A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 3 19 March 2020: Central Heating for Bunnies

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Last year I made a “Hugelkultur” raised bed using old logs. It works on the principle of the logs rotting down and creating heat.  It was a lot of hard slog but it’s paid off though as the bunnies, who have returned to the garden, have decided it makes a super-deluxe centrally-heated warren.


I thought the bunnies deserved a snack for sheer cleverness.

Incidentally, if you have stumbled across this diary hoping for high-minded thought and clever political comment on the “present crisis” click off now. This diary will be the random and, I expect progressively more loony, ramblings of a “self-isolating” painter and written for myself and anyone who happens to come across it.


A Diary of the Plague Year: Day 3 19 March 2020

It’s not raining. I hesitate to say that the sun is actually out but what the hell – the windows have been flung wide and with any luck I will get into the garden today. Listening to Korngold’s Violin Concerto on R3.

But first a visit to John Collins, mechanic, to get the car past it NCT check.

Some words: Bright Shade, Interlinear, Persian Iris.
Ideas for memoir: Painting of house in Portugal, mum’s specs.

Walking back from John Collins …… the beginnings of spring.




Books Online: SOLSTICE A Creekside Book of Hours

Deptford Creek photographed throughout the year.

Two photographs were taken each week
from the banks of the creek from January to December 2010.

Inspired by medieval books of hours and naturalist Gilbert White’s Garden Kalendar.

Solar Creation by Charles Madge

The Sun of whose terrain we creatures are,
Is the director of all human love,
Unit of time, and circle round the earth,

And we are the commotion born of love
And slanted rays of that illustrious star,
Peregrine of the crowded fields of birth,

The crowded lane, the market and the tower.
Like sight in pictures, real at remove,
Such is our motion on dimensional earth.

Down by the river, where the ragged are,
Continuous the cries and noise of birth,
While to the  muddy edge dark fishes move,

And over all, like death, or sloping hill,
Is nature, which is larger and more still.

Charles Madge

Midges Update

Midges come under the Diptera family which include:

Flies, Gnats. Mosquitoes, Midges, Sandflies, Crane flies, Sheep keds, Maggots, True flies and Mosquitos.

There are many different shapes of True Flies. They are soft-bodied insects, most are fairly small (less than 1.5 cm long) but a few can be larger (up to 4 cm! Eeeek). Adult flies have only 1 pair of wings, unlike other insects. The second pair has evolved into small balancing organs that look like little clubs. Adult flies feed on liquids and have either thin sucking mouthparts (like Mosquitos) or sponging mouthparts, a tube with wider sponge at the end (like Flower Flies and House Flies). Most adult flies have large eyes, to help them see when they are flying. Many adult flies look like wasps or bees.

Flies are one of the most diverse groups of insects. There are over 150,000 species known from around the world, and there are certainly many still undiscovered. In the Great Lakes region there are probably over 2,000 species.

True Flies have complete metamorphosis. Adult female flies lay eggs, and then small larvae hatch from the eggs. The larvae are often worm-like, and do not have jointed legs. They molt (shed their whole skin) several times as they grow. Then they transform into a pupa, which is a resting stage that transforms into an adult.

Some flies are imporant pollinators. Many fly larvae are part of the natural ‘clean-up squad’, helping get rid of dung and dead animals. Flies are important food sources for many other animals.

The biggest benefit from flies comes from the parasitic species. They attack caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other insects that eat our food plants. Some flies also help pollinate plants that we grow. Flies are also important food source for other animals that we value, like fish.

How do they communicate?

Flies use vision more than most insects do. They also sometimes detect the vibrations of wingbeats. Like all insects, they use their sense of smell a lot.

So now you know.

More on creepy-crawlies:  http://www.discoverlife.org