A mixed day

My brother Andrew doesn’t like to let the grass grow under his feet, but he found on his walk today that he couldn’t afford to hang about as the grass is growing pretty quickly.

After a wet and windy night here, we woke up to find the sun out and the wind not as fierce as had been forecast.

Unusually for me, I looked at the birds before I went out into the garden as there was still seed left in the feeder overnight….

….though the birds on the upper deck had to dig deep to find it.

Two goldfinches seemed to be pursuing a lost cause.

This didn’t stop more birds arriving to try their luck.

In spite of occasional thick clouds rushing by, I was able to go out and get on with a bit more hedge clipping, a slow business….

…as the trimmings need to be shredded as we go along to avoid having a dauntingly enormous heap at the end….or possibly an enormously daunting heap.

I had a wander round to check for wind and rain damage. There was a contrast between two roses only a few feet apart. Lilian Austin has not enjoyed the recent weather at all…

…whereas the Wren, just across a path, doesn’t seem to be bothered by it.

Maybe the fact that the Wren is a bit more sheltered explains the difference.

I like the knapweed as it welcomed the sun with open arms….

…and I enjoy the combination of purple and blue on the front door clematis as the flowers age.

I went back in to find that Mrs Tootlepedal had harvested the first courgettes of the season.

They were not big as they could have done with some warmer weather to bring them on, but we ate them with our evening meal and they tasted very courgette like all the same.

Then we had a special treat as Sandy walked down from his house to join our morning coffee meeting in the garden. His foot is improving slowly but steadily and he has been out and about a bit more lately.

After a good chat, the arrival of some very forbidding clouds got Sandy out of his chair and walking home again to avoid getting wet. Not long afterwards, the clouds looked so threatening that they broke up our meeting altogether. But once again, as soon as the meeting had ended, the sun came out and I was able to mow the middle lawn. The weather is hard to call at the moment.

It was lucky that I was not going at full speed with the push mower because I was able to screech to halt just in time to avoid mowing a frog which had leapt out of a flower straight in front of me. It made off up a path towards the pond.

I looked to see if it would sit on a lily pad, but it disappeared under a hedge and left the lilies alone.

They were hoping for a bit more sunshine and warmth before coming out fully.

Then I concentrated on pink lilies…

…and strawberries…

…and a couple of newly out red roses…

…before going in for lunch.

I had Zoom meetings to come at half past three and half past five so a long walk was out of the question, but I was hoping to squeeze at least one, if not two short walks in during the afternoon. The weather was not helpful and showers appeared whenever I thought that the time for a walk was nigh.

In the end, I didn’t get out at all and watched birds instead.

I had filled the feeder and it was busy…

…with the waiting room full as well….

…and plenty of birds who weren’t into queuing patiently.

The most unexpected sight was a lesser redpoll in full colour.

In the end, I was quite pleased that I hadn’t gone walking as some of the showers were very heavy.

The Zoom meetings went off on schedule although the Carlisle Community Choir one was slightly spoiled by technical problems at one stage, when sound problems meant that the conductor and the computer were singing in an unintentional canon, making it difficult for us to sing along with to say the least.

The sibling Zoom later on was much more satisfactory.

It was cool outside in the early evening for this time of year….

…and the day’s weather was summed up by the fact that I had to use an umbrella when I went out to pick some broad beans for our evening meal because it was raining so hard, but didn’t need it when I went out to pick some more a few minutes later, and then got wet when I took the pods out to the compost.

On a brighter note, our granddaughter Matilda took her parents out to the local park yesterday. This was the first time that they had been out of their house and small garden for 112 days. They have been very patient.

The flying bird of the day is three flying birds. It was a busy day at the feeder.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A mixed day

  1. Like your brothers shot of the fields and fluffy clouds.
    Your hedges look like quite hard work.
    A friend of mine who’s worked as a gardener all his life has just bought some Stihl battery powered hedge trimmers.
    Now like him I was quite sceptical about them thinking they would lack power,but surprisingly they were very good and so light to handle in comparison with the 2 stroke machines which he has always used they make light work of the job.
    I think he bought the middle of the road model at £190.
    I rated them and am thinking of buying some myself.
    Your bird behaviour descriptions make them seem almost human.😊

    1. I use Stihl trimmers, the smaller ones, not hedge trimmers. It is an awesome tool and has made our working lives much better. We had to buy two as we were fighting over the one. :-j

  2. Our early morning temperature are what your thermometer is showing there. After the clouds break up the afternoons are plenty warm in the mid 70s. At least that is the recent trend. We will see what the second half of July sends us.

    The courgettes look quite good. We usually eat them on the small side.

    Your redpoll is a beautiful visitor. We see what I think are some some here, too.

  3. Yay for Sandy making it to the morning coffee meeting and super yay for Al, Clare, and Matilda’s outing! It must have felt a little strange…and maybe a bit scary too. Poor Lillian appears a little bedraggled and as for the frog…lucky you were fast to slam on the brakes😁

    1. They were a bit nervous about the outing but Matilda took to it well. They have been working hard to make her aware of the virus without frightening her.

  4. The redpoll in its summer finery looks an attractive bird. The courgettes look far more crisp and delicious than any found in a supermarket, and I take my hat off to you both for persevering with the hedge trimming – it looks like an enormous job.

  5. Glad both Sandy and Matilda were able to get out and about. Your photographs show off the flowers in your garden to their very best, I do enjoy the closeups you take.

  6. Good to read that Matilda and family had a visit out to the park…onwards and outwards now! Still not sure which side of the thermometer I prefer to read…F should go now and then I wouldn’t get muddled! Lovely photo of the three flying birds.

      1. I had to go and read my reply again as I’d forgotten what the F was for and hoped I hadn’t written anything rude!!!

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