Bookended by bats

It has rained on and off for much of today, and the temperature has dropped. It is hard to believe that this is the last Saturday in May. This time last week was so very different.

Then we woke at 4.30 a.m. and took our mugs of tea into the garden, sitting on the bench looking out over the pond. It was very still. As the sky lightened, we first heard and then watched bats skimming the top of the wall behind us, before dipping over the pond and away. Bird song was almost the only sound: Blackbird, Blue tit, later Jackdaws and Rooks waking up. In the distance we could hear the occasional sheep in the Sentry. No traffic. For a brief moment there were both birds – Swifts, Swallows, House Martins – and bats in the sky, before we watched the bats disappear, one squeezing between the slate and the wall on our gable end. And then there was a buzzing of insects, and the cries of Swifts pierced our sleepiness. Back to bed for a couple more hours sleep, and by that time the town was awake.

It was a day spent in the garden: tidying, planting, watering, pottering around and potting up, to say nothing of breakfast and lunch outside.

And then driving south and west to the north coast of Cornwall, and a 60th birthday party. A warm, shirt-sleeve evening, a barbecue and another meal outside, as we watched the sun set over the Atlantic. And as the Swallows and Martins were lost in the dusk,  we once more saw and heard bats. A perfect day.