Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who has returned from Spain and found this fine windmill at Lytham in Lancashire.
A spell of good weather has crept up on us surreptitiously. It has gone gradually from being cold and grey to generally warm and fine. It has been raining in the night but by day, the sun has developed a habit of coming out and the wind has lost some of its usual fierceness so we are finding ourselves in the unusual condition of having nothing to complain about. It is most annoying.
Being Sunday, it was a day of singing rather than cycling or gardening but I found a moment or two to walk round the garden and see what was going on.
Before church I checked on the progress of the alliums…still a bit slow.
There are plenty of buds but precious few petals.
In one of the new beds in the vegetable garden, beans are looking healthy.
And near the bird feeders, the first wallflowers are beginning to show.
After church and before lunch, I had another look.
Mrs Tootlepedal has planted a perennial wallflower this year which is looking good…
…but a closer look showed that some evil leaf nibbler has been hard at work on it. Hmm.
Nearby, the first rhododendron buds are giving promise of a great show to come soon.
They are a contrast to the restrained white dicentra.
I went to check on the pond and saw these bright flowers along the edge. Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that they are poached egg plants (Limnanthes douglasii for their Sunday name) but the white of the egg is not very much in evidence yet.
In the pond itself, a frog was banging its head against the wall. It had possibly been considering Brexit.
I made some potato soup for lunch and there was time for a last visit to the garden before going off to Carlisle for our afternoon choir.
We did some bench testing but I was tempted into chasing after a white butterfly which flitted from flower to flower so briskly that this was the best that I could do.
Mrs Tootlepedal eyed some tulips in the bed opposite the bench with some satisfaction…
….and resolved to buy a few more for next year. A sensible decision in my view.
We had a good session with a substitute conductor with the Carlisle Community choir. The drive down through the fresh green leaves of spring was worth the journey alone but the singing was enjoyable too.
During the day the blackbird male was assiduous in attending to the needs of his two offspring. ..
…although, as usual, they never seem very cheerful about things.
A keen eyed jackdaw visited the feeder to sample the fat balls…
…and left enough for a sparrow to enjoy later on.
On the seed feeder, goldfinches sparred…
…siskins loomed up…
…and a pair of redpolls made a determined effort to dislodge some siskins.
We had a vague plan for making the best of a sunny evening as we drove back from the choir but once we had got settled into the kitchen over a cup of tea on our return, the rest of the day slipped away before we could rouse ourselves to action.
We seem to have been quite busy lately and as neither of us sleep as well as we would like, we were a bit tired and the sitting room sofa held a lot of charm.
I am hoping to get the new bike out again tomorrow if the good weather holds.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.