Today’s colourful guest picture is another one from my sister Caroline’s holiday in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.
We got a reminder of how gentle the breezes have been lately when we woke to a grey and very blustery day today. I read on the internet that Zephyrus, the god of the west wind, is supposed to be the bringer of gentle spring breezes. He must have had indigestion today.
I spent a good part of the morning producing the Langholm Initiative newsletter. In between times, we went across to visit our neighbour Liz for coffee and biscuits. It wasn’t a day for leisurely gardening so I was pleased to have a visit and a useful task to do. To be fair, I also wasted quite a lot of time try and failing to update the satnav system on our car.
I had filled the bird feeder after breakfast, and by the time that I looked at it after lunch, almost all the seed was gone.
The wind ruffled the feathers of a siskin waiting for me to refill the feeder.
Taking the hint, I did refill the feeder, and then, in spite of a rather gloomy forecast and a 20 mph wind, I went for a bicycle ride. My road bike is still at the bike shop getting serviced. It has been going to be done “tomorrow” since last Tuesday. However, it was quite a good day to take the electric bike out and let it take some of the strain of pedalling head on into the stiff breeze.
I chose a short loop because I wanted to get home before any serious rain started, and I only stopped for a few pictures. As it was a very grey day, this wasn’t a great loss.
I noticed that my favourite oak tree is getting new leaves on the sunny side of the tree.
At one point I was surrounded by black and white cattle. This was one side of the road . . .
. . . and this was the other.
I was photobombed when I tried to take one more shot.
The beech hedges are gradually turning green to match the hawthorn hedges which have been green for some time . . .
. . . but nothing could stop it being a very grey day.
I had timed my ride very well, as it started to rain just as I got home. The rain was light enough to let me take a quick tour round the garden to get a little colour into today’s post. The azaleas are a treat in any weather. I hope that a night of wind and rain won’t do them too much harm. At least it is not going to be very cold.
Rhododendrons are coming to join the azaleas as quickly as they cam.
The tulips are fading fast but there are one or two standouts.
In the back border, the tree peony is promising . . .
. . . rodgersias are poking through . . .
. . . and the cow parsley is really finding its feet.
It wasn’t at all welcoming in the garden though, so I was happy to dive indoors and wait for Mrs Tootlepedal to come back from a meeting and have a cup of tea.
The bird feeder gave me something to watch to help to pass the time.
We have a lot of siskins at the moment. The chaffinches and goldfinches seem to have found somewhere better to go, so the siskins often have the feeder to themselves.
. . . though redpolls are fairly regular too . . .
. . . but in much smaller numbers.
They are not frightened of the siskins.
A regular Zoom meeting with my siblings rounded off the active day, and after that, we found things to do indoors as the rain and wind buffeted the house and made it feel like winter again.
Thinking of winter, I checked my gas and electricity bills, and found that although we had used less energy this April than we did last year, we are paying almost twice as much for the privilege. I hope that we get a lot of good weather this summer!
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.
Footnote: there are no footnotes today.