August is one of those months when wild things flourish and are fruitful. Yesterday on our walk we saw a pheasant, a bat (yes in daylight but probably a learner 🙂 and in a dark spot at Belsay quarry garden), a stoat, flitting across a road, his dark tail straight out behind, a wood wasp with its double wings and elongated stripey body (okay so I could have probably done without the woodwasp since it was huge) and we heard, rather than saw, at least one, possibly two, swarms between the quarry and the woodland and they sounded industrial in size! We didn’t go looking for them!! In the main it was a very pleasant Sunday and as ever at Belsay there was colour to be had.

But do you remember back in March the Monkey Puzzle by the castle bloomed? Well now it has borne fruit! The fruits were not, as I expected, at the bottom where the flowers had been — oh no! — a Monkey Puzzle likes to live up to it’s puzzling reputation and so the fruits are way high up in the branches. And far from being delicate, as the flowers were, they are the size of coconuts and hairy with it. It’s not a subtle statement of fertility.

Our friend Alwyn was with us this weekend. She is small but exceedingly fierce.