There I was in the shower, minding my own business, when in through the slightly open window comes the queen! Not THE QUEEN, you understand, but a queen hornet.

When naked one does feel slightly more vulnerable than when fully clothed – more places available for stinging I suppose. Had it been a common wasp I would have leaped out of the shower and swatted it without a second thought. The common wasp is a bad tempered beastie and is likely to sting with very little provocation.

This, however, was not a common wasp it was a hornet. Worker hornets are big enough compared to the common wasp but queen hornets are even bigger. Luckily hornets are generally quite placid creatures and need considerable provocation before resorting to stinging.

We see quite a lot of them around the garden and are quite happy to let them go about their business but one in the bathroom isn’t really on. I know from experience that they can be shepherded around without them getting annoyed so I hopped out of the shower and, having opened the window a little more, coaxed it back outside with some gentle hand waving.

I think that we were both satisfied with that outcome.

We have some Black Mullein (Verbascum nigrum) plants in our garden which are indigenous wild flowers which have seeded naturally. They are also the food of the Mullein Moth (Cucullia verbasci) caterpillars.

With colours like this you can’t miss them can you? They do make the plant look a bit ragged as they eat quite a lot of the leaves.

Some weeks ago we had to replace the felt roof on one of our outbuildings and dumped the old felt on the ground nearby then recently we decided it was time to clear it away. However when Amanda lifted the corner of a large sheet she found this.

No it’s not a snake it’s a legless lizard known as a Slow Worm (Anguilla fragilis) and this one is a female. One of the give away features is that it blinks. Snakes do not have eyelids and therefore cannot blink.

A perfectly harmless creature and the gardener’s friend inasmuch as it eats garden pests like slugs. It does mean that, for the time being at least, the felt must remain where it is until such time that it decides to move house. At the moment it is returning to it’s felt house every day.

In a few days it will be the longest day and at present it’s getting dark around 10:30 in the evening. Although April and May provided some very nice warm sunny weather June has been, and still is, very unsettled.