Today’s guest picture is a beautiful shot of the little lake in Regents Park. My sister Mary took it on her way to play tennis at the weekend and remarked that it looked very spring-like in spite of being partially frozen.
We had another dry, chilly day here without much sun to cheer us up so it felt cold. There were even one or two desultory snowflakes but they came to nothing.
The dam bridge repair man was back and busy and by lunchtime, the bridge looked like this…
…ready for the final finishing touches in the next day or two, weather permitting.
The forecast is very dramatic, talking of low temperatures and deep snow but at present our part of the country looks as though it might get off lightly. We live in hope.
After breakfast, I cracked open my piggy bank (into which I put small denomination coins which otherwise would put an intolerable strain on my trouser pockets) and was able to take a couple of pounds worth of coppers round to our local shop who still need them for change.
I had a moment to look out of the window after that.
A goldfinch appeared but it was the only one that I saw today…
….and a greenfinch flew in.
Then it was time to welcome Dropscone for coffee. He has returned safely from his holiday in the very south of Ireland where he and two of his children had had a good time going about and seeing the sights.
Not only was he welcome back in his own right but the fact that he brought scones with him was the metaphorical icing on the cake. I had butter and blackcurrant jelly on mine.
While we were sipping and chatting, we had another visitor.
The fact that the sparrowhawk stopped for a picture meant that it had successfully nipped one of our other visitors off the feeder. I have cropped the picture because it is too sad to view the reality however much it is just part of the natural cycle.
Later on, after coffee, I saw a most unusual burst of colour in the plum tree. A closer look showed me that it was a male bullfinch. It stayed on the plum tree for long enough for me to get the big lens and take its picture.
You might well think that such a magnificent little bird would be welcome but what it is doing in the plum tree is pecking off the shoots and eating them.
Left alone a bullfinch and its pals will strip a tree so rather ungratefully after taking its picture, I went out and shooed it away. I like bullfinches but I like plums more. This particular bird, having taken off a shoot, had the cheek to drop it as you can see in third picture in the panel above.
I spent some time after all this avian excitement in not quite getting a flying chaffinch picture right.
I took a stroll round the garden and was impressed by the hardiness of our small bunch of early daffodils. We will need a few more before they can be considered a ‘host of golden daffodils’ but they are trying.
The crocuses were keeping themselves to themselves, huddled against the cold but I liked the picture that this small bunch on the drying green made.
After lunch, I went out for a short ten mile bike ride on my slow bike. My plan was to go as slowly as was reasonable to avoid increasing the wind chill factor too much.
Although it was very chilly, the roads were dry and there was no danger of frost. At one point on my way up the road, I heard a clink, as though something had fallen off my bike but a quick check told me that my bike was still all there. It was only when I went to look in my mirror before turning at Callister that I realised that it was the mirror that had fallen off.
I put my failure to notice this down to the extreme cold which had obviously numbed my brain.
I turned and pedalled back looking anxiously for any trace of the mirror but I fear that a passing car must have run over it and spun it off into the verge because there was no sign of it at all.
I made a tomato, potato and feta bake for my tea to cheer myself up
And to make things even better, I had a musical evening as first my flute pupil Luke came and then, after tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel. The trios were great fun and I hardly noticed the cold as I walked home.
I did catch one flying chaffinch without a feeder in front of it and it is the flying bird of the day.