Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She visited Wells with her friend, my Somerset corespondent Venetia, and took this reflective portrait of the cathedral from the bishop’s garden.
We had a colder, windier day than yesterday, but as it was drier than forecast and the sun even came out briefly once or twice, we were grateful at a time when elsewhere in the country, torrential rain was making life hard.
I started the day by going to collect my bike from the bike shop where it had been serviced. Because it has a gear box rather then a derailleur, it had had an oil change instead of a new cassette after just under four thousand miles. The oil change was cheaper than a new cassette and chain but it still made my eyes water. I will have to learn how to do it myself.
When I got home, I did a little shredding, put the results in compost bin A and then sieved more of compost bin C and put the bits that didn’t go through the sieve into compost bin D. I lead a deep and exciting life.
Then I compounded the excitement by wandering about with a camera in hand.
The orange hawkweed is also known as ‘fox and cubs’ and this foxy flower looked as though it was brooding its cubs.
We have spireas that have showy leaves and dull flowers and we have spireas with dull leaves and showy flowers, very showy flowers.
Although we have had plenty of bees, I haven’t seen a great many smaller insects so I was pleased to see this one on a doronicum.
The tropaeolum flowers on the yew were lining up in attacking formation.
Apart from the rosa moyesii, which is in full flower, the other roses are still mainly work in progress. Like almost everything else in the garden, they could do with a bit of warmth.
The chives were still attracting various bees…
…and I managed to get a wing as well as two bees knees in today’s shot.
By the front door, one clematis keeps fading while the other keeps flourishing.
It is hard to say which is prettier though.
By this time, lunch was calling and after lunch, I settled down for a while to watch the birds.
It was still very windy and this siskin was keeping firmly plunked down on the perch.
An anxious sparrow checked to see if there was a vacancy.
I did think of going for a ‘bicycle walk’ just to get out of the house, but the weather was so unforgiving, cold and very windy, that I stayed in and caught up on some of the hymns for next Sunday’s service.
After a couple of hours, I went out to check the weather and noticed that Mrs Tootlepedal has a fine crop of doddering dillies growing in the bed at the end of the drive. This grass has the Sunday name of Briza Media and it is also known as Common Quaking Grass and in the wind today, these doddering and quaking grasses were certainly living up to their name. I had to pinch a head off one stem and take it inside to get it to stop quaking long enough for me to take a picture.
The first candelabra primula flowers have appeared beside the pond. I hope that they do well in spite of the weather, as they are among my favourite flowers…
…though of course, this is my absolute favourite.
The day hadn’t got any better so I went back in and watched the birds again.
The squad of goldfinches was back….
…though a siskin managed to sneak in at one point…
…and occasionally there were more goldfinches than perches.
A greenfinch had no difficulty in persuading a goldfinch to offer it a seat at the table…
…and when they had all gone off, a redpoll appeared and wasted my valuable seed.
My view of redpolls as charming little birds has been somewhat dented by seeing a redpoll nest live on the Springwatch programme on the telly. It was the most disgustingly untidy nest that you could ever see.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a delicious one pot penne, tomato and cream cheese dish for our tea. As the rain taps on our windows as I write this, we are just hoping that the weather will let us get to Edinburgh tomorrow. A tree had fallen on the line today but it has been cleared, so all is well at the moment.
As a bonus for another ‘stay at home’ post, there is not one but two flying sparrows of the day.
In the strong winds, birds had to approach the feeder with care.