As I went to visit the bees this morning I saw a fully grown fox at the end of the meadow. It saw me, and ducked rapidly out of view. I've had the wildlife camera trained on the drive outside the front door for the past three nights, and only caught a blackbird, a magpie and Our Ginger, no rabbits and no foxes. It was a relief that the fox was no longer patrolling outside the cat door on a nightly basis, but they are feeling bold for one to be out and about in broad daylight. Still no free range for the hens, I fear, and it will be a while yet before the kittens are left out in the garden without one of us about. I suppose they will partly decide that for themselves when they refuse to come in again, but so far the call of 'Here kits' has them racing to the front door like greyhounds.
Never believe anything a cat tells you, whether they are saying they haven't been fed or that they didn't do it. I came in from the garden a bit before seven to start doing the supper, and as I appeared I was besieged by kittens, looking imploring and making little hopeful dashes towards their food dish. I checked with the Systems Administrator before doling out food, and they had just been given two pouches. To look at them you'd have sworn they hadn't had a thing since lunch, maybe not even since breakfast. Or last night.
The bees were remarkably quiet given that it was a hot and humid day, and my face was literally dripping sweat into my veil. Bees do not like sweat. Some of the hives have almost been engulfed by brambles, and I had better go up there when it's raining lightly and they're not flying, to cut the undergrowth back. Everything has grown so much after the unusually wet June. I have to remind myself that in other routinely wetter parts of the country it must be like this every year.
There is a very beautiful sunset now, of pink and dove grey flat bottomed clouds against a pale blue sky. It looks like something Monet might have painted. I must get out on to the veranda on Wednesday and trim the shoots of elder that are starting to hide the view.