Double delight in the dark

Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon. His work has taken him to Memphis, as you can see.

We didn’t have any of that fine sunshine here today, and it remained gloomy all day with occasional drizzle to make sure that we didn’t get too cheerful at any point.

I spent a lot of time indoors, and made lentil and carrot soup for lunch, and another tarte tatin in the afternoon. I had hoped that this would be a better effort than my last tarte, but it wasn’t. More practice needed. On the other hand, the soup was very good.

I walked round to the corner shop in the morning, and had a look at the river on my way. It was not high, but it had had enough strength to bring this sizeable log under the bridge . . .

. . . and there was enough water to bring all three arches into play.

The bird feeder seems to be empty whenever I look at it, so I filled it again and it didn’t take long for the birds to get interested. Goldfinches were early arrivals.

It wasn’t really a day for gardening but I did have a look round. The Crown Princess Margareta continues to defy the rain and there are more buds waiting to come out.

The drizzle hadn’t discouraged the insects either . . .

. . . and it is good to see the garden alive with small life after a very quiet summer. The rain has brought life back to the runner beans too and we are picking beans every day at the moment.

The rush of cabbage white caterpillars didn’t last long after that initial burst, and I only found one today.

I don’t know whether the birds are picking them off, or whether they normally have a very short life. (Quick research says that they live for two or three weeks. If they are still alive, I don’t know where they are hiding.) There are plenty of nasturtium leaves left to eat.

After making and eating the soup for lunch, I had another look at the birds. The goldfinches had moved on. A blue tit lurked in the willow . . .

. . . and siskins sought out sparrow free perches.

We still have a lot of sparrows in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her Friday stitching groupm and while she was out, I made the tarte and had another look round the garden.

There were more insects . . .

. . .and many flowers to admire. The Lemon Queen is doing exceptionally well at the moment.

I snapped a few old friends.

And finished with a pair of dahlias to brighten a rather gloomy post.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back from her stitching in time and we watched the end of the Vuelta stage. I did think about going for a short walk but got sidetracked by birds . . .

. . . and frittered away the rest of the afternoon until it was time for the regular Zoom with my siblings.

Later on, Mike and Alison came round for their regular Friday evening visit. Alison and I played a good variety of duets for keyboard and recorder, ending with a lively sonata by Telemann. Alison gave me some tarte tatin advice which I will put into action next time I make one.

The general conversation afterwards took on a rather gloomy turn suitable for the weather. Present circumstances do not encourage a cheery optimism.

However, the high spot of the day was still to come. As Mike and Alison left the house in the dark to walk home, they encountered not one but two hedgehogs on the drive outside our backdoor. They (the hedgehogs, not Mike and Alison) disappeared into a flower border before I could get a camera into action, but as we could hear them snuffling away in the dark, we may well hope to see little hedgehogs at some time in the future. This cheered us all up a lot.

The flying bird of the day is one of that gang of sparrows.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Double delight in the dark

  1. With all the logs you have lying (and floating) around I would think your local woodcarver would be making chips like a beaver.
    Your rivers are looking much healthier.
    I wouldn’t mind having an entire bed of that dahlia on the left.

  2. The flowers look so fresh and beautiful after a rain. That orange hawk weed is explosively bright! I wish we had some orange ones around here, but I have not seen any. That lemon queen sunflower looks like one I should try here.

    I always enjoy the birds, especially a busy feeder, and the hedgehogs brought a smile. I hope you do see little ones soon.

    I am glad to hear evening music with friends is back in full swing. There is nothing like music (and hedgehogs) to lift spirits.

    1. You are quite right about the music. Making music with others is very good for the spirits. Two hedgehogs have been seen in our neighbour’s garden so perhaps we are sharing them.

  3. I suspect the insects were happier after the rain too. Good to see the siskins can hold their own with all those sparrows. Perhaps the hedgehogs were attracted to your music-making.

  4. Exciting news about the hedgehogs, fingers crossed. Glad the music went well and you got some advice about the tarte tatin. Look forward to hearing about your next effort.

      1. After reading a diet book last night even cat food sounds quite attractive. Not quite attractive enough tom travel for, but compared to cauliflower rice . . .

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