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.