Doug Mackenzie Dodds - Images | A heavenly start to summer.

A heavenly start to summer.

July 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment


They (whoever "they" are) say "There's no such thing as good (or bad) weather. Just the wrong type of clothes".

They'd be wrong then. 

(Photo below is of part of our back garden this afternoon).

This current weather is GREAT weather. For me at least.

I am in my element in this sort of stuff  - the heat seems to breathe life into me.

That said, I have the fortune of NOT having to commute into or around a big city such as London to work. I did that for about a year, about a decade ago now - and have only just recovered!


For me... I simply can't get enough of the heat, the sun and the dust underfoot. The big, lazy, tropical-looking dragonflies and stag beetles that seem to love the south east of England. The shimmering lowland heaths, the nightjars and huge, noisy bush crickets. And of course the flocks of swifts, both non-breeders and newly-fledged, hoovering up as much insect life from the air as they can, before their depressing (for me) journey back to the Congo until next May.

Today was a perfect example of heaven for me.

I thought I'd not swim at the indoor pool (the big building in the background of this shot - but LOOK at the state of the field in the athletics track!) in my lunch hour (I often do) but had worked out the route of the RAF 100 flypast after the Mall at around 1pm - and so I thought I'd head up to Maidenhead golf club (a 15 minute drive from us) to intercept the planes and maybe take a photo. (I do love my planes, me!).

It was slightly weird having to work the flypast route out though. I thought that would have been published, but all any website said was that some of the planes (not the WWII planes unfortunately) would be flying over Windsor Castle and then Maidenhead.  I knew that their final landing spot would be at RAF Benson, so took to drawing lines all over Google maps to work out (as best I could) where would be the best spot nearby (to our house) to go and try and see the planes.


The best spot seemed to be Maidenhead Golf Club, very near the car park. And that ALSO gave me the excuse to go and see the course (which my father played at for a while, decades ago) and see if it would be worth me playing a round on, as I hear it's being turned into a housing estate before too long.

So... up to Maidenhead I drove, and apart from the unfortunate fact that I know Maidenhead Golf Club is a snooty old mens' club, I was in heaven at lunch time today.

Blazing hot sun.

A burned golf course (it looked absolutely LOVELY!)

Emperor dragonflies lazily flying about the tinder dry rough.

Roe deer suckling their young in the shade of the trees.

(In the shot below there is a roe deer AND an emperor dragonfly... spot them if you can!)

And WONDERFUL fighter planes to gawp at overhead.

(The photos below, in order are of Lightnings (F35s), Tornadoes, Hawks and finally, Typhoons (spelling out '100' for 100 years of the RAF, but by the time all those Typhoons came over in formation, I was too excited to look through a viewfinder to see my planes - so I put the camera down - hence why I got no good photo of the '100' formation!)).

We were lucky to (STILL... after 6 weeks or so!) have blue skies over Berkshire, for the fly by - as I gather it was quite cloudy in London, for the bigger fly-by up the Mall.

Anyway... yes I ADORE days like this.

Poddling about in the great outdoors, under never-ending blue skies and hot dust beneath my feet. Watching dragonflies and planes.

People do seem to be comparing the summer of 2018 to our old favourite, 1976.

Well... we're a little premature with that comparison of course, but I certainly think this is the "BEST" late spring (May and June) and early summer (last week of June and first two of July) that I can remember since, well... since 1992 I'd say. (My graduation year).

I've even had to provide water for our garden hog, something I rarely do.

Unfortunately, this water has attracted another visitor... this time unwanted though. (I'm afraid I don't share the British wildlife "lover" fondness for foxes (and nor would you if you kept poultry or had foxes dig up your stag beetle colonies!))


I do hear that this long, seemingly-never-ending heatwave may end (temporarily at least) next week. If that is true, well, so be it. What a wonderful few weeks we've had eh... and let's hope the kids (and teachers!) get a half decent summer holiday too, with a return to the weather we've had over the last six weeks or so.


A few photos to end this post - of bits of our garden(s).

We had little rain in May.

Only 1.2mm in June (and all in two days, in the first two weeks).

And NONE since!

I haven't even mown the grass in a month - the grass is just being burned away!

Three weeks ago (EXACTLY) our front "lawn" (of cat's ears) looked like this...

Now it looks like this.

And here are a few more photos of our gardens today taken with my phone. The first photo shows our pond area - the only "lush" part of our gardens at present - but truth be told - I've never seen the water level lower in the pond. The developing froglets and newts (and all other pond life) DESPERATELY needs some rain soon...


Not just me that loves this weather then, eh? The leaf cutter bees are working hard whilst they can in this dry, sunny early summer.

I just hope you too get to make hay whilst the sun still shines.

Catch you soon.



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