Every now and again one or more of the ratties goes into nesting overdrive. This goes way beyond the usual lining of the sputnik with cardboard and paper for comfort, this involves carrying as much kitchen roll, shredded paper and cardboard substrate into the designated nesting area as possible.
This week they have decided that the top hammock would be improved by being stuffed with as much paper as they could carry, with a couple of handfuls of Finacard to fill in the gaps.
Most times I’ve checked, it has been an empty nest. It was looking less like nesting and more like they were trying to get rid of the paper by shoving it in the most out-of-the-way place in the cage — they even took the paper out of their main sleeping spot, which is looking really bare now.
When I looked in on them earlier though, River was curled up in the hammock, unimpressed with being disturbed for photos.
It has been far too grey this week — and I’ve been too lethargic — to go out and find some vivid colours, so I picked this recent one from my archive instead. Given how miserable the weather has turned today, it’s nice to think of simply gazing up through the leaves of tree with the sun backlighting the green canopy.
And then we have one other shot, with an alternative interpretation of “saturated”.
An empty beach, blue sky, calm sea. A hot, sunny, summer’s day.
Some people’s idea of heaven. Closer to my idea of hell. No shade. The baking sun burning my skin and making me sweat. My eyes half-closed against the sunlight reflected off the water and sand. No respite from the heat other than the occasional promise of a cooling sea breeze. Nothing to do but slowly cook on the barren beach. The clouds are pretty though.
A fragment of the South Wales coastline. Vegetation, greenery, rocks. It’s still too hot really, but at least the scenery is more interesting and there are coastal paths to walk along. A much nicer location to watch the sea from.
And I am much happier watching it than being in it.
I’ve never spent much time by the sea. A few trips to Skegness growing up near Lincoln, a week in Bognor Regis with a friend and her children, and a handful of day trips out around the South Wales coast.
The one thing I remember about going to Skegness as a young child, other than memories of donkey rides and rock pools that may simply be memories of photographs, is being warned about the way the sea floor falls away, cliff-like, not that far from the water line. That and tales of strong currents dragging people out to sea. And of tides coming in fast and cutting people off from the shore. So, not being a particularly strong swimmer, I never venture further than I can comfortably paddle.
I love the idea of the sea, but I will admire it from the solid ground of the beautiful British coast that it surrounds.