Olga surprised me on our walk yesterday morning by going after a young starling. She was sniffing around intently underneath a car parked on the street, and I figured a squirrel or cat was probably under there, but then she lunged and a small bird rolled out. I held her back as it wobbled to its feet and made a few flopping attempts to fly, and I was afraid she'd injured it. But then it seemed to come to its senses and fluttered up into a nearby tree. It may have PTSD but I think it will recover.
I spent the morning on minor household tasks. For example, I potted a buddleia that had sprouted in an inopportune place next to our front steps. If it survives we'll replant it in a better spot.
I also gathered up a mound of soil that appeared next to our fence some time in the spring. This is a weird story: We thought a fox raked it up while digging a hole, but even after the hole had been refilled there was a lot of surplus soil, and it wasn't of the clayey type that predominates in our garden. I think what actually happened, and I'm surprised it took me so long to realize this, is that Mrs. Kravitz (or one of her gardeners) dumped a bucketload of soil onto our side of the fence. I think it came out of her raised bed where her compost bin used to be, and the foxes then dug into it because they smelled food compost and/or rodents. Am I paranoid? Possibly.
Anyway, I scraped all that extra soil into a garden trug -- completely filled it! -- and put it in the shed. I have no idea what we'll do with it. Maybe when winter comes and everything dies back we can spread it elsewhere in the garden, more evenly.
Then I took Olga to Hampstead Heath.
Exactly one year ago, I took her photo on the far shore of this same pond, with this bridge in the background. Here's the reverse view.
We had a good walk and she got a chance to splash around in the dog-swimming pond (which is not the pond above). Just a quick wade, really, but enough to get her belly wet, which she always likes.
On the walk home, Olga dove into a shrub and I thought, "Oh no! More baby birds!" But then a cat emerged on top of that brick column, and stared at her defiantly (and disdainfully). I'm not sure Olga ever saw the cat. I think the leaves were in the way.
I found some interesting china chips on the Heath. It's been a long time since we've walked anywhere I've been able to find them, so that was a fun blast from the past. I love those black-and-white ones, which were right next to each other and obviously go together. They're pretty thick, so I think they're from a tile rather than a piece of dinnerware.
In the evening I made my Craft Gin Club cocktail, the name of which I forget but it includes orange juice, gin and a simple syrup. I added a bit of Campari because that also came in the Craft Gin Club box and the picture with the accompanying recipe seemed to suggest it (though the recipe never mentioned it). For once, I liked the cocktail of the month!
Finally, because you asked, this is what a Turkish summer blanket looks like. Ironically, the brand is "English Home." Go figure!