(No)Sunday

Glastonbury bank closure

My Glastonbury correspondent, Venetia, sent me today’s guest picture.  It is a sign of the times, being a mock funeral procession to mourn the closure of the last bank branch in the town earlier this month.  Glastonbury bank closure

After several chilly and rather grey days of north easterly winds, the wind completely changed and blew from the west…and we got another chilly, grey day….but dry so mustn’t grumble (much).

It wasn’t as cold overnight as they had suggested that it might be so there was no danger of icy roads but the cold wind was more than enough to keep me happily occupied in making a spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker and then enjoying a cup of coffee before going out on my bike.

It was still only a miserable 5°C but I was well wrapped up so I was warm enough.  I managed to find a circular 20 mile ride which avoided most of the potholes and enjoyed it in a gentle way.  I stopped on the Hollows Bridge when I saw what might have been a suspicion of green in the trees beside the river.

Esk at Hollows

The bright green on the left is the Mill’s Archimedes screw, turning merrily and providing pollution free power.  Every home should have one.

I didn’t have much time when I got home because Sunday is Carlisle choir day and we had pencilled in a shopping trip on the way.  I had a quick walk round the garden.

The euphorbias are thriving.  I love their little crab’s claws…

euphorbia

…and often wonder what evolutionary advantage they brought.

euphorbia

The chilly weather is holding back new arrivals but I was pleased to see that it hasn’t affected the health of the fritillary.

fritillary

A dogwood showed a little tightly wrapped parcel of future cheer…

dogwood

…and a tree peony also seems to be going in the right direction.

tree peony

While I made and ate a jam sandwich or two for my lunch, I was able to stare out of the window.  Sometimes it was all siskins….

siskins

…and sometimes it was all goldfinches…

goldfinches

…and sometimes it was  multicultural.

siskin, redpoll and goldfinch

I feel rather sorry for the chaffinches which had the almost uninterrupted use of the feeders over the winter but have been pushed out by the newcomers more recently.  They had a small fightback today.

chaffinches

…but they haven’t learnt the value of co-operation even now.

chaffinches

We duly went off and did our shopping and singing.  The shopping was very successful but the singing had a double handicap as our substitute conductor had nearly lost her voice and our accompanist’s train was late for the second week running (or not running in this case).

However we all tried our best, a microphone was found for the conductor, the accompanist turned up and we started to learn a new song so the time wasn’t wasted.

I got yet another opportunity to photogrpah my new friend when we got home.

sparrowhawk
There were some birds down there a minute ago!

It posed before it went off disappointed.

sparrowhawk
I am fairly sure that this is an adult male bird

The spaghetti sauce from the slow cooker turned out to be quite tasty  so a grey and chilly day was not so bad as it might have been.  The forecast says that it might get a little warmer for the next few days.  That would be very nice.

I had two choices of flying goldfinches as flying bird of the day but it seemed unfair to pick one over the other so I have put them both in.

flying goldfinches

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “(No)Sunday

  1. Glad you managed a cycle ride among the potholes. Excellent signs of Spring in your garden but I don’t think a jam sandwich constitutes a healthy lunch so I hope there was more to it than that.

  2. The crab claws on the euphorbia are nectar secreting glands, presumably used to attract insects. The male flowers sit in the center in a tiny cup and the female flower hangs outside the cup.
    The sparrow hawk looks hungry.

  3. Your sharp-eyed and sharp-taloned visitor looks hungry. Beautiful photos of the cast of avian characters, as well as all the flowers and countryside. Yes, hard to choose between the two flying birds of the day! Glad you included both.

  4. Spurge flowers are among my favorites for their weirdness. Oddly, your siskins look like American goldfinches. Your goldfinches don’t look like anything I know. I particularly like the flying bird that looks like it’s perched and you just erased the perch.

  5. I loved the euphorbia (which my favorite guide says is a “very aggressive European import officially considered a noxious weed in Michigan”). Apparently the crab claws have employed their evolutionary advantage to good effect Over Here. Fine with me – I pick bouquets of them and bring them home. Not yet, of course.

    I, too, thought the second flying goldfinch looked like a commercial aircraft, but now that I think about it, perhaps the goldfinches are militarizing themselves in response to the global threat posed by the sparrowhawk.

  6. The flowers in your garden seem to think that Spring is here even if the temperature says otherwise! I am fairly sure you are correct about the Sparrowhawk. I am pleased he didn’t manage to get a meal this time.

  7. The sparrow hawk is getting braver all the time, pretty soon you’ll be able to use your macro lens on it.

    We had three weeks of cold with sullen grey skies, but that all changed in just two days. Now we’ve had three straight days of almost cloudless skies, maybe this weather is heading your way.

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