Having just written another blog post about Buddy, I really didn’t expect to be publishing another photograph so soon. I’m not sure if this is a warning to anyone reading, or just a mental note to myself. My cameras (and Handycam) are always well cared for and stored carefully in exactly the same places. Unfortunately, those places aren’t necessarily where the action is and I must be wearing out parts of our carpet where I rush off to grab my equipment in the hope a cat/deer/badger/bird is still in the same spot when I return. If they aren’t, then I have to make the return journey, empty-handed and wishing I had been a bit faster.
I wasn’t very fast the other day, having spent six hours over two days doing battle with the thistles in our fields. When I took early retirement just over two years ago, I had the notion that if I worked hard enough on our two acres, that within a couple of years they might be almost free of weeds. Those first few weeks were spent literally wrestling six-foot thistles to the ground. Finally we could look across our land and see not a single weed standing. It felt good, but I knew that with the root system underground, I would have to make an early start with weedkiller the following year. And I did. From early March until well into September, I went round and round with a backpack and spray. The weeds turned brown before my eyes, but I never really seemed to get on top of the problem. At least everything stayed at ground level and from a distance the fields still looked good.
What I hadn’t appreciated was the need to spray in exactly the right conditions. I had perhaps chosen days that were a tad too warm, the weedkiller was taken in too quickly, the leaves died, but it never got as far as the roots. Roll on a few months and at first the weather was too dry. Then it rained every day. Then we had a hot spell. Then it was too windy and finally we had a heatwave with the hottest June day for over forty years. By the time I could even begin to think about spraying, the thistles are once again six-foot tall and that particular battle has already been lost. Having bolted, there is very little thistle to spray and anyway… we would kill far too much grass in the process. So I’m back to wrestling them to the ground once again and it hasn’t done my back any good at all.
So it was the other day that after another heavy session outside, I crawled upstairs to have a much-needed nap, when I found a few cats bathing in a patch of sun on the bedroom carpet. I would have given anything to have a camera handy in the bedside cabinet, but instead I had to crawl back downstairs and hobble through the hall and the front room to the study.
At least Buddy was still in place when I returned and this was taken balancing precariously on the end of the bed.