Today’s guest pictures come from Laura, my correspondent from Lake Michigan. She and her mother visited a tulip festival in Holland – the city near Lake Macatawa, not the country in Europe. They found some lovely tulips there in Riverview Park in Downtown Holland.
We had another cool day here, with occasional rain and even more occasional sunshine. It looked as though the best time of the day for a pedal would be sooner rather than later, so I set off well before coffee to go round my usual Canonbie circuit.
My legs are not very fond of early morning exercise and I went round at a gentle pace. It was too grey for views, but I did see some promising growth in the cow parsley department…
…and the first ribwort of the season.
The three sisters of Grainstonehead are getting their summer attire ready…
…and nearby, a fine copper beech stood out among other trees.
It was still dry when I got home, and after a cup of coffee, I had a walk round the garden.
Our rhododendrons are slowly coming out, but slowly is the right word, with only two white flowers fully out…
…and a single red one.
The jackdaws have been at work on the lawns again, but I hadn’t the heart to clear all the moss up today, and I even looked sympathetically at a blackbird who was doing some minor pecking of its own.
In the vegetable garden, beans are beaning and chives are chiving.
Other flowers and a fern were available.
I went back out after lunch but the weather looked unreliable…
…and after failing to make up my mind about what garden task I could fit in before it started to rain, I did none of them. I filled the bird feeder instead, and then went back inside to watch the birds.
There was a better mixture of birds today.
…and as it soon started to rain, I felt that I had made a good decison to come indoors. The birds didn’t have that option.
A poor goldfinch was exercising its neck to ease the pain brought on by the damp weather when it suffered an unprovoked attacked from a siskin that blew it off its perch.
As the rain continued, I felt the call of the biscuit and made a batch of date rolls, using Paul Hollywood’s fig roll recipe. The best thing about the recipe for me is the use of some stem ginger in the filling which makes the rolls very tasty.
I managed to fill in quite a lot of the afternoon doing this, and then squeezed in a visit to our corner shop just before it closed.
The rain stopped as I got back from the shop, so I decided that this was a chance to stretch my legs and went out for a short three bridges walk.
The mallards were swiming in the dam again as I left the house. It would be good to see ducklings there too.
Unusually, I saw a great tit on the road and a bue tit on a bush before I had even got down to the suspension bridge.
An oystercatcher was standing close to the Kirk Brig and stared back at me as I took its picture.
Having been able to photograph five birds so early on my walk was a good omen for the rest of the stroll. Indeed, I might have been able to take quite a few more bird pictures if the battery on my camera had not run out just after I saw the oystercatcher. I had my phone with me, but although phone cameras are good, they are not suited to zooming in on flighty birds (or at least not in my hands they aren’t).
Luckily the day brightened up and I could point it at some river views instead. In spite of the recent rain, our rivers are still very low.
I looked both ways from the Town Bridge, up…
The clouds had lifted from the hills very quickly after the rain.
Since I didn’t have a working camera with me, I thought that I would be bound to see any amount of interesting birds but I didn’t see any at all, and just enjoyed strolling in the calm of the early evening.
I did see a red campion on the edge of the Scholars’ Field…
…and the new broom in the minister’s garden was beyond compare.
I got back in time for a cup of tea before the regular sibling zoom and Mrs Tootlepdal was overjoyed when our builder turned up to complete a job that had been waiting for several months.
While doing some tidying up related to the arrival of my computer, I had found four large books of photography which I had read and then tucked away. I thought that they might be of interest to others so I put a note about them on a local Facebook page, saying that they were free to a good home. This evening, I was able to hand them on to a couple who had seen the note, asked if they could have them, and arranged a time to collect them. Facebook comes in for some well justified criticism but this was an example of it working just as it should.
The flying birds of the day are two goldfinches indulging in an aerial battle.