Giovanni cut down a couple of dead, unsightly juniper bushes on the hillside today.
They were so dry they burnt instantly.
Here the flames are just beginning to lick through the twigs with their brown needles and heavy crop of shrivelled blue berries.
I took this photo two years ago of a whole tent (or web) of caterpillars.
It seems they like cherry trees.
The ones I set aside from yesterday are still alive and weaving their own new web around and around the box I’ve confined them to.
It wasn’t exactly a parade, Giovanni and me walking through the orchard applying the post-flower spray, but the rain timed itself perfectly: first spots as we finished the mixture.
So that was that. All washed off.
However, we discovered some extremely lively tent caterpillars on a cherry twig as we went by.
Also, when I looked through my new microscope (advance birthday present from Clive) at aphids pre-spray and post-spray, there was a definite air of lethargy about the latter.
The spray takes a lot longer than the half hour or so it had to take proper effect, but maybe we did do some good.
This is the path Giovanni has just strimmed.
The leader is Galileo, back to his usual self.
According to our normal vet, it’s very unlikely he was in fact bitten by a viper. The signs apparently suggest he had an anaphylactic shock from something like a hornet sting.
There are certainly plenty of hornets around. We’ve been advised to have Bentelan on hand to give him an injection if it happens again.
“There’s been a landslip!” Giovanni called.
“Oh that’s old,” I said, thinking he meant the grass-covered amphitheatre-shaped hollow a little further down.
Then I got nearer and realised it was brand new! It must have happened in the last few days!
The dogs had a wonderful time clambering over it.
Landslips are a common feature on these steep slopes with their shallow soil.
These marigolds are visible from afar – bright flames against the green.
I’ve been trying to conjure up flames like these for ten days now, ever since one of the glow plugs in the stove packed up.
A new glow plug is on order but today’s a Feast Day (Liberation Day) and nothing exactly zips along at the best of times here.
So meantime muggins has to light the stove by hand – sometimes multiple attempts – every day, and every time it decides to go out.