Today’s guest picture shows a fine peacock which my sister Mary saw on a walk in Holland Park. She was with my Somerset correspondent Venetia.
We have had to wait a long time but we finally got a warm and pleasant day today, though just to ensure that we didn’t get too uppity, the weather gods provided a stiff breeze, some clouds and an evening rain shower to go with the sunshine.
I was feeling a bit tired after pushing the slow bike around in the wind yesterday so I was more than happy to have a cup of coffee and some treacle scones with Dropscone rather than set out on another long pedal in the morning.
Before he arrived, I cycled round the town doing some business and then walked round the garden. The gooseberry bush is starting to show signs of life…
…among its formidable thorns…
…and a rather cross bee gave me a hard stare when I went into the greenhouse to check on Mrs Tootlepedal’s seedlings.
While Dropscone and I were drinking our coffee, I noticed an unusually marked jackdaw on the lawn.
It was taking a rest from collecting nesting material.
By coincidence, just as Dropscone left and I was checking a freshly out pulmonaria in the garden…
…this handsome dog….
…brought Dropscone’s sister with one of her daughters and a grandchild in a pushchair to our garden gate. His sister has sent me a fine view of the town which will appear soon as guest picture of the day.
The dog, for those who are interested in these things, is a Vizsla, a Hungarian breed.
After Elizabeth and Anna went on their way, I took a moment to watch the birds. The flocks of siskins and goldfinches have vanished like snow off a dyke and our regular crew of chaffinches flew in instead…
…doubtless quite pleased to see the coast clear.
They were joined by a greenfinch…
…who as usual didn’t seem to be pleased about anything.
After lunch, I got the slow bike out and set off up the road to see where my tired legs would take me.
They took me to the Cleuchfoot road where I enjoyed the tree beside the Glencorf burn…
…and these colourful alder catkins….
…and then, with a lot of huffing and puffing, they took me to the top of Callister where they finally gave up the unequal struggle with a strong wind and went on strike.
The view from the top of Callister doesn’t show the 25mph gusts of wind.
It does show how the long winter and spring have drained all the colour out of our hills and it will be a couple of months before we are living in a green and pleasant land again.
Still, it was genuinely warm at about 10°C so it was nice enough to be out, even with bolshie legs and the brief 14 miles took me over 100 miles for the month.
When I got back to the town, I went along the riverside before I finished my ride, in the hope of seeing one of these.
There is nothing like an oyster catcher to make you forget a stiff breeze.
I had a cup of tea and walked round the garden to enjoy the little bits of colour that there are about.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s recently purchased fancy daffodil has survived the weather and is looking quite cheerful, though I had to hold its head up to get this shot.
A winter aconite had attracted a bee.
I thought of a walk but the threat of a rain shower sent me back indoors after I had done a bit more work on the new raised beds.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and since Gardener’s World was not on, Mike watched England ladies play Wales ladies at football on the telly while Alison and I played played flute and keyboard duets. Although the football ended in a goalless draw, Mike said that he had enjoyed it and Alison and I had certainly enjoyed our playing so with added conversation, it was an evening well spent.
Our spell of warmer weather is set to continue for a while and I hope to get some more useful miles in over the next few days, even if they are slow ones.
The flying bird is one of our loyal band of chaffinches.