scabious04163 p.m., 58ºF, 14ºC: Small scabious, Scabiosa columbaria, is, as its names suggests, smaller than the field scabious, which is the species that we occasionally find growing on some of our local hedge banks. Field scabious has pinnate leaves while the the lance-shaped leaves of small scabious are entire, with fine teeth along the edge.

We planted it yesterday in the sunny border by the back lawn.

I try to get down to wild flower level by sitting at the edge of the lawn on a picnic blanket in as near as I can get to the lotus position, the way traditional tailors used to sit (and probably still do). I’m determined to finish my drawing down at this level but after 10 or 15 minutes it feels as if my hip joints were getting pulled apart so I sit with my legs folded sideways as I add the colour.

wrenGreenfinch, song thrush and blackbird are singing, with a pheasant bursting into a grockle in the background. Then a burglar alarm joins in.

At the old mill race, Horbury Bridge, we’re looking down at the celandine, which is now in full flower, when we spot a wren gathering material from the steep shady bank on our right and taking it over to a crevice in the stonework on the sunny bank of the stream. To me this nest site looks perilously close to the flood level of the stream but the male builds several nests and it’s up to the female to decide which one will be suitable.