Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She didn’t have to go far to find this cheerful pieris as it is at her own front gate.
We are in no rush to go anywhere or do anything these days, so I had my usual morning routine of a leisurely breakfast followed by a close reading of the newspapers and doing the crossword. With careful time management and a suitably difficult puzzle, this takes me nicely up to coffee.
It was very cool again and still grey but the wind had dropped a bit so it wasn’t too cold when I went out after coffee to have a look round the garden.
There were a few more flowers out on the drumstick primula….
…but the tulips were still in a state of suspended animation.
On the other hand, the scillas don’t seemed to have been upset by the lack of warmth at all.
The garden task of the day was shifting some old compost bins. They are relics of the time when the council was keen to encourage home composting and these bins were available at very reasonable rates.
The two bins in the foreground have been migrated from near the drive to the back corner of the garden to join a rather battered friend. One of them was promptly used as a home for all the grass sods that we took off the top of the paving stones round the woodshed yesterday and the day before. Mrs Tootlepedal will dobtless find a use for the other.
They had been lying unused for a bit but there was still a small amount of good compost at the bottom of one of them and it quickly found its way onto a veg bed.
I went in to make some beef and tomato soup for lunch and by the time that we had had our midday meal, it had started to rain lightly.
Before the rain came, I had seen a hedge sparrow….
…and after the rain started, I saw a house sparrow.
There was an encouraging trickle of birds back visiting the feeder and we saw a siskin…
…and a chaffinch today.
They were overseen by a pigeon. I always think that the person who originally designed pigeons must have been an apprentice, as they definitely got the proportion of head and body quite seriously wrong.
While the rain was still very gentle, I had a walk round the garden and enjoyed the freshness of the leafs on a Philadelphus, water droplets on foliage…
…and encouraging growth on an espalier apple and the silver pear.
A little more colour was added to the garden scene by a dicentra in the back border.
The resident blackbird was a bit annoyed when I caught him in an unguarded moment….
…and returned later on for a full studio pose.
I spent most of the afternoon not going for a cycle ride because it was cold, wet and gloomy. But I didn’t spend all the afternoon not cycling because I spent quite a lot of time not going for a walk either.
In the end, I watched more birds and was pleased to see a goldfinch…
…a dunnock, which rudely turned its back on me…
…and a blue tit.
The dunnocks were highly entertaining as there was a lot of furious action as they chased each other round the garden. We seem to have at least three on the go. I read on the RSPB website that they have very variable mating habits according to the supply of birds and food. We may be watching any of the following.
- A male paired with a female (monogamy)
- More than one male paired with the same female (polyandry)
- A male paired with more than one female (polygyny)
- ‘Pairs’ with two males and two females (polygynandry)
Meanwhile, the jackdaws were pecking at the lawn again.
I did find time to put another parish magazine from 1968 on the the Archive Group website. Sandy does the scanning and OCR and then formats the HTML so my part of the task is quite simple.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s shrewd purchase of the brisket of beef paid off when it made its third appearance in a row, this time as the basis for a mild coconut flavoured curry on a bed of rice. It will make its final appearance as cold meat for lunch tomorrow. Money well spent.
We passed a quiet evening insulated from any bad news by watching Gardener’s World and The Repair Shop. It was very peaceful.
The sparrow on the feeder below was almost the flying bird of the day but I was half a second too late.