Today’s guest picture was taken by my sister Susan on a visit to Reading. It shows the Maiwand Lion, commemorating the dead of the Berkshire Regiment of Foot at Girishk Maiwand and Kandahar in 1880. The British were defeated at Girishk Maiwand by the Afghan army at a high cost to both sides during the 2nd Afghan war.
As the astute reader will gather from the the title of this post, it actually rained today but as this didn’t happen until the early evening and as it didn’t last long, it didn’t make much of a dent in our spell of excellent weather.
We had a sunny morning and made the most of it. I had to pay an early visit to the health centre for a blood test and was happy to find that I still had some but I wasted no time when I got back in getting to work on the front lawn. It lives in cold shadows over the winter and gets very mossy and the poor weather of the first four months of the year hasn’t helped it so I gave it a scarifying with our electric scarifier. I followed this with a rake and a mow and then I topped off the treatment with a dose of seaweed buck-u-uppo. Did it look grateful after all this? No, it still looked mossy. Still, I enjoy the challenge.
In between the scarifying and the seaweed, Sandy came round for a cup of coffee and a news catchup.
As Mrs Tootlepedal is busy planting stuff out, she is using the sieved compost as fast as I can produce it so I sieved another batch and the contents of Bin D are decreasing rapidly.
I found time to wander around with the camera.
I often concentrate on single flowers so today for a change, I went for quantity over quality.
I did take one shot a single flower. This was the clematis at the front door and I took the single flower shot to show the contrast between the clematis at the front door (two flowers) ….
…and the clematis at the back door (hundreds).
I try to keep an eye out for the new arrivals and today a nectaroscordum had developed enough to get a personal portrait.
It was very breezy but I am still a bit short of cycling miles so I got my new bike out after lunch and decided to test the conditions. It was warm but the skies had clouded over so the temperature was perfect and I set off with hopes of 30 miles or more.
However, after a few miles at a crisp speed and with not a whisper of wind in my face, it became apparent that the wind was going to make it very hard work pedalling home if I cycled too far out and I lowered my ambitions and went round the 20 mile Canonbie circuit.
This was a good decision as there was plenty to see…
… and the route choice turned out well as I got a good deal more help from the wind than I expected and managed to get my average over 14 mph. This is very good for me these days.
As I cycled down the road along our garden hedge at the end of my ride, I was detained by the old Rosa Moyesii…
…and the honeysuckle.
I hadn’t seen these earlier as they can only be seen when you are not in the garden.
The rain started not long after I got home so I had a good excuse to spend some time watching the birds at the feeder.
It was quite busy with siskins and goldfinches…
…with the siskins demonstrating why the seed level goes down so quickly when they are there. They drop at least half of their food as the seeds are just too big for their beaks.
We have had regular visits from a small group of pigeons recently and they were back again today…
…keeping an eye out for fallen seed.
I am hoping for a less windy day tomorrow to get a last minute addition to my mileage for the month of May but there is a hint of more rain in the forecast so time will tell.
The flying bird(s) of the day is a collection of airborne siskins.