I wrote about these slow flying, heavy beetles a few days ago.
This evening, I was putting clean sheets on the bed when the deep buzzing of a May Bug caught my attention. I quickly cupped it into a jar, as shown, before taking it out to the back garden for release by the goat’s willow.
The photograph is the view from the tail. It shows the egg laying protuberance of a female.
On the head the two feathered antennae, like grotesque false eye-lashes, are visible.
With wings folded the Cockchafer is the size of a man’s thumb; with wings buzzing, it looks like a blurred flying ball. I will sleep more easily without this specimen crawling around my bed.
The sunlight of recent weeks has been a boon, but these darker days are more in tune with the current mood. Are they reflective of it, or the cause of the recent shift in humour?
I realise that the lowering clouds, the loss of the greater space beyond, is matched by the thickening of leaves on the trees. Beautifully green and full as they are, for example, the hawthorn bowed with May blossom, the filling out of trees also narrows any available perspective.
When the rain comes, it comes hard and heavy. It is sharp on the window, almost a clattering, almost icy. In the lane loose stones, previously strung out in long trails by the occasional passing vehicle, are swept up and driven downhill. The dust coagulates into mud, collects at the bottom of the fast-formed puddles, is left in sticky heaps when the rainwater has drained.
A female blackbird, (a lively brown creature) lowers itself into the centre of a puddle and uses its wings to splash water droplets on its back, ducks forward and scoops up water onto the back of its head. When the burst of rain has passed the songs of blackbirds are the first heard. The rain is welcome.
April has passed in a blur of statistics and official announcements that announce no material change from the previous official announcements. The government graph does not describe some Swiss mountain to tunnel through to sunny uplands, as the Blonde Buffoon blusters, but represents a wave of accumulating lost lives. Each passing life sends out ripples that will eventually touch us all.
Early to the heath accompanied by birds in full song. A red kite hangs above the oak trees trying to get a fix on breakfast despite the gusting northerly.
Three other birds of prey wheel, hover, patrol the ridge.
From the still sodden fields curlews agitated cries cut through melodies of dunnocks and robins; contrast with the squeaky rhythm of great tits welcoming spring.
A Muntjac deer with its back legs caught in the fence wire, hangs head down, front legs limp, its rear torn open by a fox, crimson.
On the way back down the lane my attention is held by a movement on the verge. I see a mouse, its tiny marble-black eyes glint from beneath celandine leaves. We spend moments staring at each other. The mouse loses interest first and scrambles off leaving wavering plants in its wake.
By evening the bitter wind from the north sweeps up the hill from the sea, over the head of a red deer hind with her fawn nibbling at crumbs left by goats from their plastic bucket.
The spectacular yellow blooms of gorse purses are open for business. A bumble bee passes loudly, yet unseen.