Feeding Fledglings

Yesterday Jackie photographed these deep magenta gladioli Byzantinus in the evening sunlight.

This morning she focussed on her white and blush pink foxgloves

happily located beside viburnum Plicatum,

red Japanese maple and long lived camellia;

not forgetting blue iris, white Erigeron and osteospermum sharing a bed with diurnal orange poppies;

her favourite colour way of orange and purple pansies;

and burnished calendulas.

In the garden today one could almost trip over hungry fledgling birds.

Through the front windows Jackie watched and photographed a young dunnock being injected with nutriment.

 

 

 

Later, I watched an apparently abandoned quizzical youngster who had no instruction manual. It may have caught a winged insect, but didn’t really know what to do with it.

Meanwhile greenfinches swung on the almost empty seed feeder

while sparrows scrambled over each other for the last of the suet balls.

This evening, with Jackie’s superb extra garlicky savoury rice left over from yesterday, I produced a meal of Lidl’s prepared pork spare ribs ¬†and runner beans. I spent some time reading the instructions on the ribs packaging then was offered a quicker alternative method by the Culinary Queen, whereupon, feeling beset by Harry Enfield,

I had to get my head around a different procedure.

All turned out well in the end. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah.

In The Rough

This morning we received an e-mail from our good blogging friend Lavinia Ross attaching a photograph of the cedar tree (Calocedrus decurrens) she has planted in remembrance of my son Michael. We are very touched by this.

Jackie nipped out to photograph the evidence of last night’s sub-zero temperature.

We have light frost on various leaves;

and thin ice on the Frond pond – well, cistern actually.

Plants like primulas

and wallflower Sugar Rush Purple Bicolour seem unscathed.

After lunch Jackie turned her lens on the front garden foragers. in the process discovering

a dunnock and

a second robin happily coexisting with Ron. Robins are notoriously territorial, the males fighting to the death to repel invaders. Two companionable examples must therefore be one male and one female. When Ron first came on the scene we did speculate that the bird could in fact be a Ronette. We now have a real identification problem.

Is this Ron or Ronette waiting for the sparrows to finish feeding;

and which is sharing pickings with the pigeon?

Later this afternoon we took a drive into the forest.

The sun was quite low over the Burley Golf Course where one couple were nicely silhouetted;

another apparently caught in the rough;

and ponies,

one of which lethargically turned to observe me, dozing or grazing.

On the opposite side of Burley Road trees, like Narcissus, admired themselves on the surface of a deepening pool.

Before we left home I had remembered that Elizabeth had given me a long walker’s stick for my birthday last year. This is intended to aid balance. I therefore decided to keep it in the car. I was tempted to leave the road at Bisterne Close and walk into the woods. As I set off Jackie reminded me of the stick. Well, at least I had got it into the car without prompting.

It was a great help in traversing the undulating forest floor with its soggy, shoe sucking, areas, yet lacking yesterday’s booby traps.

Moss-covered raised roots were easier to negotiate than yesterday’s bare snaking ones.

Winter’s long shadows stretched over the terrain

much of which was reasonably dry underfoot.

There were, of course, more reflective pools.

One long-limbed mighty oak needed only a wildcat steed to present a passing semblance of the Hindu goddess Durga.

Somehow she has retained her mighty arms whilst another lost one of hers some time ago.

Back in the car and further down the road, even at 3.30 p.m. ice shone on the waterlogged verge.

This evening we dined at The Smugglers Inn at Milford on Sea where Jackie enjoyed spinach and ricotta cannelloni followed by sticky toffee pudding and ice cream. I would have enjoyed my otherwise good sirloin steak, chips, onion rings, and fresh salad more had my steak knife been thrown away. My great and butter pudding and custard dessert was excellent. The service was friendly, speedy, and efficient. Mrs Knight drank Hop House Lager while I drank Doom Bar.

Wrestling With Catalina

The weather this morning was dull but warmer than yesterday –

even enough to keep the bees, like this one weighing down the little salvia, at work. Jackie continued with her autumnal preparations. Nugget and his rival continued their armistice. Our little robin even tolerates

other small birds like blue tits

and coal tits raiding his larder.

Is this a dunnock patiently waiting its turn?

Having girded my loins enough to face wrestling with Catalina, I initiated a help chat on the Epson website. I’m sure I have enough readers who will be able to identify with the terror that that invokes. Apart from the fact that there were two changes of adviser during the process, and that one of them sent me the same download link as the previous person, this was all very helpful, and within half an hour or so, feeling rather pleased with myself, I scanned a document.

I still don’t like how they have rearranged my photographs, and it doesn’t seem possible to load them into WP without typing out again all the titles I have attached to them. These were transferred automatically before. Probably not worth losing any sleep over.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to a routine dental hygienist appointment.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata and tender runner beans with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.