Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary’s permitted walk yesterday. It was raining, but she didn’t care as it kept other walkers away, and the fresh green colours it brought made her happy.
The gloomy weather from the second half of yesterday’s walk carried over into this morning and it was cold and grey when we got up.
The day was serially brightened up though by two unexpected arrivals. First our friend Marjorie, who had obviously been reading the blog, arrived with a gift of dates. This is the sort of friend a man with no dates needs.
And then, as if that wasn’t good enough, the doorbell rang and a delivery man left a mysterious parcel on our doorstep.
This turned out to be a present from our daughter Annie, who had obviously been reading the blog, and contained a wonderful assortment of fine cheeses. This is the sort of daughter that a man with a lack of fine cheese needs.
How thoughful people can be.
There was enough chill in the wind to discourage the street coffee drinkers from meeting but a forecast of “rain later” got me into some winter biking gear and out for a ride on the shopping bike.
I didn’t stray far from home as I wasn’t anxious to battle the wind for long or get caught out if the rain came early. Basically I cycled up and down the same roads twice.
The blackthorn was looking lovely near the Glencorf Burn. This is a favourite spot for sloe gin drinkers when the fruits come.
Spring proceeds slowly with a green tree on one side of the little valley and bare branches on the other.
I cycled over the Sawmill Bridge on a little diversion to add some distance to my ride and thought that I would take a picture, before any rain comes, of the Ewes Water just to show how dry it has been .
I managed to rack up 20 miles and enjoyed my ride more than I expected.
When I got home, I watched a collared dove battle with the feeder..
…while chaffinches had to wait until it was finished.
I had a wander round the garden but it was too cold to do anything useful so I admired the ‘wild flowers’ in the back border….
…and greeted both the winner in the first rhododendron stakes…
…and the first azalea stakes too.
The grape hyacinths are going over but there are white bluebells…
…tiny lily of the valley…
…a second flower on the garage clematis…
…and a geometrical Solomon’s Seal…
….to look at instead.
It wasn’t much fun outside so I went back in a watched the birds.
Goldfinches managed to share perches but greenfinches were not so caring.
Alarmed by the greenfinches, goldfinches took off to eat their seeds in peace.
We added the gravy from last night’s chicken stew to the remains of my brown lentil soup and it made a delicious dish to be enjoyed at lunchtime. It went down particularly well with some bread and first rate cheese.
After lunch, I poked my head out into the garden again. The lack of sunshine made it possible to take some pictures of flowers that are overwhelmed by bright light.
Even the bright red fancy tulip looked better to the camera with no glare.
I went back in and spent some frustrating time working on a music program which unkindly crashed before I had saved my work. I have got so used to programs which silently back up my work as I go along that I had forgotten to take that basic precaution.
I went and had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, and a ginger biscuit calmed me down.
Light rain began to fall in the afternoon but it didn’t come to much and more is needed of the garden is to get the drink that it requires. But the rain did encourage birds to come to the feeder and it was busy.
A blackbird dived down to get some fallen seed….
…while a sparrow contemplated life in the rain…
…and a starling got tucked into the feeder.
The gloomy day reinforced how lucky we have been with our good weather during the lockdown. If it had been like this every day, we might have got very gloomy ourselves by now.
There is a choice of flying birds today, both chaffinches.
Footnote: Moaning on the blog has been so productive that I am wondering if I should mention that I am seriously short of gold nuggets.