We sank the jam jars in the ground and began to distribute the beer, one for me, one for the slugs, one for me, one for the slugs, which quickly became one for me, and one for me,....hic! So our experiment is set and we'll find out next week if our slugs prefer miller genuine draft or Tsing Tsao,..I only hope they don't prefer carlsberg!!
The weather was beautiful over the weekend up in the Wicklow hills and everyone was out on the allotment with full summer fever. We dug the last of our beds and Cillian and Eoin now have their thoughts on fishing since all of their work is pretty much done. We planted up some broccoli seedlings into one bed and some brussells sprouts in the other. Our final bed is dug and we'll be hopefully putting in a few seed potatoes next week and thats it, we've finally run out of space!!! nearly all of plot 103 is either allocated or growing something. If theres anything else we need to plant we'll have to do it through catch cropping or intercropping under widely spaced plants such as the sprouts which use up a lot of space and don't need it until later on.
There was a nice surprise in the pea and bean bed as we found a lone survivor from the marauding bands of squirrels...one bean had managed to germinate and stood proudly in the middle of the bed...first leaves aloft...
The peas and beans we resowed have germinated and should be ready to join this survivor in a couple of weeks. Sweetcorn, Pumpkins and courgette plants have also germinated on the balcony and should be ready in a few weeks to go out onto the plot.
After all our work, we had to have what would hopefully be the first of many barbeques on plot 103 and threw a few burgers on to keep us going. I also took myself on a little walk to see what local flora and fauna we have around the site...Robbie our allotment neighbour a couple of plots up managed to get a fantastic photograph of a deer and her fawn on sunday morning standing in the sunshine among the trees staring right at him. I wandered around along the river at the back of plot 103 to survey the bluebells which are past their best at the moment but still looking stunning ..........and thats when it happened!!!!!... I came to the startling realisation that all was not the pretty beautiful idyllic landscape I thought it was,....something was lurking in the bluebells...something hideous!..something horrid..and crawly... .something that could ruin all my plans for a beautiful summer in the coutryside.....an abomination!!!!! It was an enourmous...gigantic...hairy.....fluttering...leggy.....GIANT PEACOCK BUTTERFLY!!!!!!!!
Go on, laugh.. you may well find this hilarious, but I on the other hand am absolutely terrified of these creatures, and I don't mean 'oh its really gross!' disliking them, I am gripped by pure terror upon the very sight of these things and tend to run squeeling like a small pig running from the butchers blade. I don't understand where the fear came from, and I can see why people find them beautiful, they truly are, and have magnificant colours,...just keep them away from me!! The earliest realisation of this purely irrational fear I have was when I was 11 and in the girl guides. We went on a trip to the butterfly farm in Co. Kildare and in the butterfly house I entered with enthusiasm, everyone else was amazed at the beauty of these rare creatures...over a period of 10 minutes I felt the apprehension turn to fear and then to pure terror and ran screaming out of the building, which was covered in net and made it even more difficult to get out. On my way I squashed a dozen rare and endangered species of butterfly and never looked back. I screamed and screamed until they brought me into the lizard house where they let me hold a very cool lizard who's head you could see right through and I finally calmed down. Since then I've known I am truly afraid of these things. But I refuse to let these creatures ruin my allotment experience. I mentioned before that my other hobby is photography and decided this allotment lark is going to have to be my rehabilitation plan, and I couldn't let a photo of a peacock butterfly sitting on some bluebells in the sunshine escape me. So I crept up to the creature with my heart pounding in my chest, as close as I dared ...clicked.....and ran squeeling like a pig from the butchers blade....but I got a nice shot so here it is. Step one of the rehabilitation plan...I will reduce my fear of this monster by the end of the summmer and let you know how I get on.