Today’s guest picture is another insect from Derby’s shopping centre as spotted by my brother Andrew. I am still not clear what the insects are doing there.
The man in the gritter lorry whom I met yesterday was obviously doing useful work as this was the scene that greeted us when we got up this morning.
Although it was coming down in great lumps, the snow was actually quite sleety and after some initial settling…
…it soon melted away leaving just a suggestion on the lawns…
…although the hilltops were still showing a good covering.
It was sleeting so hard at ten o’clock that we drove the few hundred yards to the church in our car instead of cycling as we usually do. There, as part of a small choir of seven, we sang as lustily as we could.
The snow had stopped by the time that we got home and the chaffinches were coming to collect their food in large numbers…
…and the feeder, which I had filled before going to church, was visibly going down.
Some thought it better to take a moment away from the mayhem and reflect on life from the top of the sunflower stalk.
Among the chaffinches an occasional goldfinch turned up….
…but they might have been better staying at home as the sparowhawk paid us a visit and one of the goldfinches was not paying enough attention as the other birds flew off at top speed.
It is sad to see one of our little birds come to such an unfortunate end but sparrowhawks need food too.
It didn’t take long for small birds to return to the feeder and they got the bonus of a ray of sunshine to warm them when they got there.
A couple of larger visitors also put in an appearance. A blackbird did some paddling…
…and a jackdaw looked around for a new bit of the middle lawn to peck up.
After lunch, we went off to combine a little shopping with our Carlisle Community Choir practice.
The shopping went well as we had remembered our shopping list for once and we not only got everything on the list, but one or two other items which jumped into our trolley as we went along. Still, you can’t have too much cheese in my view.
The choir practice was very enjoyable and after concentrating almost entirely on competition songs since the new year, it was good to get some new material to work on. All the same, we are going to sing the three competition songs again this Thursday when we sing in the Carlisle Music Festival. I hope my memory is up to the job.
The choir’s committee have been very active in ensuring that it is a genuine community choir open to anyone who wants to join, and members often sing in care homes and on other occasions when asked by local organisations. As a result, we have received a handsome cheque from the National Lottery to help our work and this was celebrated during our tea break.
In a welcome sign of longer days in spite of the snow, it was still light when we got home after the practice, although the thermometer only showed a miserable 1°C. The forecast for the next week is for very changeable, cool and windy weather though so the longer days may not be of much use to us for gardening or cycling.
After eating slow cooked mince with potatoes and broccoli for our evening meal, we finished off with a bowl of semolina, an ideal way to end a cold and wintery day.
One of the chaffinch horde is the flying bird of the day.