I am sitting on the Zen patio trying to read a book, but I am finding myself easily distracted. It’s hot. Though probably nothing like the recent heatwave temperatures suffered throughout Europe and most of the UK. Here the temperature is probably no more than 20°C but for some reason it always feels hotter than that to me, perhaps the air is cleaner and purer by the coast. The sun definitely feels intense. I am in the shade of the two Goat Willow trees, which need pruning as they are shading most of the patio now. You see already I am thinking of jobs I could be doing.

My eyes wander over to the nearby pots where Cosmos and Violas need deadheading, but I feel too lazy to move. It is very quiet and still. Into this silence I become aware of the heavy thrum of a crow’s wingbeat overhead and the happy sound of chattering sociable sparrows as they land gently on the birdfeeder. A light breeze causes the alliums to sway and the penstemon bells to nod.

The flowers are attracting pollinators. Common green bottle flies, a Ringlet butterfly and several Large Whites flutter past, Bumblebees buzz contentedly as they move from flower to flower seeking forgotten pollen. One large red-tailed bumblebee disappears up a penstemon flower and I wait for her to reverse out, pretty red fuzzy bum first. A Red Admiral butterfly lands on  my bare toe. I hardly dare to breathe. Its wings are tattered and torn and the usual bright red colour faded to an orange-brown. It rests soaking up the sun until I wriggle my toes, flying around briefly before landing once more.

Not my toe – I didn’t have the camera to hand then.

A Magpie is next to disturb me,  landing with a heavy thud on the fence and proceeding to tiptoe over each slat until he reaches the shade. He casts an eye over to the sunflower feeder, knowing this is one he cannot use, but checking out that the suet balls he adores have not yet been hung from the tree. The magpies gorge themselves silly on suet balls during the winter, performing all sorts of mad acrobatics to try and get a hold. A helicopter in the distance disturbs the peace and the birds. I often wonder if they believe it is some kind of monster predatory bird. My hearing seems to have intensified. I am now picking up the sound of cattle lowing in the background. Unusually quiet today, perhaps the heat has rendered them speechless.

The warmth is making everything and everyone drowsy. And I have read the same page at least three times…

~wander.essence~ prose


  1. Lovely description of your garden. I rarely find I actually sit. I don’t know if that will improve as Alice gets older.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I think sitting only comes when the children have left home!

  2. bushboy says:

    Have enjoyed sitting in your garden Jude. I am still waiting for the red bummed bumblebee
    20C….I am thinking of long pants and a sleeved T-shirt 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hahaha yes, I realise this sort of temperature is not particularly hot for most people 😀 The red-tailed BB is long gone, but I do have some white-tailed ones to publish soon.

      1. bushboy says:

        Excellent 🙂

  3. beetleypete says:

    Very evocative writing, Jude. It goes so well with the appropriate photos.
    I have never been able to read much outside, whether at the beach, or in a garden. I find everything going on around me to be too distracting, and need some form of indoor solitude to get into a book.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      I find myself reading the same page over and over again! And then feeling drowsy if I read in the sun. Most of my reading is done at bedtime.

      1. beetleypete says:

        Mine too. 🙂

  4. Pure magic! 🙂

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    Even just reading your words I feel a sense of peace and contentment. Sitting quietly outdoors seems to accentuate every sense. Reading? Forget it … who can concentrate on the printed word with all that distraction?

  6. You’ve captured a perfect summer day in words and photos! Wonderful!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cindy!

  7. susurrus says:

    What a moment a Red Admiral on your toe must have been! They are my favourite butterflies. I believe the penstemons are nodding in approval for you to take some time to rest and enjoy the garden. It is coolish, part fine, part raining here, which is unfortunate as painting the front door is on the cards. I would be very happy to have the same colour as your chair, or perhaps a touch darker.

    1. Heyjude says:

      That Red Admiral kept on coming back onto my toe, until of course I went to fetch the camera, and then (s)he decided the chair was OK.

  8. You capture that lazy, drowsy heat-imbued feeling of summer so nicely here, Jude. I love all your observations and use of sensual details. And especially, I love the part about the cattle lowing – “the heat has rendered them speechless.” And oh, how I know that feeling of being so drowsy you read the same page (or paragraph) over and over again, not retaining anything but a vague nnotion of what is happening. That seems to be me a lot these days. I love this!

    Thanks too for the link. I’ll link it to my next prose piece on the 27th of August. I’ll be leaving on a long road trip on September 1. I’ll be glad that summer is over and I’m heading north. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Cathy! Another road trip sounds good, you are certainly exploring your home country now. Whereabouts are you venturing to this time?

      1. I’m loving my road trips, Jude. They beat having to go through airports and being captive on planes for long times. I still will travel abroad once a year but will try to explore parts of the U.S. more the rest of the year. As for my September trip, you’ll see posts about it in the next two days. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Yes, quite agree with you about flying, I really detest it and much prefer driving my car to places. Hoping next year we can get away a lot more.

        2. Well, you’ve certainly had a wonderful year staying close to home and enjoying your garden and the beautiful Cornwall coast. 🙂

  9. Sue says:

    Your Zen patio looks most inviting, Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      Well if you are ever down this way Sue you’ll have to pop in.

      1. Sue says:

        ‘Pop in’ down to Cornwall….

  10. Sandra says:

    Beautiful in every respect. My day has slowed simply through reading your words 🙂

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