Even though I am still suffering from a mystery malaise, Anna and I managed to go to the PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday (as we tend to go each year and now we only live about ten miles away from the famous golf club.
Another hot day, not a cloud in the sky but quite a blustery easterly (which kept the pros' scores up and kept us nicely warm rather than hot) meant we had a lovely day out, taking it very easy in the sun and watching the professionals ply their trade.
We are both lucky that neither of us suffer unduly from hayfever (I never have) which was just as well, because the stiff easterly was whipping through the pines - and great clouds of pollen were covering all the 20,000 spectators who came to see the golf.
On walking to the 1st tee from the car park at the start of the day, we watched a hornet patrol a drainage ditch alongside a fairway (the first I've seen in 2012 (the hornet that is, not the drainage ditch).
Strangely .... I often tend to see hornets at national sporting events. I remember walking up to Twickenham many years ago to watch a league final and I spotted a hornet on the back of a Wasps fan's jersey. I wasnt dreaming or drunk - there really was a large live hornet on the back of his jersey. I stopped him and told him - but he didnt believe me (nor would I to be fair!)
Other wildlife highlights of the day included two hawker dragonflies (unidentified though I suspect Brown Hawkers) a huge black ant nest (onto which Brett Rumford mis hit his drive on the 12th - he got a free drop - something about ants not being in the Royal and Ancient Rule Book (I should write to St.Andrews!)) and a lovely view of a woodpecker nest.
This woodpecker nest was situated in a pine copse, low down in one of the pines, right at the spot where almost all the spectators grab a bit of lunch, a beer and go to the lav. If you know Wentworth west course, the copse is at the ring of the 8th, 9th and 10th holes.
When the woodpecker(s) built this nest, the copse must have seemed like a dream spot for a nest - but 4 weeks later, just before the single (I think) youngster fledged, 80,000 people turn up under your tree for a burger, over four days!
The single youngster in the tree was calling constantly - and to be fair the adult male didnt seem to mind all the crowds surrounding his tree - he regularly came back to his noisy youngster to give it some grub (quite literally) of its own.
If you saw any of the golf over the weekend - you may have heard our young woodpecker - it was still calling (and very clearly audible as I watched today's coverage).... but true to form, hardly anyone on the course seemed to notice it - and nor did any of the commentators...
I juggled the garden's needs (chicken coop clearout, hedge trim, grass cut) today with the Monaco Grand Prix (dull) and the final round of the golf (dull).
During my time in the garden I saw our garden's first ruby-tailed wasp (my favourite wasp of all), our garden's first "downy" jumping spider (Sitticus pubescens) -a new jumper to me that, so I'm well-chuffed to have spied it chewing up a greenfly on our patio and the second hornet of the year (after yesterday's Wentworth individual), a mint moth (first of the year) on our forget-me-nots and a common darter (another first) through the front garden as I trimmed our hedge.
I hear the weather will get slowly worse all week. Shame.... I'm getting quite used to the humidity, dragonflies, hornets and jewel wasps!