Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Bush cricket, Tettidoniidae

This is the Great green bush cricket, Tettigonia viridissima.  When we were in the Dordogne last month the grass was full of crickets, and this was the easiest one to catch.  They tended not to fly away, just to walk all over you and jump in short hops.  I could quite understand people making pets of them.  The smaller crickets were another matter; they were hard to catch, and did try to escape as soon as you opened your hands.

Back in Scotland we are having a dreadful summer, thank goodness we have had the Jubilee and the Olympics to cheer us up.  And didn't the olympics go well?  I think we all expected it to be a disaster, as we always do.  So it was wonderful that it was such a success, not just in wining so much, but more as the whole event itself.  I think we are all still a little bemused by it all, and wondering where we went right.  If only we could do other things just as well. Perhaps the Queen to take to parachuting a bit more often.  She's up here now, so she missed the closing ceremony.  It is a comforting feeling to know we have a queen who would rather be out in the rain and mud of the moors with her dogs than down in the lights and glory of London with the posh folk. 

Anyway no strawberry jam this year as the strawberries are either not ripening or going to a mouldy mush.  The potatoes so far have been good, and the lettuces too, but everything else has been a disaster.  In the Middle Ages we would be facing a famine.  

On a brighter note we will definitely not be cold this winter.  The old man who used to deliver our logs has retired, so we ordered some from another source.  Now the unit in which logs are delivered is a "load".  So we ordered 4 loads, as we still had a lot left over from last year.  We were a little surprised at the price of a "load", but had been warned by our old supplier that we might have to pay more.  So anyway the first load turned up and it was twice the size of the "load" of the previous supplier.  Consequently we have filled all our log storage and have some under tarpaulins.  What's the betting we are in for another mild winter?   

Well my dog is telling me in no uncertain terms that it is time to go out into the mist and wander round the muddy woods. This morning when we got to the top of the hill the mist was all around and it felt like we were on an island with vague shapes of land in the distance - a bit like a Chinese painting.  Mist feels lovely on the skin, but makes a right mess of your hair, and it turns my black dog into silver till she shakes it off.