apple blossomI’m keen to get drawing again but it proved to be a busy day so this drawing of apple blossom on our Howgate Wonder double cordon was drawn through the patio windows at 8.30 this evening.

Also spotted in the garden today; a jay – unusually – at the front in our neighbour’s sumac a breakfast-time, a hedgehog on the back lawn after dark and, far less welcome than either of those, a large brown rat. We stopped feeding the birds for a month or more and we thought the rats had gone but they soon homed in on the sunflower seed when we started again this weekend.

Rats are supposed to be intelligent and I can’t deny that this one was showing a great deal of ingenuity in its attempts to get to the feeders, climbing out on the edge of the wheelbarrow that I keep upended by the compost heap (I’ve moved the bird-feeders right down the garden away from the house).

When it succeeded in shinning up one of the poles, I decided that it was time to remove the feeders and I’ll try hanging them in the rowan at the front in the hope that it doesn’t find them there.

I took the chance to step out of the back door to hear the dawn chorus when I got up to make a cup of tea at quarter past five this morning. It was overcast and misty, a little before sunrise. Sound travels faster through cool, therefore denser air, so the combined songs of what seemed like a hundred birds in neighbouring gardens and the nearby wood was quite impressive. The only song that I could pick out was the blackbird, one close to the house;  a mellow, melodious, unhurried song.

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