Springing backwards

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.

derby insect

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.

snowstorm march

Although it was coming down in great lumps, the snow was actually quite sleety and after some initial settling…

snowy hellebores march

…it soon melted away leaving just a suggestion on the lawns…

snowy lawn march

…although the hilltops were still showing a good covering.

monument in snow march

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…

lots of chaffinches

…and the feeder, which I had filled before going to church, was visibly going down.

very busy feeder

Some thought it better to take a moment away from the mayhem and reflect on life from the top of the sunflower stalk.

chaffinch on the stalk

Among the chaffinches an occasional goldfinch turned up….

busy feeder chaffinches

…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.

hawk on lawn with goldfinch

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.

two siskins after the hawk

A couple of larger visitors also put in an appearance.  A blackbird did some paddling…

blackbird in tray

…and a jackdaw looked around for a new bit of the middle lawn to peck up.

jackdaw on lawn

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.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Springing backwards

  1. I like that giant dragonfly. I’d like to put one out on my lawn.
    We had the same kind of gloppy snow here today but they say we’ll see 60 degrees F. by the end of the week so things are looking up. I hope you’ll get the same weather.
    I think the sparrow hawk has learned where the easiest pickings are found and probably visits feeders all over town. As you say, it has to eat.

  2. I feel the same way when a predator catches a little creature, but as you noted, predators must eat, too. Congrats on getting the check! Sounds as though you all make the community a better place.

  3. Winter is getting closer here so hopefully that is your last snow of the season. I know I shouldn’t, but I cant help admiring the sparrow hawk – its all business!

  4. Beautiful flying bird of the day! How it could be difficult for the birds to survive for their LIFE during snowfall etc? You are doing good work by feeding them through the feeders installed. Thanks!!!

  5. From the frozen depths of Saskatchewan, Canada (today is a balmy -7, after several months of – 30 to -45), may I say thank you for your daily reports of your life? I so enjoy your reports of puttering, gardening, pedalling and tooteling. I was raised in Ireland, and especially at this time of year find myself longing for signs of spring. Your photographs and descriptions of its arrival in your part of the world keep me hopeful…only 2 months to go!!!

    1. I don’t think that I could last a Canadian winter so I am glad to have brought a little early spring into your life. Thank you for commenting, it is much appreciated.

  6. That was encouraging – to get a cheque from the National Lottery Fund in support of the choir’s work. Hope the next concert goes well.

  7. Good to read the news about the Lottery cheque…pleased my very occasional £2 spend is being put to good use! Love all the bird photos brightening up your day after the winter weather start. Batten down the hatches time again…just seen the forecast!

    1. Batten down the hatches is right! Thank yo for your £2. There are quite a few of mine in there too as I think it is only right to have a go if you are going to take money from the fund.

  8. You certainly had some wintery weather yesterday! The photo of the sparrowhawk is a fine one as is the one of the jackdaw. Congratulations on the lottery money!

  9. The sparrow hawk does need to eat too. I have seen blue jays here rob the nests of the tree swallows, carrying off youngsters. The sparrow hawks impress me as less wasteful of their prey than the jays.

    Congratulations to the choir on the check from the lottery!

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