A gentle retreat

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia’s trip to Yellowstone.


Although when we woke up, there was still a lot of snow about in the garden today…

snowy garden

…with a bit of luck there will be a lot more green about when we wake up tomorrow as the temperature hit 7°C by the afternoon and should stay above freezing all night.  If the forecast rain arrives, most of the snow should be gone soon.

I was able to walk up to the Archive Centre after breakfast to do a meter reading without treading on any snow in the streets and Dropscone also did the same when he came round for coffee.  He had used some Irish flour left over from his holiday for his scones and it produced very tasty results.

During the morning, the dam bridge was the scene of great activity.

First men cleared the snow…


…and then they trampled about in a reflective way before deciding that the hard core laid by the builders before the snow had now belied its name and become so soft that it all had to be dug up.


This didn’t take long and soon a large lorry was disgorging barrow loads of tarmac which were spread, rolled,  spirit levelled and rolled again….


…until the bridge looked like this.


All it needs now is some railings and we will get our street back again.

During the morning, we also got some birds back in the garden in spite of the noise from the bridge builders.

After some almost totally chaffinch days, we got a better variety of visitors.

green finch



There were quite a few chaffinches still, with this one looking a bit disgruntled about the fair weather visitors, I thought.


The amount of wet weather that we have had over the recent years can be gauged by the quantity of moss on the plum tree branches.  The whole garden is getting gradually covered in moss.

A number of chaffinches both female….

flying chaffinches

…and male…


…made spirited efforts to win the coveted title of flying bird of the day.

After lunch, I rang up Sandy to suggest a walk only to find that he had been laid low by a bad cold.  I had had an ambitious walk in mind but under the circumstances, I just went out for my familiar short three bridges stroll.

I had hoped to see herons, dippers, wagtails, ducks and gulls but in the end only saw mallards…


…who seem to be pairing up for the spring…


…and a good supply of black headed gulls, some of whom are beginning to show where they get their name from.

Most of them were playing musical fence posts….


…but some flew about in a more helpful way.

black headed gull

It is interesting (to me) to see how differently coloured the same sky is when photographed  from the same spot within minutes.  A few degrees of turn from the photographer is all it takes.

The thaw is producing odd results.  In this view….


…the grass was green and the hill was white but further along my walk….


…the grass was white and hill was green.

The hint of blue sky in the first picture was just that, a hint and didn’t come to anything sadly.

Snowdrops along the Lodge walks have emerged more or less unscathed from under the snow .


I didn’t linger long on my walk as the going was often rather unattractively slushy underfoot so I passed up many moss opportunities but this lichen garden on a single branch stopped me in my tracks.


When I got home, I noticed that, like the snowdrops, a daffodil in our garden which had been in flower before the snow came had survived to bloom another day.


I was unaccountably tired when I got in and was not as disappointed as I would normally have been to find that our usual Monday night trio playing had been cancelled as Isabel, like Sandy, had a cold.

We really need some warm, sunny weather and soon.

My flute pupil Luke came and he too was suffering a bit from the long spell of miserable weather and we were not at our best.

In spite of the efforts of the chaffinches, a black headed gull appears as flying bird of the day.

black headed gull




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “A gentle retreat

  1. I am very pleased to report that, whereas on my return from the US I found frozen frogspawn in my pond, today I found 11 frogs there purring away preparative, I imagine, to making lots more.
    I couldn’t help laughing at the soft hard core, but you must be longing for the work on the bridge to be completey finished.

  2. Does all that moss have any ill affects on your plum tree or garden? Love the lone daf and patch of snow drops! Spring must be coming!

  3. The birds are in fine form, and you have caught their many expressions, as always. 🙂

    The flying gull is particularly beautiful.

    Hot scones on a cold snowy day sounds like a wonderful thing! Good to see the daffodils and snow drops.

    Our first skunk of the season ambled by yesterday afternoon. He was a very big one, and quite stinky.

  4. The bird on the branch and the lichen are lovely photos. Glad to see the ladies performing for the flying bird Oscars. Must be wonderful to see a few blooms peeking out. We haven’t had that luxury here.

  5. Here’s hoping for some sunshine and warmer weather for you soon.
    Glad the daffodil and snowdrops survived the snow.

  6. The flying gull and the flowers were my favorites of the day, although it was a tough choice to make. I hope that the bridge is finished soon, your weather continues to improve, and that every one coming down with a cold recovers soon. I guess that I should add to that list, I hope that neither you or Mrs. T have to suffer through another cold.

  7. Female chaffinches look very dainty when flying. Love the gull, his coloured wing feathers and orange bits at both ends satisfactorily symmetrical. Pleased there looks a proper thaw in sight so everyone can get back to ‘normal’ including the plants.

  8. Lots of action here, not least with the birds. Liked the flight pictures, in particular, and the amazing shot provided by your correspondent.

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