It is becoming obvious that serious athletes live here. The lawn is dying in specific patches where badminton oponents have faced one another. The apple trees are hung with shuttlecocks, waiting for a passing breeze, or autumn, whichever comes first - though to be fair, the weather was just right today - not too hot. Racquets lie ready in the greenhouse.
This evening we played till it was too dark to see. With dusk came a dragonfly and some little bats - pipistrelles, I would guess. I was surprised to see the dragonfly as I thought they needed hot sunshine for their muscles to be warm enough to work - but there you are - he was flying about most successfully. There is a lovely smell in the evening from the night-scented stock - it looks nothing in the day but in the evening the flowers open and a honey fragrance is released. I think the moths like it too.
Moving seamlessly on - at school yesterday the supply teacher, who has a passion for British natural history, was giving a lesson on garden birds. One of the birds on the children's list was a Stock Dove. I'd never heard of such a creature, but there it was in all the books, one of the common garden birds. I don't know how I could have missed it. It seems to be a combination of Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon. Maybe that's the one I hear each morning singing in the gardens round about, "You're very nice, ....... you're very nice." Sweet bird.