I must be careful not to give the impression that I am aping Another Blogger by carrying on interminably about birds. So I will just mention that I decided on the last day of summer to go and look at the lower end of the (artificial) lake in the grounds of Johnny Churchill's Folly near Woodstock. Where I saw 30+ grebe, 12 cormorants, 2 herons, 2 jays, 2 buzzards, 2 kingfishers.
Like many places in England at this moment, it had a positively Exodic plague of ladybirds (ladybugs to colonials); mostly the sort with 18 spots, which I believe are an unwelcome foreign invasion ... is that right? A few of the black sort with red spots ('counterchanged', as we armorists might say). And just one, red, with no spots at all. Is that rare? Should I have kept it and sold it for millions? Some other blogger ... such as Fr Zootheblackandsaythered (or have I got that the wrong way round? No wonder some of my Masses are a bit strange) would know.
On the East front of the Folly a goodish (but not very movimento) bust of the Great Monarch, snitched by Johnny from the walls of Tornai. Sadly, the Sun King has lichen on his nose. I wonder if the republican regime currently rumoured to hold sway in France would care to have it cleaned off.
I don't go gawping round the interior of the Folly; there are enough Japanese and Americans doing that. But I did nip in to pay my repects to a nice (Mazzaoli) bust of 'Cardinal Borromeo'. He looks so very much happier than his neighbours, the Divine Vespasian (indigestion) and Our Lord and God Caracalla (chewing glass).