Deja vu

Today’s guest picture comes from Elaine, the sister in law of our neighbour Liz. She is over on the east coast enjoying some fine weather at Beadnell Bay in Northumberland.

We had some fine weather here too today, but sadly it didn’t even last until coffee time. It clouded over abruptly, and we sat in a rather chilly garden with Margaret, wondering whether this year is ever going to warm up properly.

The jackdaws had been busy again, so after coffee, I had to get the mower out and tidy up both lawns.

The front lawn, which is the more mossy of the two, is beginning to look a little threadbare after the persistent pecking by the jackdaws.

After the lawn care, I had a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal to check on developments.

The rhododendrons are just beginning to show a flower or two, both red…

…and white.

One or two trout lilies have escaped complete devastation by the morning frosts…

…and in my view, there is never a bad time to put another euphorbia picture into a post.

A blackbird in the rowan tree was in full voice again at midday, and when I went out two hours later, there was a blackbird in the same place singing just as loud. Whether it was the same one, a better blackbird identifier than me will have to say.

I got out the hover mower and gave the grasss round the greenhouse and the vegetable garden beds a trim…

…and checked out some future eating possibilities.

There is a little bunch of bluebells in a corner of the veg garden too.

We made a final tour before going in for lunch and passed the first potentilla flower, a new anemone, and the fierce ajuga and gentle speedwell at the corner of the middle lawn.

Mrs Tootlepedal noticed an orange tip butterfly fluttering about, and I stalked it round the garden for some time before it finally settled for a moment. It wasn’t a shock to find that it had chosen a lady’s smock, one of the orange tip’s favourite flowers.

I had a rather large lunch including haggis, a tomato and feta salad, and a sardine pate sandwich. It took me some time to recover.

I watched the birds for a while. The chaffinches seem mostly to have gone to do their nesting elsewhere, and the siskins have taken over as top visitors.

Occasional goldfinches turn up too…

…but this one couldn’t persuade a siskin to shift. Another goldfinch waited for an opportunity.

I continued in resting mode by going out and sitting on the old bench to see if anything interesting flew over the garden. While I waited for aerial interest, three promising buds caught my eye…

…and I was sad that there seem to be so few bees about that the white dicentra are not attracting a buzz at all.

Some pigeons turend up, and one strolled along our ridge tiles like a tightrope walker…

It was joined by others and a stately chase ensued onto the bathroom dormer.

In the end, they all flew off and I went in to get changed to go out for a cycle ride. I had originally intended to go for a longer ride but found that it was difficut to get motivated earlier in the day. I settled for a 20 mile Grand old Duke of York job up to the top of the Mosspaul Hill and back down again.

It was grey, but the wind was light and I found myelf enjoying the pedal more than I had expected. In fact, I enjoyed pedalling so much that I didn’t stop for a picture until I had done eight miles. To tell the truth, there was nothing much to stop for, with the verges devoid of interest and the views looking rather dull too.

When I stopped for a banana at the top of the hill, I did see an adventurous sheep and lamb crossing a burn at Mosspaul…

…but I went so well back down the hill, that I wasn’t tempted to stop at all until I got home. When I did get home, I was very disappointed to see some familiar criminals at work.

Will they never stop? You would have thought that they must have eaten all of whatever it is that they are eating by now.

In spite of the grey, cool weather and the unadventurous route choice, I really enjoyed my cycle outing and my legs did too. There are no challenging hills on the route and I got into a good rhythm, so I managed an average speed of 14 mph, a very satsfactory effort for me these days.

We then watched a rerun of the last few kilometeres of today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia and saw some people who really know how to pedal.

It got even gloomier as the day went on, so I had no temptation to take an evening walk and spent some time instead in getting my new laptop to talk to my old printer before enjying an evening meal of one of the butcher’s meat pies with some spinach. Tasty and healthy.

The flying bird of the day is one of the departing pigeons, leaving the rooftop in a flurry of wings.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Deja vu

  1. Gardening and a cycle ride,quite an energetic day all round😊
    I’m very envious of your veg garden,hope the weather warms up enough to give some good produce.
    Your rhododendrons are looking great.

    1. We certainlycould do with some warmth and more pollinators. The rhododendrons are looking promising. We are lucky that they came out late as a neighbour had a good looking bush severely damaged by the run of frosty mornings.

  2. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, especially the euphorbia, which caught my eye. That is a very artistic composition.

    The jackdaws must have discovered a gold mine of grubs. You may be thanking them later, though it would be nice if they didn’t leave such a mess behind for you to clean up.

  3. I like seeing the vegetable garden. It always reminds me of Crockett’s Victory Garden, which was a television show we had here years ago. Master gardener Jim Crockett had a lot in common with Mrs. T.
    I hope you have bees enough to pollinate the fruit trees this year.
    If you take a large tin can (like a number 10) and cut both ends off and kind of screw it down into the soil and then fill it with water many of whatever insects are in your lawn will float to the surface of the water. Then you might find out what the jackdaws are after.

    1. I might take up your suggestion regarding the tin can. I am hoping that the jackdaws will have eaten all there is soon and I can get some rest.

      I think that we are too short of bees for comfort and I have been round the apple blossom with my little pollinating briush.

      1. The tin can is an old trick but I’ve used it a few times and it does work as long as you keep water in the can for a few hours.
        I don’t like hearing about a shortage of bees. If mankind thinks we’ve had problems in the past just wait until we have no bees. We’ll all be out there with paint brushes and we won’t have time for anything else.

  4. It’s good to see the long view of the veg garden – it’s larger than I remembered and must produce a lot of tasty meals. As for the jackdaws . . . it’s not even my lawn and I’m finding them exasperating!

    The departing pigeon looks like it’s turned inside out!

  5. I like the study of the goldfinch waiting in the wings and the flying pigeon folded up like an umbrella. Congratulations on getting the photo of the orange-tip butterfly! They do take some stalking.

  6. The goldfinch portrait is lovely! I too am beginning to share your frustration at the constant disruption of your smooth lawn.

  7. Veg garden is looking impressive, I must say. Whatever you produce on your lawn is clearly tasty. As it’s a lawn and not a bowling green may I suggest that you sit comfortably and study the behaviour of jackdaws for a while?

    1. I haver to clear up from time to time, otherwise the moss would blow over the whole garden and start growing everywhere. I am taking a relaxed view of lawn care this year.

  8. Good to see your neat vegetable patch and all the other lovely parts of your garden. Love the euphorbia photo it made me go and look at mine! ‘The Three Little Maids from School’ buds are beautifully captured and make a very pleasing photo. The FBOTD photo is great !

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