Today’s guest picture was sent to me by our daughter Annie. She had just completed the task of barrowing in 80 bags of compost for the new raised beds which she has constructed on her allotment. She remarked that she was a teeny bit tired. Fancy that.
I was in quite a perky mood today and more than ready for a pedal on the slow bike or an interesting walk when I had finished making a venison stew for the slow cooker. The weather gods had other ideas and every time that I got ready to go out, they made it rain.
It was a rather chilly, miserable sort of day anyway and the prospect of getting a soaking did not appeal so in the end, the furthest that I ventured was out into the garden.
We are getting nearer to having a bunch of daffodils out every day…
…though we are stuck on one a half for the moment.
On the other hand, the garden is full of snowdrops….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal keeps looking at them and saying that this is the year when she really will set about splitting up the bigger clumps and spreading them even more widely about. It is one of those things that is quite easy to imagine doing but much harder to do when the garden is full of other more interesting things to do as the year develops. They look pretty good to me as they are.
I was looking forward to seeing some birds after the compete absence of any feathers in yesterday’s post but it didn’t look very promising early on with just a couple of goldfinches visiting the plum tree…
…and no feeder action at all.
As the morning went on though, a few chaffinches arrived…
…followed by a small flock of goldfinches…
…and this was one of the moments when the weather looked nice enough for an outing.
By the time that I had got upstairs to put on my outdoor socks though, it had started to rain…
…and this pattern repeated itself twice more until I got fed up and settled down to read yesterday’s papers.
After lunch, I looked out of the window again and saw chaffinches showing different perch spotting techniques.
It was a pity that a good looking goldfinch didn’t move four inches to its left while approaching the feeder.
The weather had improved a bit by then but I couldn’t take advantage of it as it was time to go to Carlisle to sing with our choir. The sun is still low in the sky and it was so bright as we drove down, reflecting off the wet and shiny roads, that both Mrs Tootlepedal and I suffered from purple white line syndrome caused by negative after image.
Sometimes, the weather gods’ little jokes are just tiresome.
Still the choir practice was excellent. Our musical director was unavailable but he had sent down a more than competent substitute and she gave us some very valuable pointers on how to improve the projection of our words and impart the meaning of the songs. She also had advice on how to improve the quality of our singing. The sight of a large number of mature sopranos standing on one leg and belting it out was a treat. (It strengthens your core when you are standing on one leg. The improvement in sound quality was remarkable. Whether an audience would take to a choir standing on one leg is another matter.)
The venison stew turned out very well when we got home so the day ended on a high note.
I have got a plant of the day today, or rather, a potential plant of the day as a well protected bunch of crocuses shows signs of bursting into flower.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch, caught in one of the morning’s gloomier moments..