Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Simon from Canonbie. A siskin flew into his window and knocked itself out. Simon picked it up and gave it such good care that it recovered and flew off. They are tough little birds.
We had another frost free night here, followed by a generally grey and chilly day. The sun did make one or two appearances during the morning, and luckily one of these coincided with coffee. Liz’s dog Riley joined us.
I decided to give my cycling and walking legs a rest today, and turned my attention to simple tasks in the garden. I started by dead heading a hundred daffodils. As this hardly made a dent in the task, you can imagine that Mrs Tootlepedal has quite a lot of daffodils about.
The next task was sieving the compost from the old kitchen waste bin. We have two kitchen waste bins, and after a while one is shut up and left to rot down while we use the other. The one we opened up today had been left for two years, and the compost was very good and hardly needed sieving at all. One thing was apparent though and that was that kitchen waste bags sold as being compostable need a lot longer than two years to break down.
After I had sieved the kitchen compost, I sieved a load of garden compost and that went onto a garden bed in a trice.
The last task of the morning was to dig up a strip in a bed that has been under grass so that Mrs Tootlepedal can plant some extra potatoes that she has been given. This was a rough and ready job…
…and compost will be added later.
In between times, I took a few garden pictures.
Apple blossom is appearing….
…as are blackcurrant flowers and less welcome hairy bittercress.
Looking across to the flowers garden from the vegetable garden, I found the view very restful and green.
In the flower garden, the doronicum is doing better now that the nightly frosts have stopped.
All this took some time so I had a late lunch and a rest before I filled the feeder and took a moment to watch the birds.
It only took as long as it took me to go inside for the birds to notice that the feeder had been filled.
The first bird to arrive, along with some light rain, was a goldfinch…
Other birds soon joined in, and a stout chaffinch checked things out as it flew past the feeder.
Traffic increased and a siskin and a goldfinch staged a neatly timed arrival…
…while another siskin arrived at the party just a little too late.
Some birds had to queue for a perch…
…and others felt the need to keep an eye on things when they got there.
Greenfinches joined in, and I like the way that this one lets it be known that he is not at all interested in what shenanigans squabbling siskins are up to.
All the same, it wasn’t long before siskin ruled the roost.
I stopped watching the fun. Mrs Tootlepedal wanted to go to Carlisle to visit another garden centre to see if she could find what was not available at the centre we visited yesterday. I wanted to go with her.
Before we left for Carlisle, I checked on the garden. The tulips were not anxious to open out widely…
…and showed evidence of the rain shower.
It started to rain as we drove down to the Houghton Hall Garden Centre on the outskirts of Carlisle, but once again it didn’t amount to a lot, and it had stopped by the time that we got there. While Mrs Tootlepedal went in…
…I bought a big bag of eating potatoes from the veg shop at the entrance and wandered round the car park as the sun came out. The garden centre was built in the grounds of a big house and there are some fine trees still standing…
I didn’t like the look of the gathering clouds…
…but it stayed dry until Mrs Tootlepedal came out, not having found what she wanted for the second day running. However, she had made some purchases so it wasn’t a wasted trip, and I enjoyed the sunshine and watching the oyster catcher in today’s header picture scuttling about in the car park while I waited.
It was cold and grey again by the time that we got home, but it wasn’t raining, so after a cup of tea, we went out into the garden. We did some work on the drive project, and while Mrs Tootlepedal improved the soil in the new bed beside the slabs, I did some raking and sieving and laid more gravel beside the slabs near to the road.
By the time that we had finished, it was time to cook our evening meal and eat it. After that, we felt that we had done enough to fill the day already, and settled down for a quiet evening in front of the telly and the laptop.
The runaway winner of the sitting bird of the day today is a jackdaw…
…who made sure that I was paying attention to my duties as its personal photographer.
I am trying to get some variety into the flying bird of the day but it is hard when the same birds visit all the time. At least it isn’t another chaffinch today.