Today’s guest picture comes from the collection sent to me by my brother-in-law Huseyin and shows Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire.
I got up early and set off up the A7 on the fairly speedy bike in an effort to avoid some forecast showers. As a plan it worked well as I saw a huge shower blow across the Ewes valley in front of me on my way back down the road and it had cleared away by the time that I had got to where it had been. I was so cheered by this that I hardly noticed the shower of light rain that got me a bit wet a mile or two further down the road.
The rest of the day was much the same with alternating sunshine and showers. I did get to wander round the garden.
There are quite a few promising rosebuds about but for the moment we have to make do with the Rosa Moyesii.
The chief bird residents are sparrows and blackbirds. One of the blackbirds seems to have come off worse in one of the many blackbird battles.
It flies about regardless and looks quite chirpy.
The sparrows are everywhere, even in the newly turned compost.
They are in family groups with anxious parents shepherding demanding children around.
A swift zipped across the garden at speed…
…while a jackdaw held a watching brief from a nearby telephone pole.
There were a couple of new flowers to be seen, a Veronica…
…and the first of many big daisies.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from singing in the church choir, she was soon busy in her greenhouse doing the sort of things that people do in greenhouses (it’s a mystery to me).
I was busy looking at bees.
There were a number of these light brown bees about today, all with full pollen sacs. The bees seem to like the Dicentra more than any other flower in the garden. I know nothing about the habits and tastes of bees but I am surprised that they seem to ignore our large display of Azaleas altogether. The more usual white tailed bees were about as well.
I made some vegetable soup for lunch and soon after enjoying a plateful, we set off for our choir in Carlisle. We made an early start as we were combining the singing with some shopping.
Our choir practice was extremely hard working because we have three engagements coming up and not as much time as we would like to prepare for them all. Nevertheless, the hard work of the musical director and his excellent accompanist is paying off and the choir knuckled down well and sounded really quite musical. I just wish that I had been able to find a choir with a good musical director like this years ago when my voice might have been more up to meeting the demands which are being made on it.
When we came out of the practice, the heavens had opened and the road outside the church had turned to a river. We were seriously worried about our chances of getting safely home but the rain eased off as we left Carlisle and the garden was in sunshine when we arrived back.
A rook in the walnut tree was enjoying the quiet evening air.
Up above, the sky was criss-crossed by darting swifts….
…but the occasional rumble of thunder behind the house reminded us that the weather was fickle.
I am hoping that the weather settles down during the next week as it has been very windy recently and this and the frequent showers have made planning cycle rides and walks a dodgy business.
In the absence of any satisfactory flying birds, I have taken Zyriacus’ suggestion to heart and am putting in a non flying flower of the day instead. It another shot of the newly arrived Veronica. I like the little pairs of dancing shoes which each flower has.