which is, of course, the season in which to roof for best results. Just some trivia for you!

    Even with the wide prevalence of burdock plants here, I can't recall ever seeing the blossoms, although Google tells me our plants have the same kind of blossom as what you show. It's really quite striking. Unfortunately the burdock is considered an invasive species in Nova Scotia because it spreads so easily and prevents native plants from growing.

    Your photos are always a treat, and I don't say it often enough.

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    1. Mr. Russia climbed out a window to do the repair -- I was surprised he didn't at least tie himself off to some solid piece of the building. I think I would have done so. I don't doubt a safety harness would be uncomfortable, though.

      I remember you saying that before about burdock being invasive in Nova Scotia. I believe it's a native species here. The flowers don't last long -- they go from purple to brown pretty quickly and then the seeds start forming in those devilishly prickly seedheads.

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  24. I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who thinks those wrought iron posts are phallic! Clever sign. “Save our children” Yes, those children from those idiot parents. (Sorry.) I had never seen canna seed pods. I would have been concerned, too.

    The video is wonderful. Congratulations. You’re a great presenter and should have your own show “Our Weedy Garden.”

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  25. Lovely beastie photos!
    I have some hollyhock seeds...

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