The slightly sad swan family of Donnington Bridge are now pretty much always seen in the following arrangement; mum at the front, dad bringing up the rear, and the three cygnets swimming safely between. Initially they were a bit more free and easy; here's a photo of them buzzing a two woman boat
in happier days. Look closely and you will see four cygnets in that shot; one of these cygnets is no more. I don't exactly know what happened; I was just too late to see the attack. As I came down from the bridge I saw two cygnets and one swan in a state of great distress at the side of the river; in the middle of the river, a mass of white feathers, presumably from the missing adult. I was puzzling over what could possibly take an adult swan mid-stream when I saw him powering upstream, a slight pull to one side (an injured leg) the only evidence of his epic struggle. At the time I was wondering what he was doing running away from his family, but perhaps he was retrieving a hiding youngster, because when I saw them next there were three cygnets, and both the adults looked fine, bigger and bolder than ever. The attacker belongs to a short list; pike, mink, otter -- or perhaps another swan -- but none of these will bother a cygnet once it gets beyond a certain size and the remaining three are ...oh yes! Nearly there.
Harlequin brought in her first large prey last week; a lime hawk moth
. She does normally eat her prey (even flies and woodlice) but this one looked squishy enough to make a mess on a rug so I banished it to the outer garden reaches. She was quite miffed!
Produce of the week seems to be baby parsnips and summer savory. Ominanomina. A few of the tomatoes are setting but I still have too many bugs and not enough pollinators. Maybe I should suggest a beehive to my back-fence neighbour?
I have my first two tenovertwelvers! So far we have wailing and fighting. Photos to follow as I'm on emergency backup webcamless lappytop following some stuff that'll take me some time and swearing to sort out. Tomorrow, assuming I get back from London with time and temper. I'm attending some internet training so possibly not.