all creatures great and small ...
Being a country dweller I am familiar with the every day comings and goings of cows, sheep and horses. I see tractors trundling up and down the fields, or pulling great wagons loaded with hay and straw bales; sometimes huge tanks of liquid manure to spray over the fields.
Most of the cows are black and white Friesians; but there is one brown and white young lady who caught my attention the other day. She came right up to the fence; lowered her neck under the barbed wire to reach some fresh morsel of grass, when I noticed her markings. Her hide was covered in dark, snowflake type patterns. I have never, ever seen that on a cow before! I can only imagine that they are blood vessels beneath the skin; marks that don't show up on the black cows. I have never seen the like - quite beautiful, but at the same time quite weird.
Later, Dave called out that he was going out for a quick walk; five minutes later he rushed back in for his camera; he had seen a spotted fly catcher down the lane; it won't still be there I said; it will he said; they fly from a branch, catch an insect and fly back to the same branch and lay in wait for the next insect to come along. And sure enough there it was on the same branch when he returned.
Not a spectacular bird by any means, but a good spot nonetheless.
Then another strange thing occurred; the ants that have been nesting in one of the plant pots, suddenly starting massing on the patio. Hundreds of them running all over the place, looking lost and disorientated. I believe it is something to do with the queen leaving the nest to lure males into mating and swarming when she returns to the nest and births a new colony. (I call it nest, I am not sure what you call an ants' home)?
The butterflies have suddenly arrived too, smothering the buddleia in a feeding frenzy. I have been wondering where they had got to; it seems they arrive when the time and conditions are right for them, and not before. Lovely to see them - Dave took this great shot of one perched and ready for take off.
So you see, life in the country needn't be dull; there is always something going on right under our noses, and if you are lucky you can capture it all with your camera; including this cheeky squirrel, who appeared and disappeared just as quickly.
And this frog who popped up in the ivy after he had been disturbed by me watering.