Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia who strayed as far as Berkshire to take this picture on a sunny walk in Twyford a day or two ago.
Our brief summer has gone and we are back to normal spring temperatures. It felt a bit chilly as a result this morning but it was quite a fine day and there was even a brief glimpse of sunshine to light up Dropscone and Sandy who were doing a bit of bench testing after our morning coffee.
They are both keen travellers and as Sandy has just come back from a holiday in the Canary Islands, he was complaining of feeling the chill as a result.
Needless to say we had some good scones with our coffee.
While I waited for them to arrive, I spent a little time staring out of the window in the effort to catch a flying bird. Birds were scarce though and only goldfinches arrived in any numbers…
…and they either spent their time deliberately turning their backs on me…
…or nipping quickly into the feeder before i could catch them.
When Dropscone and Sandy had gone on their way, I wandered about the garden.
I ignored the tulips today and spent a lot of time dead heading daffodils as the day of the daffodil is almost done. There are some late comers to the feast…
…and this is my daffodil of the day…
…but most of them are gone now.
They will soon be replaced by these…
…which are lining up to come into flower.
The silver pear is doing its best…
…but although it is covered in flowers, they are so discreet that a casual passer by would hardly notice them.
A single clump of apple blossom packs more punch than the whole pear tree.
I heard a lot of buzzing on the gooseberry bush and managed to take a striking but indeterminate shot of a visitor to the flowers on its way.
It looks like a wasp but I couldn’t get it to pose nicely for me.
It has been a regular visitor to the gooseberry so I hope that I will get a better look at it soon.
Things are going over….
…and things are coming on
Mrs Tootlepedal has three trilliums in the garden and although they are not quite showing up like the carpets of trilliums that appear in America, two of hers are looking quite healthy.
I got the hover mower out and mowed the grass round the greenhouse. Just to annoy me, it has been growing more quickly than the grass on the lawns.
I woke up very early this morning and was nearly deafened by the dawn chorus outside. Some of the noisiest birds in the garden are the blackbirds and one has taken to sitting on the silver pear during the day and singing as loudly as possible.
Mrs Tootlepedal has seen a mother blackbird feeding a youngster and I hope to be able to catch some blackbird family action with the camera. There are plenty of blackbirds about…
…but I haven’t seen a baby blackbird yet.
It started to rain after lunch but that didn’t affect us very much as we spent the afternoon going to Dumfries where Mrs Tootlepedal had an eye appointment. The eye department is still in the old hospital which has recently been superseded by a brand new building elsewhere in town. This has the wonderful effect of letting us park without problem in the vast and largely unoccupied car park.
It made going to hospital a pleasure and we added to the jollity of the day by stopping off at a garden centre on the way home. We met another Langholm couple there who had been visiting the new hospital. They told us that parking there was a nightmare. Land values in the UK are curious and it is an oddity that they can find millions to build a new hospital but still can’t afford to acquire enough land for adequate car parks for the patients.
A little rain won’t come amiss in the garden after some hot dry days but we just hope it knows when to stop. The forecast is ominously unsettled.
I couldn’t get a good flying goldfinch today and this rather pointillist effort was the best that I could manage but at least it is flying and it is a bird.