I took our youngest into school and was told that there was to be a Green Thumbs assembly to show the children the produce as it looked really good and the growers were so proud of it.
However it was going to be at 10.15 so I deliberated whether to go or not. Had a chat with Mrs P the headteacher about a composting message but she said this would complicate the assembly, so no composting message. I decided to do something practical at home instead.
I have recently built a new logpile to the left of the door (looking out) and I was filling the logbasket with logs from the top of the other side's stack, and disturbed a beautiful ichneumon wasp which was just laying an egg deep into the wood, presumably in a woodboring beetle or some other grub. The ovipositor was about the same length of its body and antennae, and it had beautiful reddish yellow legs, could have been Lampronata setosas which parasitises Goat Moths. It withdrew it's ovipositor and proceeded to walk around the log, gently touching the surface with its antennae and putting them into cracks and insect holes, smelling for prey to lay an egg on/in. Gill and I watched it for 10 minutes or so, it was absolutely exquisite! I couldn't now burn this log, as it had an ichneumon egg growing in a grub within... so I decided to put this one with several others under a hedge, as a 'wildlife refuge'. I found a good image on the internet and tried to download it but the resolution was poor... so I emailed the owner of the website, Kim, and he said I could use a better quality image. His site has some fantastic images, well worth a look! see:http://www.warrenphotographic.co.uk/ Thanks to them for this image! This is the first image I've been able to add to my blog, hope readers like it!!!
I had a busy afternoon, several visits including a Rotters visit to a Dutchman wanting advice about his 'dalek', an easy visit. Came home and got together 10 paper bags of dried fruit prizes for the York in Transition Quiz which Anna Semlyen and I have been preparing for. I cycled down to the Friends Meeting House at about 6.30 and when I got there, Anna had just got the room sorted out with five tables, each with 3 chairs, 3 sheets of paper and 3 pens. By 7pm, the advertised start time, we had got 15 bums on 15 seats... how lucky was that? Anna and I read out alternate questions, we had done quite different styles of question and on different 'green' issues. It was really good to hear the discussions on the tables (each table being one team) and the questions obviously caused much thought. I think a green quiz is an excellent way to present 'Transition' information... Anna had got some prizes from The Co-op and I had brought my dried fruit, so everybody got something. Most enjoyable! I can send enquirers a list of my questions (and answers!) if there are other green groups wanting to have a quiz as part of an awareness-raising event.
A less then easy evening followed, as had agreed to have a skype conversation with a friend and we don't see 'eye to eye' with everything. But it is an interesting friendship and I am always 'up for' learning and new experiences...