Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Liz who encountered this large snail when out on her morning walk. She got away safely though.
The forecast offered a still, dry and cool morning, followed by an afternoon of light rain. A sensible fellow would have been off on his bike while the going was good. I spent the morning doing the things that I have done every morning during the lockdown so ingrained is the habit now. I spent most of the afternoon looking through the window at pouring rain and wishing that I hadn’t been so foolish.
Still, I did have a pleasant garden wander, and I mowed the front lawn before coffee time so it wasn’t a wasted day entirely.
The opium poppies are doing very well and attracting a good class of bees.
There were rarely less than two bees guddling about among the stamens, and sometimes more.
Other poppies were available…
…but not so popular.
We have two sorts of phine phlox in phlower now. This sort…
…and that sort.
Although it was badly set back by the late frost, one of our Philadelphus has still got some pretty flowers to show….
…and the hydrangea has also produced a few potential flowers to my surprise.
As far as purple goes, the melancholy thistles are fading….
…and are being overtaken by new knapweed.
Our neighbour Irving looked over the fence and asked for the name of the mock orange, which is flowering extravagantly. Mrs Tootlepedal presented him with a couple of branches of the flowers to take in for his wife, and I loaded him up with rhubarb as we have got a surplus at the moment.
Then I wandered again.
Alstroemeria are doing well…
…and the astrantia is amazing.
When I look at the detail of each flower head or ‘pincushion’, I just wonder at the extraordinary process of evolution.
Of course plant breeders have been hard at work too, giving nature a helping hand and producing results like the Crown Princess Margareta.
As you can see, from this calendula…
….there was plenty of moisture about, but it stayed dry for our garden coffee meeting and we had a good chat, filled with cheerful reminiscences of cycling crashes from Liz and me.
Liz and Margaret didn’t escape without helping to reduce the rhubarb mountain. It is good if things aren’t wasted.
There wasn’t much time after coffee before the rain started and we didn’t get much more gardening done before we went in for an early lunch.
After lunch, I filled the feeder and watched the birds. The rain didn’t put them off….
…though the goldfinch at the bottom left does look bedraggled to say the least.
Then, while Mrs Tootlepedal did useful things, I spent quite a lot of time mooching about the house complaining that I should have gone bicycling in the morning .
Finally, I got so fed up with my own moaning that I put on my waterproof trousers and jacket and went for a walk in the rain. I took an umbrella too and because of the light winds, the rain was coming straight down so I managed to stay extremely dry. I even got my camera out under the shelter of the brolly to record a goosander swimming in the Esk. I was on the bridge at the time so the goosander was quite far away and it was only after a while that I noticed some faint marks in the water behind it.
On closer inspection, the marks turned out to be nine mini goosanders swimming along behind mother….
…who shepherded her brood to the rocks and got them all safely onto dry land.
I walked on without seeing anything else, apart from the ducks on the Kilngreen in today’s header picture, which was interesting enough to make me get my camera out until I came to the Duchess Bridge.
Like the castle which appeared in a recent post, the bridge is suffering from a little neglect and has so many plants growing on it that it might be classed as a Garden Bridge.
As I walked home, I could see that the recent rain had put a ripple in the river.
When I got home, I had time for another look at the bird feeder. I saw a blue tit giving a siskin a nasty turn, a most unusual sight…
…before making a cup of tea and hosting the daily sibling Zoom meeting.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a fine evening meal of lamb chops and vegetables, all roasted together in the oven, and that helped us to get over the miserable weather of the afternoon. The forecast is a bit better for tomorrow but with the temperature set to be about 13°C, it is not going to feel very much like summer.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin in the afternoon rain. They are our most frequent visitors to the feeder at the moment.