The Way I See Things


Speckled Wood

After breakfast this morning we piled gear and ourselves into the car and drove over to Wales, to deliver the Boy Wonder back to his father at Tredegar House. Half way down the motorway, the Boy demanded a song. "What shall I sing?" I said. "The Wheels on the Bus." Oh, great: I hate The Wheels on the Bus. I overcompensated by hamming it up a bit, but that didn't go down well. "Why are you singin' it like that?" he said. "Sing it like this," - and proceeded to deliver (flat) a two-line version:

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
All through the town.

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish,
All through the town.

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep beep,
All through the town.

And so on. It was torture. Desperate to stop him, I racked my brains for a distraction, and after a few rounds of The King's Breakfast (which he loved as a baby, then hated, but is now starting to find amusing again), I dredged up Hey Diddle Diddle from the furthest dusty corner of the attic of my brain, and found myself with an unexpected hit. "But where have they gone though?" he said after every (required) repeat. "Where is the spoon now?"

I'd hoped to have the chance to take some photos by the lake at Tredegar, but by the time we'd done the handover and R and I had replenished our caffeine levels, it was raining; so this was taken in the garden at home. The scene caught my eye because it's unusual to see a Speckled Wood on a flower: they mainly feed on honeydew on the surface of leaves. This has been one of the worst years I ever remember for honeydew - back in June the trees in our garden all looked as though they'd been varnished, and you couldn't touch the leaves without sticking to them - but it all seems to have gone now, so perhaps the aphid season has ended, and the final brood Speckled Woods are having to look for alternative sources of sugar.

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