Today’s guest picture comes from my South African correspondent, Tom. He came across this tense stand off between a cat and a hadeda. Tom tells me that he sided with the bird and chased the cat away.
We had a rather grey and windy morning here after more overnight rain. When I went out into the garden at midday, it wasn’t hard to see that it had been raining.
All the same, when Mrs Tootlepedal dug up a potato to give to our neighbour Margaret when she came round for coffee, the soil an inch below the surface was still dry as a bone.
I didn’t get out earlier because I had a newsletter to produce for the Langholm Initiative. There wasn’t much fresh news this month so it wasn’t a big task, but as I am not used to the program that I have to use to produce and mail the newsletter out, it still took some time. Next months’s issue should be full of news.
I took a few pictures when I was out before lunch.
I picked some rhubarb and took it in to prepare for cooking, and while I was in, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had brought in some peonies that had been affected by the weather. They were sitting in Mrs Tootlepedal’s refuge for battered flowers.
Back outside, I found that there was a good deal of sheltering going on behind other leaves and flowers . . .
. . . and I had to reach over numerous shrubs to catch a glimpse of the Crown Princess in the bottom left picture above.
There were quite a lot of bumble bees about today, in spite of the rather damp conditions, but I wasted a lot of time chasing around without being able to get a good picture of them. I got a lot of mediocre pictures though.
When I went in for lunch, I had a look out at the birds. The feeder was quite busy today with sparrows . . .
. . . and siskins.
Unsurprisingly, the siskins took to fighting amongst themselves.
Beneath the feeder, I spotted yet another blackbird.
After lunch, I got the newsletter finished, updated the list of subscribers and sent it out. The weather had definitely improved by the time that I had finished, and I was hoping for a cycle ride. When it came to it, I had left things a bit late and the wind was a bit too strong for comfortable pedalling, so I went for a short walk instead.
In the park, I encountered a young blackbird who was more interested in me than frightened of me, and a busy wagtail collecting food.
I walked up to the Stubholm and took the track towards Warbla. There was a fine variety of white flowers on either side.
Mike Tinker tells me that the one in the top left corner is a plain valerian and I know that the ones in the bottom right corner are elder flowers. I don’t know what the other two are.
I didn’t go up as far as the open hill, but I was still able to enjoy the view of Castle Hill as I climbed higher, especially as the sun had come out and it was now a fine afternoon.
When I got to the gate to the hill, I turned off and walked through the Kernigal wood . . .
. . . enjoying the dappled light and shade, the wild flowers . . .
. . . the views through the trees . . .
. . . and the trees themselves.
I walked down the Hungry Burn, along the Beechy Plains, back through the park and then went down to the river at the Meeting of the Waters below the Town Bridge.
In spite of the rain, there was not much in the way of waters meeting . . .
. . . but there was a delightful honeysuckle when I walked back up to the road.
I got back home in time for a quick cup of tea before the regular sibling Zoom.
It was beautiful outside after we had Zoomed and eaten our evening meal. The wind had dropped and it was a treat to walk around the garden with the scents of honeysuckle and philadelphus wafting about.
The forecast for tomorrow is a bit gloomy so I may have to wait a bit longer before I can get back on my bike.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin swishing past the feeder . . .
. . . and the flowers of the day are a selection taken when the sun came out just before my walk this afternoon.