Friday the Eighth
What sort of a word is “eighth”? Starts with two vowels and ends with four consonants – stupid word!
Eighth: next in order after the seventh; an ordinal numeral; being one of eight equal parts into which a whole is regarded as divided; late 14c., eighthe, contracted from Old English eahtoða, from Proto-Germanic ahtudon (source also of Old High German ahtoda, Old Frisian achta, German achte, Gothic ahtuda).
Man Friday: from the 1719 book Robinson Crusoe the term Man Friday became an idiom to describe an especially faithful servant or one’s best servant or right-hand man. The female equivalent, Girl Friday, has been used since 1912.
Spiders are always with us but in October they really make their presence known.
A couple of spiders doing spidery things
This is one of the few, very few, flowers still blooming. It’s a mallow. All parts of this plant are edible. The leaves can be added to a salad, the fruit can be a substitute for capers and the flowers can be tossed into a salad.
(what’s a caper?)
The concrete and metal fence alongside the top pond footpath is often used by spiders to support their webs.
Here’s the remaining two great crested grebe young. Both are capable of hunting for themselves now.
The milestone is an excellent feeding station for one of our local robins.
… the stark reality is that it is unlikely to be the same robin that visits your garden year after year. This is because mortality (or death rate) in their first year is incredibly high and in fact only about one in four robins reach their first birthday.
Not often do I see two kestrels at once but there have been a pair around the rugby field on and of for a while now. I think that this was the first time i noticed them.
First here’s one – and a ‘blow up’ of it – …
… and then the pair at the full distance of the rugby pitch.
Saturday the Ninth
Saturday: Old English sæterdæg, sæternesdæg, literally “day of the planet Saturn”.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in our solar system. Like fellow gas giant Jupiter, Saturn is a massive ball made mostly of hydrogen and helium. Saturn is not the only planet to have rings, but none are as spectacular or as complex as Saturn’s. Saturn also has dozens of moons.
From the jets of water that spray from Saturn’s moon Enceladus to the methane lakes on smoggy Titan, the Saturn system is a rich source of scientific discovery and still holds many mysteries.
The farthest planet from Earth discovered by the unaided human eye, Saturn has been known since ancient times. The planet is named for the Roman god of agriculture and wealth, who was also the father of Jupiter.
However: saturnine means “gloomy, morose, sluggish, grave,” mid-15c., literally “born under the influence of the planet Saturn,” from Middle English Saturne. Old medicine believed these characteristics to be caused by the astrological influence of the planet Saturn, which was the most remote from the Sun and thus coldest and slowest in its revolution.
The cygnets on the pond.
four large …
…and three small
There are lots of different seed heads, many of which I am unsure about. This I believe to be the dandelion-like hawkweed.
Here’s the velcro™ like hooks of the burdock plant.
And here the spiky spikes on the teasel of the teasel plant.
Hazel trees are beginning to sport their male catkins. The tiny crimson female flowers are yet to appear
The word catkin is a loanword from the Middle Dutch katteken, meaning “kitten” . This name is due either to the resemblance of the lengthy sorts of catkins to a kitten’s tail, or to the fine fur found on some catkins.