Today’s guest picture was sent by my friend Mike Tinker who encountered a bird cherry tree on a walk near Brampton yesterday. The tree had been completely defoliated and had been covered up in a weblike material by the bird cherry ermine moth. He tells me that the tree looked as though it had been wrapped in cling film. Creepy.
Our spell of dry and fairly warm weather continued today and I paid some attention to my general tiredness and instead of getting even more tired by bicyling, I spent a very leisurely day relaxing, helping a little in the garden now and again and chatting to Granny.
I wasn’t entirely idle as I found the energy to mow and edge a lawn and clip four of the box balls round the front lawn. All the box balls are now clipped and only the short hedges remain. Mrs Tootlepedal did one of them today. She would like to take at least one of the little hedges out to reduce the clipping load but they do give very good definition to the garden so they will probably survive.
I thought that I had taken pictures of all the roses that were out today.
[Top left to bottom right: Crown Princess Margaretha, Goldfinch, Rosa Mundi, Jacobite Rose, Special Grandma, Gallica Complicata, Moss rose William Lobb, Lilian Austin, The Wren]
…but I realised too late that I had missed out the Queen of Denmark.
Our old lawn water sprinkler has broken down so we have got a new swirly watering device to attach to the hose and I set it up to water one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s flower beds. I like the pattern’s that it makes.
I walked round to check on the tadpoles in the dam behind the house. They were still there.
Alison Tinker suggested that these may be toads and not frogs in the making as the toads spawn later then frogs and often in running water too. I shall keep an eye on them as they develop if I can.
The two Fuchsias in the garden are not looking very good in spite of much cossetting but the old fashioned Fuchsia on the back wall is thriving on benign neglect.
Two clumps of Ligularia are just beginning to come into flower.
I enjoyed a defiant rose adding a touch of pink to a mass of blue and white in the border beside the front lawn.
We had a tasty hard boiled egg salad for lunch with home grown lettuce, locally produced tomatoes and cheese from not far away so we felt we had done our best for the local economy as well as eating good food.
Some persistent squealing outside the kitchen window caught my attention. A young starling was wanting his lunch too….and this very moment now please.
The parent flew up to the feeder and the baby practised looking pathetically hungry.
Soon a sibling arrived.
This proved too much for the parent who flew off followed by two wailing youngsters.
After lunch, I went off to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen for two hours where I saw not a single tourist and gave out not a jot of information. As I had newspapers to read, a crossword to do and a bag a very unlocal cherries to eat, the time passed pleasantly enough.
As a reward, I got myself a an ice cream from the van on the Kilngreen when I shut up shop and ate it while looking at birds on the river bank.
I was watching a wagtail….
…when a disturbance behind me made me look round.
The resident heron had arrived and was being harassed by furious gulls.
The heron looked a little nervous but stood its ground, occasionally fluffing itself up .
The gulls kept circling round and shouting at it which gave me the opportunity to take a picture or two…
…before I cycled home.
Here I indulged in some top quality idling, helped by having Wimbledon tennis on the telly but I did get up from time to time to check on the seed feeder to see of any finches had arrived. There was a trickle.
I saw a flock of goldfinches not far away a few days ago so I am hoping that they will make an appearance soon.
We had a very brief flying visit from a coal tit too.
Mrs Tootlepedal was working away in the garden all this time so I went out to check on her activities and couldn’t resist yet another shot of the Eryngiums which are probably now at their peak of blueness.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I caused several notable composers to spin rapidly in their graves as we did a bit of violence to their music but, as usual, we enjoyed ourselves as we did it.
The flying bird of the day is one of those complaining gulls. This is a young black headed gull.