I have run out of new guest pictures so I am returning to my Somerset correspondent Ventetia’s trip to America. She was driven along some beautiful but slightly scary roads.
While we didn’t go quite as far as the guest picture, we were visited by some very unwelcome snow here and the temperature only just crept above zero all day.
The snow was mostly very light but as it was accompanied by a brisk and bitter wind, we viewed it largely through our windows.
I did go out to take two views of our completed bridge.
Severe critics have complained that the gap below the railings on both the right and left sides are big enough to let a small child through but these are people who have no bridge of their own and are jealous of ours. A child needs a little adventure in its life.
Marching bands, acrobats, peers of the realm and assorted reality TV celebrities are being lined up for the official opening.
While I was out, I admired the winter aconites which are looking promising…
..but even winter aconites need a bit of help from the elements to come into full flower.
The birds were grateful for some food on a chilly day…
…and chaffinches in particular turned up in large numbers.
But the odd greenfinch….
…and goldfinch was to be seen too.
Over lunchtime, I watched Scotland making very hard work of beating a good Italian side in their final match of the Six nations rugby tournament and then, as the sun had come out, I went for a walk to recover from the excitement of a tense finish to the game.
It looked like a wonderful day…
…but in the brisk wind the “feels like” factor was well below freezing. I was hoping to see some waterside birds but they obviously didn’t care much for the cold either and I had to settle for some gently paddling mallards…
…and a herring gull on a rock in the river.
Among dozens of black headed gulls, we seem to have only two resident herring gulls. They like standing in the middle of the rivers.
You can see why I often like to walk along the Kilngreen….
… and over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks…
…but even in when the sun was out, it was a bit of a penance today. I only met one other walker and that was our friend Gavin. He was also recovering from the stress of watching Scotland play.
Some cheerful moss on a tree stump…
…and a large and aged bracket fungus on a dead branch…
…gave me some thing to look at as I went round.
And I took a good look at a large tree on the other side of the playing field…
…which at first sight might look as though it had started to have some early spring foliage on it.
A closer look showed that any vibrancy in the colouring didn’t come from the tree but from its guests.
It is covered from head…
to toe in lichen and moss and has so much vegetation on it that it should be declared a national park in its own right.
An onrushing blizzard of light snow hurried me home but it stopped as I got to the house and the sun came out again.
This pattern continued for the rest of day with enough snow to start lying as the evening got colder.
It is due to keep snowing on and off through the night and tomorrow is going to be close to zero again (it is -2C as I write this) but with luck, there will be no travel problems when we want to go to our choir in the afternoon.
It doesn’t feel very much like four days before the vernal equinox though.
The flying bird of the day is one of the black headed gulls from the Kilngreen.