Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew. He was in Scarborough today waiting to meet my two older sisters who were coming up on a delayed train. He had time to take this railway picture of his own. He walked up to the top of the cliff.
We had a slightly cooler night here, but there was no danger of finding any frost when we woke up. It was a fine and fairly warm morning when we cycled to church to sing in the choir. We paid our respects to the late queen but otherwise had a normal short service. This was something of a relief after the positive blizzard of monarch related coverage on the television and radio and in the newspapers.
When we got home, we had coffee, and then I went out into the garden to do some shredding and lawn care. The sun came out as I worked and a blackbird found that it was quite hot.
The sun brought out the butterflies too. One had discovered that the sedum was in flower . . .
. . . but others still preferred the dahlias which had been popular yesterday.
There weren’t quite so many about as there had been yesterday, but there were still a good number, some on the dahlias . . .
. . . and even more on the buddleias on the vegetable garden.
There were red admirals, small tortoiseshells, a peacock or two and several white butterflies to be seen . . .
. . . but to my disappointment, no painted ladies today.
Today’s oddity was finding a small tortoiseshell on a hydrangea flower.
I looked to see if any other flowers had attracted butterflies but could only find a bee and a fly on the astrantia.
The fly was an unusual one for our garden and research suggests that it is a graphomya maculata, and quite common in general. Maybe I just haven’t looked at flies in the garden carefully enough before.
I filled the bird feeder after coffee, and found greenfinches and siskins were the first customers. They blend in well with the willow background, which is probably good for sheltering them from sparrowhawks but not so good for photography.
A blue tit and a chaffinch offered a bit more contrast.
I needed a rest while pushing the mower around in the warm sun, and a new flower on Crown Princess Margareta offered me a good excuse.
When I finished the lawn, I dead headed innumerable Icelandic poppies while Mrs Tootlepedal strimmed round the raised beds in the vegetable garden. This didn’t upset the butterflies and they were soon back on the buddleia after she had finished.
I took two individual portraits.
This all took time, and before we knew it, lunchtime appeared so we went in for a plate of soup. I had intended to find time for a short walk after lunch and before our second choir, but the opportunity slipped by, and I only had time to look at the birds again before we went off to Carlisle in the afternoon.
Goldfinches had turned up . . .
. . . and were arguing with siskins.
We combined our choir outing with a visit to a large supermarket nearby. We wouldn’t drive 20 miles just to go to a supermarket normally, but when we were going past it anyway, it seemed sensible to explore its opportunities. It turned out to be very good at parting us and our money.
The choir practice was very hard working. We have a ten year anniversary concert coming up soon, and the change of conductors means that we still have a lot of polishing up to do. However, our new conductor has an enormous amount of energy and some of that rubbed off in us, so we got through a lot.
It was raining as we left, and it was still raining when we got home and that concluded the fun for the day.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.