The garden is at it’s most productive so Barbara is busy in the kitchen, using a couple of pounds of split tomatoes in a Crank’s recipe for chilli bean and vegetable casserole, which also includes courgettes, onions, runner beans and potatoes from our garden.
She added some of today’s raspberries (we picked a bowl and a half of them) to a batch of muffins.
We haven’t been able to keep up with the runner beans. A handful of the slenderest are going into the casserole but I’ve stripped off all the large stringy pods that were beginning to swell to encourage the plants to put their energy into the fresh pods which are still appearing.
As I reached inside the wigwam of beanstalks, I was surrounded by sunlit foliage. With temperatures climbing into the 70s it felt more like high summer than the beginning of autumn.
Spider and Wasp
It’s a time of plenty for the spiders too: a jumping spider patrols the sunny kitchen windowsill and an orb spider with a web on the outside of the lounge window fusses out of its corner to check out a tiny insect which has landed on its web but just misses it as the insect breaks away.
A garden spider at the centre of a 12 inch wide web in front of the ivy at the end of the herb bed has more success. It has swathed a wasp in silk and is slowly consuming it. Unlike the spider in the corner of the window, it doesn’t retreat to a lair: it’s been there right at the centre of its web all afternoon. Two hours later it is still clutching what remains of the unfortunate wasp.
Wasps nested under the tiles of the roof above my studio two years ago and, during the summer months and well into a mild autumn, dozens, if not hundreds, of them somehow blundered their way into the studio and I regularly had to release them by flipping open the Velux window.
A few found their way into our hot water system and for months afterwards the odd fragment of wasp carapace would appear when we ran a bath.