Saturday, 18 September 2010

Autumn in Ormsaigbeg

There have been moments in the last few days when it's been hot in the sun - clear sky, light breeze, sunbathing-type hot. The wind's been in the north or northwest, though today it's a west-southwesterly, but Ormsaigbeg faces southeast and has Maol Buidhe to the west and Druim ne Gearr Leacainn to the north, so it's sheltered; and we've had showers to keep the garden happy. It's a time of year when it's wonderful to be outdoors.

All around us, the countryside is preparing for winter. As well as honey bees, there are innumerable bumble bees, mostly the smaller, pale brown ones - we haven't seen many of the big, black bumbling ones. The bumble bee pictured is doing so well his face is covered in pollen. And the wasps are around, but not in the plague numbers the newspapers were warning about earlier in the summer.

This stripy character was a good inch in diameter and had built a web whose anchor threads extended a distance of over six feet. He caught a large bluebottle and, while the wretched fly buzzed and struggled, wrapped him up and carried him away - still buzzing faintly.

It's been a great year for soft fruit. We've had the heaviest strawberry crop ever, and we've been eating raspberries since May - and both fruits are still coming. It was probably the fine, warm early summer, particularly in May and June, that set them up for the year.

Top photo shows a view westwards along the Ormsaigbeg road, with two croft houses, Port Beag on the right and Achashee at centre, and Maol Buidhe standing behind them.

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