Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline. She has just had a short holiday on the Isle of Wight, and found a sunny day to visit Ventnor Botanical Gardens.
We had a warm day here, with a lot of excellent sunshine and light winds. It would have been the perfect day for a long cycle ride, but as there were two choirs to go to, cycling had to take a back seat.
The parish church choir has been in abeyance for several weeks, so it was an extra pleasure today to cycle round to church this morning to join other choir members at the service. With seven choir members in attendance, we did our best to raise the roof.
It was time to visit the garden after we had had a cup of coffee on our return. I sat and watched the birds from a garden bench for a while . . .
. . . and Mrs Tootlepedal mowed a strip alongside the dam at the back of the house and then got busy in the vegetable garden. I lent her an unskilled hand in between doing some dead heading, tidying up the lawns after more pecking, and taking several photographs.
I was happy to find quite a few more insects about today.
The vegetable garden is filling up. I could see beans, parsley, sweet peas, turnips, celery and potatoes.
Mrs Tootlepedal is very pleased with her mini oak tree nursery, grown from local acorns.
Today’s garden flowers are yellow. A slightly eccentric yellow tulip came into flower today.
I am able to identify two of the most persistent lawn peckers. They carried on as if I wasn’t there.
Two blackbirds ignored me as well.
Our friend Bruce asked yesterday if we see any greenfinches, and I told that they come from time to time. This was one of the times.
Mostly we had siskins . . .
. . . and one of them made such a ferocious attack on a goldfinch . . .
. . . that both it and the goldfinch went flying off the perch and the space got taken by another bird behind their backs.
After lunch and a bit more gardening, I had time for a quick three bridges walk down to the Esk . . .
. . . and then to the Castleholm, where I looked at trees . . .
. . . and a game of cricket . . .
. . . was impressed by a field of dandelion seed heads . . .
. . . admired a view . . .
. . . and then had to scurry home as I had spent too much time dawdling, and was in danger of being late to set off for our Carlisle Community Choir meeting.
We weren’t in our usual cavernous school chapel this week as it was being used on school business. The replacement venue, a community centre in the town, was a great improvement on the chapel, as not only could we hear what our conductor was saying, but we could hear the other singers too. The good news is that we will be moving permanently to this venue in the autumn.
We had a most enjoyable sing, but it was a hard working session, and after singing in the morning too, I was quite tired by the time that we finished.
The weather was still fine as we drove home, and only the sight of more of those persistent lawn peckers when we got home cast a shadow on a really enjoyable day.
The flying bird of the day is a hopeful goldfinch, trying to find a place at the table unoccupied by siskins.
Footnote 1: I took a pair of pictures of crosswort on my walk yesterday and forgot to put them into yesterday’s post. I like them so much that I am squeezing them in here. Like many wild flowers, crosswort isn’t that amazing seen from a distance, but a close look shows hidden depths. It is worth clicking on the gallery in my view.
Footnote 2: The final East Wemyss gallery includes Pictish carvings from the famous caves. You have to look at the carvings with the eye of faith. The website is very interesting if you like that sort of thing.