Mostly relaxing

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother who took refuge from some rain in a coffee shop.  I thought that his biscuit wittily showed rain coming down from a cloud but a closer look makes it clear that it is a sheep.

andrews biscuit

Storm Jorge politely delayed its arrival in Langholm until the late afternoon.  This allowed a small group of jackdaws to visit the feeder in peace.  I had put out some fat balls which the jackdaws like.

One of the jackdaws with white markings was the first to fly in…

clambering jackdaw

…and its friend with the strange white feather was not far behind.  It always looks as though the feather might fall out at any moment but it seems to be very well attached.

white feather jackdaw

Although it was dry and occasionally sunny, it was quite breezy as this ruffled jackdaw shows.

ruffled jackdaw

A rather battered looking blackbird turned up too.

curious blackbird

I was not feeling very perky today so although Mrs Tootlepedal would have liked to make better use of the extra day which the leap year had given us, I was all for lounging around at home.

We were able to get out into the garden after coffee to complete our work on a holly bush which had got a bit too tall in the back border.  A well organised photographer would have taken before and after pictures to show the progress but such a person was not available.  All the same, the holly bush looks more ordered now.

A reader was asking how the frog spawn in the pond is getting.  Recent cold mornings have taken their toll but a lot of the future tadpoles still look OK(ish), though the cold temperatures mean that not much development is to be seen. It is early for frogspawn though and we expect more to arrive later on.

frogspawn late Feb

In other areas of the garden, there is definite movement with leaves on a rose…

rose leaves shooting

…and more on a spirea…

first spirea leaves

…and signs of a peony…

peony shoot

…and actual flowers on the rosemary by the greenhouse.

rosemary flower february

The rhubarb is developing delightful complications.

growing rhubarb

When we had finished clipping and shredding and then distributing the shredded mulch back on to the garden, it was time for lunch.  Our work was speeded up by the arrival in the garden of a young lad who declared that he was bored and was looking for old people to help.  There should be more young people like this.

After lunch, I settled down to do some bird watching while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to shop for supplies.

There were plenty of birds about, stocking up before the stormy weather to come (and wasting seed again).

more siskins

As always, where there are two siskins about, there is likely to be an argument going on.

two flying siskins sparring

A hopeful female approaches a feeder full of males…

lady siskin at a loss

…and another looks heavenward as there is no room at the inn.

siskin praying

The feeder became quiet for a moment and a redpoll sneaked in.

redpoll in sun

Often I have to look hard to see a flying bird but today, I couldn’t miss them.

four flying birds

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her shopping trip and we settled down to gently snooze while watching horse racing on the telly.

Outside, the siskin horde had arrived and the walnut tree, the sky above the garden, and the feeder were all alive with busy movement.

lots of siskins

As the evening went on, the wind became stronger and the rain became heavier but if it gets no worse than this, we should bebe alright.  We are keeping our fingers crossed once again.

The flying bird of the day is one of the visiting jackdaws.

flying jackdaw

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Mostly relaxing

  1. I hope you and the garden survive Jorge without damage. It is still very blowy here but fortunately the rain has stopped – for now!
    It is good to see the occasional redpoll on your feeders; we don’t get them here except during extremely bad and cold weather.

    1. We sometimes get quite a lot of redpolls but two or three have been the most this year. The storm passed through with some strong winds but no damage.

  2. In what respect has the cold taken its toll on the frogspawn? I have two lots. In one the nuclei seem to be very slow in developing, and in the other, apparently much older, there are no nuclei left.

  3. The white markings on the jackdaws must make it easier to identify particular individuals.

    Good to see most of the frogspawn appears to have survived. Our own weather was a bit iffy today, with periods of light hail, rain, brief sun and more rain. There is some snow mixed with rain tonight as the temperature falls.

  4. Fallen seeds are not at all wasted. They will feed dunnocks and blackbirds who cannot perch on the feeder. Fantastic rhubarb leaves.

    1. You are right but there are often more seeds than our ground birds can manage at once and if it is wet, they get soggy and unattractive. Siskins and chaffinch will happily eat the fallen seeds as well as dunnocks and blackbirds.

  5. Maybe the ‘extra’ day made you less perky…there’s a pressure not to waste the added hours and this leads to stress and an inability to get on with things! Quite rightly you decided to enjoy looking out the window at all the birds who were frantically filling in their extra hours by eating! Good to see all the signs of spring springing in your garden.

    1. When we were at our primary school, we always used to think of frogs spawn when they served us tapioca. One of the benefits of being comparatively grown us is not having to eat tapioca.

      1. I always liked it. And sago. And rice. Not quite so keen on semolina. Didn’t like ground rice. Did like Cremola but I understand that it was just a sweetened, dyed version or semolina.

        Having said that, I haven’t made a rice pudding for four or five years and can’t recall the last time I had any of the others.

      2. We eat a lot of semolina. It is quick to make and a great comfort food on a chilly winter evening….with some brown sugar added for zest. Mrs T makes a baked rice pudding from time to time.

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