Today’s guest picture comes from my Sheffield correspondent Edward Winter. He has a fine six inch wide tree peony flower in his garden which he thought that I might appreciate. I do.
It was another grey, blustery and chilly day today here so once again there was no urgency in the getting up department.
Indeed, I got up so late that there was no time for a wander round the garden before our street coffee meeting, and it was only afterwards that I got to check to see if our peonies are out yet.
They are still trying.
A quick check on the frost damage revealed that the Japanese azalea may have have enough surviving flowers to make a bit of a show at least.
And to make up for the lack of azaleas, the first iris has put in a welcome appearance.
Tulips and poppies make sure that we still have some colour….
And thriving Limnanthes and Aquilegia will soon be joined by…
…other promising flowers.
We are quite blue at the moment….
…in a delicate sort of way.
I mowed the front lawn in the hope that we will get some rain and warmer weather to make the grass grow again. Mrs Tootlepedal got to work improving the soil in one of the beds along the lawn so I sieved the last of the compost from Bin C to give to her to add to the bed.
I didn’t watch the birds on the feeder in the morning as we were busying about but there were birds in the garden who weren’t bothered by us. The blackbird and the thrush are both feeding young so they are often to be seen about.
I did a little shredding of disused box bushes and then went in for lunch.
We had a Carlisle Choir Zoom meeting scheduled for mid afternoon at what would have been our regular choir practice time, so I sneaked out for a short walk after lunch. It was grey and almost drizzly so I walked on at a brisk pace, hoping to get home before any rain started.
I was pleased to see that the big rhododendrons in the park seemed to have escaped frost damage, but the bluebells are fading away and going over…
…leaving the wild garlic to cover the ground.
I walked along the Murtholm track towards Skippers Bridge, passing quantities of ribwort, lambs and spring things on leaves…
…at which I took a closer look.
I paused on Skippers Bridge to record just how low the river is.
It will be interesting to see if we get enough rain to raise the water level noticeably as the ground is so dry that it will surely soak up anything less than a downpour.
I took a picture of this view a few days ago but it is still so beautiful to my mind, that I took it again today.
As I walked along the river bank back to the town, there was plenty to admire.
I saw two contrasting birds as I got up the suspension bridge, a very noisy thrush singing fit to bust on a rooftop on one side of the river and a very quiet oyster catcher sitting on her nest on the other side.
When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal had just about finished her work on the flower bed.
I like the big red poppy at the back of the house so I went for a look at it…
…before getting ready for the Zoom choir meeting.
While I was waiting for the meeting to start, I made a mixture for some chocolate biscuits and put it in the fridge to cool.
When the appointed time came, lots of choir members attempted to join the meeting but unfortunately, there was a glitch in the Zoom technology (not our fault) and the meeting had to be cancelled. We are going to try again next week,
The fault, which also affected a government briefing later in the day, must have been partial as I had a one to one meeting on Archive website business with my younger son and a family meeting with my siblings later on with no problems at all.
After the failed choir meeting, I baked the biscuits and while they were cooling, our neighbour Liz rang up to say that a starling was feeding its young in her garden if I was interested.
I was interested and went out and leant over her wall to see the group in action.
I took the biscuits out of the oven and left them to cool and then I had time to watch a blue tit coming to the feeder…
…before chatting to my brother and sisters with Mrs Tootlepedal.
We tried the biscuits after our evening meal. There was an initial shock when they did not taste as we expected them to, but we enjoyed them enough to have another each.
The rain, which finally started shortly after I came home from my walk, has persisted in a mild and desultory way all evening. There is some more in the forecast over the next two days but as it is only a few millimeters, whether it will be enough to do some good is still a moot point.
All the same, any rain, after two dry months when at times it seemed as though it might never rain again here, is to be welcomed.
The flying bird of a day is a bee.