A bit of a buzz

Today’s guest picture comes from one of my brother’s walks in his local area. The farmer has had to work round and old water tower to get his field planted.

There was a lot of noise in the garden this morning although as far as the weather went it was sunny and peaceful day. These tiny flowers were responsible for the racket.

They are on a cotoneaster and they were proving a big draw for bees. I had to crop the picture above just to take a picture of the bush with no bees in it.

I tried to get some decent bee pictures but I had the wrong camera in my hand so I went off to look for flowers instead. The latest rhododendron to flower has the reddest flowers in the garden I think (but see later in the post for a competitor).

There are also red astrantias coming out and doubtless they will soon be buzzing too as the insects like them a lot.

I stopped chasing flowers and went off to have socially distanced coffee with Sandy in his garden. The coffee turned out to be tea as there had been a cafetiere catastrophe earlier in the morning but it went down well as we chatted and watched blue tits busily flying in and out of the nest box on his shed.

Sandy’s foot is slowly improving after his operation and he has managed to go out for some short walks. He still has some way to go before he can go some way but he is feeling much more positive about life.

When I got back home, the street coffee morning was still going so I stopped and chatted there until I was distracted by the poppies beside the dam along the back wall of the house.

They are quite distracting.

There are other less conspicuous flowers along the wall too.

As you can see from the centre picture in the panel above, the fuschia is not in good condition at all but when I looked closely at it, I could see that there were some healthy flowers tucked away in it. A case for some severe pruning perhaps.

I went back into the garden, got out a different camera, and had another go at the cotoneaster. The resulting picture gives an idea of just how small the flowers on the shrub are.

There were so many bees that they were shoving each other out of the way.

Bumble bees were interested too.

I had a wander round, admiring old friends enjoying the sunshine.

New flowers are always arriving and today’s newcomer is an ox-eye daisy, the first of many all over the garden. It couldn’t attract a bee but it did have a small fly in its eye.

Other flowers were attracting other bees.

When I look back on my day today, thanks to a combination of old age and the warm sunshine the chronology has become rather blurred. I know that I mowed the middle lawn, made bacon butties for lunch, mowed the front lawn, edged both lawns and put decking oil on our new bench but I am by no means certain in what order these exciting events took place.

I also looked at our other cotoneaster and found that wasps were into cotoneaster flowers as well as bees.

The clock on my camera tells me that I took the wasp picture before lunch and this one of a young blackbird on our old bench at that time too.

It tells me that it was in the afternoon when I took this picture of the other contender for red flower of the day.

I do know that after all the activity, I sat on a seat to have a rest and was much entertained by a pair of pigeons on our power line. I don’t know much about pigeons but it seemed to me that this display of aerial acrobatics had more to with making love than making war.

It was the way that one of them sidled along the wire towards the other in a hopeful manner before the bursts of flying started that made me think that.

It was such a lovely day that in the end, I couldn’t think of a good excuse not to go for a short cycle ride in spite of feeling a little tired. It was a good decision with light winds and the temperature at 66°F.

The verges were full of cow parsley…

…sometimes mixed with buttercups.

After a couple of energetic days, my legs were not in full working mode today and showed a regrettable Achilles tendency to sulk in their tents instead of joining in the battle. The rest of me was in very good order though so I just pottered slowly along, enjoying the sun on my back and lots of beautiful green trees.

Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that May 20th is peak spring so this is just about as good as it gets.

When I got home, I had missed my evening Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters but there is always another day for that.

I put the sprinkler on the middle lawn while we were eating our tea, and then had my first look of the day at the birds on the feeder in the evening light.

They seemed pleased to have a bit of peace after a busy day in the garden.

My twenty mile cycle ride took me over 400 miles for the month. This is a very satisfactory effort for me these days. May has been my best month for distance covered this year and with some good sunny days still to come, I hope to increase the mileage before the thirty-first.

The flying bird of the day is a late evening goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A bit of a buzz

  1. The Scottish government is so much more sensible* than the UK one, which determines what may happen in England. We may now meet up with one other person from another household, but not in a garden, it must be in a public place. The ‘rationale’ for that is that it may be that the visitor has to go through the house to get to the garden. No matter that I, for instance , have garden three sides of my house. No doubt they’re all thinking of their magnificent multi-million pound stucco 3- and 4-storey houses in SW something.
    *I make no reference to the current furore of course – except that I now have.

  2. The bees appear to be as badly behaved as the birds – zillions of little flowers at hand, and they have to land on the same one. I like the photo of the blackbird on the bench – lovely colours and textures. Poor Sandy has had a very, very long haul with that foot of his. At this rate he’ll heal just in time to deal icy winter conditions.

    1. The poppies at the back of the house are stunning and I am hoping that Mrs T will collect seed and pant a lot more for next year. They would make a good, if fairly brief show.

  3. There must be a good load of nectar and pollen in those cotoneasters.

    The young blackbird looks hopeful he may be fed, although I suspect the parents are fed up with him at this stage.

    A young buck came through this afternoon, only one first year antler, making him look a bit odd. He was limping a bit, either a fight or brush with a car. I caught him nibbling grape pant starts, and suspect he is the one nibbling on the roses.

  4. As the Romans said “It’s a consolation for the ailing to have companions in their misery.” (Solamen miseris socios habuisse malorum’st). Being forced to stumble about on crutches since end of January (when I fractured my neck of femur) I can feel very much with Sandy. Very good to hear that he is on the mend. And you are cycling about by the miles – lucky you!

    1. As we might say, “it always good to know that someone is worse off than you.” But in this case, I am very sorry to hear that you are stumbling about on crutches. Are things getting better and is there an end to your travails in sight?

      1. About the end I don’t dare to think, but walking or better limping is becoming more and more possible.

  5. Fabulous, fabulous bee pictures. I do have a question about when you had tea with Sandy. Did you place your chairs far apart? I am thinking of doing something similar with friends on our patio, and I was interested in how you managed it.

    1. I can get into his garden without going through his house and I sat down before he brought the tea out. We sat either side of a large garden table.

    2. Laurie, we had tea with friends on their patio, but I felt it was way too close (but can’t say so in my own blog without hurting their frelings) and now I have to count down 10 more days till the “safe day”. Because I am extra neurotic!

      1. I am, too. So want to have friends over on our patio but I just don’t feel comfortable yet. May those ten days fly by in good health.

      2. I second that wish. We are feeling reasonably comfortable here but I hope that we don’t get proved to have been too optimistic.

  6. Just reading about the amount of miles you’ve managed so far this month makes my legs ache! No wonder there are a lot of bees in your garden with all those colourful flowers….love the red peony best but those poppies are delightful too. Love the photos of the dancing romantic pigeons – great action shots!

  7. I had a lazy day today also. I decided last night not to part commute by bike today and had a lie-in till 04.10 before getting up. It worked wonders for me and getting home by 18.00 was great, but I felt guilty. I tried tracking down the CCTV security firm to see if I could get footage of my bike rack being damaged, got to speak to the manager who promised he would ring me back, he did not. No one, the police nor the security firm is interested getting me justice. If I claim on my house insurance my premiums will go up. Cheers

    1. By heck, you have a long day and that is not exactly what I would call a lie in. I am really sorry that you aren’t getting any satisfaction about your bike rack. This sort of thing is very wearing.

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