Today’s picture shows Granny in our garden. It was taken by Mrs Tootlepedal using Granny’s iPad. Granny has been video conferencing with her son in the Scilly Isles today. Even the harshest judge would have to admit that she looks and acts pretty sprightly for 96.
The weather was as cheerful as Granny today with another healthy dose of sunshine. I am still feeling a bit tired so I used a vigorous wind as my excuse for not cycling although it wasn’t actually very strong at all. I did manage to pedal as far as the nuthatches. Before I left, I had a quick scout round for new flowers.
The garden was looking lovely in the early sunshine. The first of the Icelandic poppies glowed gently.
And one of the last of the tulips was also resplendent.
When I got to the nuthatch nest, the sun went behind a cloud. At the first nest site, the parents were busy feeding the young and I had plenty to watch.
I visited the second nest site but only saw one nuthatch and it didn’t go into the nest opening. I wonder if there is a nest there this year.
On my way home I visited our monthly producers’ market and purchased some fish and cheese. As soon as I got home, the sun came out.
More glowing flowers.
During the day, I took two more general garden shots as I realise that it quite easy to get addicted to flower close ups and I have neglected my role as recorder of the passing garden seasons.
Generally things are looking quite fresh at the moment and we are enjoying a good spell of weathe New seeds are being grown in the greenhouse.
Mrs Tootlepedal reports that the beetroot and carrot seedlings are growing well under cloches. In fact she was so excited by this that when we went off with Granny to visit a garden centre, she bought two more packets of seeds. I bought some lawn care products, a tomato plant, some fat balls for the birds and a new fatball feeder. We had a light lunch at the garden centre and drove home admiring the green hedges and trees bordering the roads.
I have tried growing tomatoes a few times but they have only done well once. Maybe this will be the year that I can grow enough to give some away which is what keen tomato growers do.
The new fat ball feeder was duly installed inside the fat ball fortress and almost immediately it attracted the attention of birds.
I hope this trend continues as we need some different birds in the garden for variety. There were several visits from blue and great tits during the day to the fatballs and the sunflower hearts.
The great rush of finches has eased off a lot making catching a flying bird much more difficult but somehow the sunflower hearts are still disappearing at a great rate. I can only assume that each bird is eating more.
As I was putting up the new feeder, I noticed a new aquilegia poking up through the slats of a garden bench.
I went into the kitchen at some time in the afternoon and Mrs Tootlepedal informed me that she had seen the sparrowhawk pay a flying visit and that she just been watching a most exciting brawl between two redpolls, one of which had got the other on its back on the ground. This was bad enough but then Gavin took the trouble to actually ring me up to tell me that he was on the suspension bridge watching a heron eating an eel. “It’ll be gone by the time you could get get here, I suppose,” he added. Dante didn’t know the half it. There is a special circle in the Inferno (circle 12a) reserved for people who tell photographers about photo opportunities that they have missed. It is near to the circle (13b) reserved for cyclists who don’t acknowledge your cheery greeting when they pass you.
In the end, I got on my bike and pedalled down to the bridge just to see if the heron was still nibbling on a morsel of eel. Gavin was long gone but the heron was still there, standing on a rock, stock still. I got out the camera just to take a consolation shot when with a swift movement, the heron struck.
It wasn’t an eel but a young fish. Experts will be able to tell me what sort it is.
Leaving the heron to digest its meal, I pedalled along the bank of the river to see if I could see our resident pair of oyster catchers because I had been told by a dog walker when I was nuthatch watching that they had brought their young down to the river bank where they would be at risk from the heron.
The parents were very much in evidence, keeping an eye on things, squawking warnings….
…and the youngsters were there too. Walking up and down the water’s edge.
So in the end, perhaps Gavin has escaped the Inferno.
When I had got home, I decided that this was the moment to apply liquid weed and feed to the middle lawn. The signs were auspicious. The wind had died down, the day was warm, the grass and weeds were growing and the sky was clear. I had just finished this tedious task when to my amazement and chagrin, it started to rain. I was open mouthed in astonishment. After quarter of an hour, just enough to make my task a waste of time, the rain stopped and the sun came out again. That really was infernal cheek on the part of the weather gods. We haven’t had any rain since Monday and we are not getting any for the next few days either so this unfortunate coincidence was hard to bear.
I cheered myself up with a picture of the lilac tree.
Like the heron, we had fish for out tea and very tasty it was too. After tea, I discharged two writing tasks which had been preying on my mind so that in spite of the mean rain shower, the day went firmly down on the credit side of the ledger.
I had to leave the garden to find a flying bird. It is a black headed gull on the river.