Tuesday, August 31

Arrived back in Cirencester today after completing the 2nd course of chemotherapy in Cheltenham hospital. "Escaped" at lunchtime, so we walked through Sandford Park to Cheltenham town centre to buy some sandwiches. Saw a few White butterflies about and 2 Speckled Wood butterflies beside the footpath in the park.
Back in Cirencester, I've only seen Whites in the garden.

I was in amazingly good health during this course of treatment in hospital. I felt quite frustrated, so on Saturday (28th) I asked if I could go out for a walk. We walked through the park to the town centre and visited Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery. Again, I saw a Speckled Wood in the park. That afternoon out really lifted my spirits - it was lovely just to walk in the gentle sunshine and do something so "normal".

Sunday, August 22

Another sunny day. I saw a Painted Lady in the front garden and photographed this female Common Blue on the Lavender.

Saturday, August 21

I had the confidence to go outside again today. The weather was very much like last Saturday. Thursday was a different matter.

Today I popped out to the bench at the front after lunch and was rewarded with the sight of several Whites, a Gatekeeper and a Small Tortoiseshell. A perfect Red Admiral stopped briefly on the Verbena bonariensis and then along came a Brimstone. I saw it first on a distant Buddleia flower but surprise, surprise, it came over to the blue Hyssop at my feet and the Verbena bonariensis.

Took the opportunity to supervise a garden tidy-up this afternoon and organise the pots ready for when I'm back in hospital next week. My thanks go to my 13-year-old daughter who has tried hard to keep the pots and hanging baskets watered.

Are you wondering what happened on Thursday? My husband collected me from hospital at lunchtime where I'd spent the night because of a high temperature. He parked the car on the drive, grabbed the shopping from the boot, opened my car door as he walked past and headed off to unlock the front door and go to the kitchen. The problem was that there was a breath-catching easterly wind blowing straight across the front terrace straight into the car. Quite often a little breathless at the moment, I was instantly gasping for breath. I used my hat to shield my nose and mouth. Realised that I had to get out of there fast as I was dressed in very light clothing and I couldn't stay in that chilly wind. Funny how the challenges come at the most unexpected moments!

I've stayed indoors for two days watching those strong winds blow over the flowerpots and the few butterflies being tossed about. A Small Tortoiseshell worked really hard to land on the pot of Salvias just outside the window. At this time of year I'd expect to see "double figures" of Small Tortoiseshells and yet I've seen just 2 all week.

I have enjoyed the sight of little blue wings about and got a lovely photo of a Common Blue on Lavender on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday, August 14

I have been released from hospital for a short break before the second round of chemotherapy. It was really strange emerging into the noisy "real" world.
All the rain of the last 30 days has made the fields very green and lush.

I returned to my garden to find that Gatekeepers were still flying about. I saw one on my Heliotrope plant and another on Lantana camara. Here's a photo of one resting on a dogwood leaf.

This afternoon, I found a Common Blue feeding on Verbena bonariensis.

There are lots of Whites about but no sign at all of any of the Nymphalidae family.