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Midsummer, allegedly

June 22, 2011

Yesterday was midsummer’s day. Not so’s you’d notice, though. Unless we had our entire summer on the day of the school Sports Day, we are still waiting for it to arrive this year. It’s cold, for goodness sake. Midsummer’s day never got above 11 degrees Celsius here (about 51 Fahrenheit, I think) and it was just tipping with rain from clouded dawn to murky dusk. I seriously contemplated lighting the stove in the evening. (Did I mention that it was midsummer’s day?) The cows were trotting from one tree to the next in search of one that would keep off the drips,

and the juvenile blue tits and coal tits that are normally squabbling over our kitchen bird-feeders were just sitting morosely on the window grille, fluffed up against the cold. See how each of them has wet feathers on its head.

I think these hunched shoulders speak for us all: we are not impressed.

Today it’s not raining all the time, and the temperature has made it into the teens: yes, thirteen degrees! It would really be very nice if this were, at last, the start of an upward trend –  for the sake of all us beasties.

One of the juvenile blue tits today: dry, but still looking chilly

If you like the birds, I took some photos of a newly hatched Oyster Catcher chick last year, which you can see at A des. res. for oyster catchers.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. hmunro permalink
    June 22, 2011 6:32 pm

    Your shots are lovely, DB, but the weather looks very dreary indeed. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’ll at least get a handful of sunny days before autumn. Maybe scheduling another (*shudder*) Sports Day may be in order? It seemed to at least bring out the sunshine …

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 22, 2011 7:05 pm

      Noooo, anything but that!! I’ll just cross my fingers with you…

  2. Toffeeapple permalink
    June 22, 2011 6:50 pm

    Such sad pictures, poor birds. I do hope that the weather cheers up soon for all those suffering in the north of the British Isles.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 22, 2011 7:13 pm

      Thanks – I mean, I know that parts of England have had the opposite problem, but really…
      Still, at least our birds are well fed here – the peanuts and seeds get devoured in no time – and they certainly have no shortage of drinking water!

  3. Margaret Lambert permalink
    June 22, 2011 8:21 pm

    I think we can agree that perfect weather is a rarity, which is why we treasure it. I know I’d love to have some drenching rain, and cool temperatures, though I do sympathize with the discomfort felt by all the beasties, both inside and out- mostly those that are out! Your boys must be very disappointed to be inside, when good weather would make summer what they dream of.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 23, 2011 10:31 am

      Well, of course it’s a British tradition to moan about the weather! I love our temperate climate, it just hasn’t felt all that temperate recently. The boys are still at school, so perhaps the sun will have come out by the time the holidays come round. If not – well, we are pretty used to wellies and coats at any time of year!

  4. Jean permalink
    June 23, 2011 5:41 am

    I hate to be picky… but maybe you will be happier if I tell you it’s just the first day of summer.

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 23, 2011 10:36 am

      Thank you, you are quite right, of course! May and June are usually our best months of the year, but there’s still plenty of time for some sunny days. I always think it’s a bit odd that ‘midsummer’ comes at the start of summer, and from now on the days are getting shorter yet the school summer holidays haven’t even started yet.

      Positive Mental Attitude: I’m off to enjoy the *beginning* of our (blessedly!) cool, wet summer. 🙂

  5. June 24, 2011 4:18 am

    Do hope the weather gets nicer for you! Here I am looking forward to the start of winter; we’ve already had a good taste of it! The wood fire has been going non-stop and I’m doing the usual complaining (to myself) about the mess on the hearth and dust over everything! 🙂

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 24, 2011 10:22 am

      Hope your lovely cockatoos don’t mind the cold. The beginning of winter is always a good time of year, I think.

  6. June 25, 2011 6:41 am

    We’re still building fires in the evening, and last night the rain was drenching. Can’t remember such a wet spring/early summer. It will be a short growing season this year. The local bears are hitting garbage cans because berries are just rotting on the vine. The flip side is no drought for the farmers ‘down below’ as us mountain dwellers say! Eventually we’ll dry out, and who was it who said that if it wasn’t for the weather people would have nothing to talk about?

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 25, 2011 6:13 pm

      Hah, whoever said that, they were so right! I’d heard that you are having a late spring: really we have nothing to complain about here by comparison. At least we don’t have bears to contend with! Our scariest predators are just birds of prey like buzzards and ospreys, and they don’t go for humans (or dustbins). We did have a young sea-eagle here a couple of winters ago, who was extremely unnerving, but he’s moved on.

  7. June 25, 2011 8:42 am

    Yes, you’ve caught the essence of midsummer. School sports day on Thursday was cancelled and rescheduled into two events next week (I am now exempt, thankfully, since daughter is on the music rather than the sports side, but still, I feel for the top athletes who are going for school/regional records before they leave school).

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 25, 2011 6:15 pm

      Oh dear, poor things! Hope the rain holds off for them next week. It does seem to be looking slightly more promising….fingers crossed…

  8. Michelle permalink
    June 26, 2011 1:00 am

    That is cold for summer! It’s winter here in Sydney and today is going to reach 19 degrees C!

    Michelle in Sydney

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 26, 2011 11:53 am

      Oh, it IS cold for summer, even a Scottish one. I’m not jealous of your climate at all…. 😉

  9. June 26, 2011 11:26 am

    We had a glimpse of summer on Friday, beautiful WARM weather so I could be outdoors in a tee shirt! But back to jumpers or fleece again now…sigh….. I too prefer cooler climes but a BIT of warmth would be so nice….

    • dancingbeastie permalink*
      June 26, 2011 11:54 am

      Exactly! These tantalising glimpses are not quite enough. Here’s hoping.


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