Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary, who found a wonderful show of colour on a recent visit to the park.
We are still a bit short of colour in our garden, which is no surprise after another chilly night. At least we had a good day to follow the cold night. In spite of warnings of showers, the weather held out until the evening, and we had coffee outside in the morning and a cycle ride in the afternoon.
The hedgehog doesn’t seem to be put off by the cold. We got several pictures of it roaming around beside the greenhouse in the night.
Both before and after chatting to Margaret over coffee, I got on with lawn care, and once again cleared the moss scrabbled up by the jackdaws off the front and middle lawns. This time, the birds didn’t immediately return and start making a mess again, so perhaps they have pecked up all there is to peck.
I did a little deadheading of tulips, and some weed killing on the drives and paths with my mini flame thrower. That managed to fill up my morning very well. I did look round the garden with my camera in hand too.
In spite of the lack of new flowers, there is new colour about, like this Rodgersia…
…and some handsome ferns.
The rhododendrons are nowhere near fully out but they are producing more flowers each day…
…and the good looking tulips are hanging on very well.
Considering that the espalier apples are flowering well…
…I was very happy to hear buzzing in their vicinity and to see that there were quite few bees about in the garden today.
As well as bumble bees, there were honey bees to be seen too (but not when I had my camera in my hand).
The oranmental strawberries have just started to flower. They are very good value and should keep producing flowers for months on end.
And the garden geums are arriving, but might like some warmer weather to get them to hold thier heads up.
I sat on the old bench in the sun just before lunch and saw the siskins at the feeder from an unusual viewpoint.
Looking at the bird feeder from the window a little later on, I could see that siskins were throwing away seed in their usual reckless manner…
…while a goldfinch waited alertly in the wings.
After lunch, I went out and sat on the old bench again with my bird camera and hoped that an interesting bird would pass over head. I was quite surprised when one did. It caught me unawares and an electric power line got in the way of my first shot and then the bird flew away…
…but the buzzard kindly circled back and gave me another go.
It found nothing to interest it and gradually drifted off towards the Castleholm.
Goldfinches started fighting behind its back.
Mrs Tootlepedal was in the mood for a pedal, so we set out to go to Cleuchfoot and back. It was very hard work going up to Wauchope Schoolhouse, straight into a brisk wind, but Mrs Tootlepedal had enough energy left to look about for interesting things and spotted a butterfly fluttering round some Lady’s Smock.
I got my camera out and got two quick pictures before it fluttered on.
They are not great pictures but I think that they show a female orange tip butterfly.
We turned off at Wauchope Schoolhouse and were grateful to have merely a crosswind as we cycled up towards Cleuchfoot. Two buzzards circled overhead…
…and Mrs Tootlepedal pressed on as I stopped to photograph them.
It was a good day for birds because not only did we hear a cuckoo calling but we actually saw one perched on a electricity pole. It flew off before I could get my camera out, but just seeing a cuckoo is pretty rare so we were pleased about that.
The Cleuchfoot road is short but scenic.
After the battle up to Ceuchfoot, we enjoyed a wind propelled rush back to the town and got home just in time for four o’clock tea. It was a round trip of eight miles, which we accomplished in exactly an hour, coming back twice as fast as we went out.
I had all sorts of plans for an evening walk in the sunshine, but after quite a vigorous day yesterday, the plans faded as soon as they were made, and I found gentle things to do indoors.
The forecast for the next two days is very poor, so I may get more rest than I actually want. Still, there is always the bike to nowhere to fall back on.
As well as the buzzard, I saw a pigeon when I was sitting out on the old bench in the afternoon and it is the flying bird of the day.