What's the weather like where you are? Here it's very bright and very very still . . . and quiet - or is it my ears? I'm trying to kick off this pig of a cold and rather glum that I don't feel up to a few hours gardening. Oooooo no, my ears are working - here come the Apache helicopters doing a low level swoop over the village (they always whizz over this way when it's nice and sunny!).
I don't feel like getting out the fork and wheelbarrow, but I did stroll over to the greenhouse to pick a chilli to pep up the leftover pasta bake for my lunch. Are chilis good for colds? It feels like they should be. My hearing may be a bit rubbish but my eyes were assaulted by colour and light; how apt on the eve of Diwali, the Festival of Light.
On the old metal watering can a beautiful red dragonfly was soaking up the rays, he looks so exotic - another dragonfly species to add to our garden visitors list. I've checked on the excellent and very useful Field Studies Council 'Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of Britain' and it seems he's a Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum. I think he deserves a more poetic name, don't you?
The hens are taking full advantage of the sun and are basking. They descend into their basking poses like hovercrafts slowly deflating - it always makes me smile. Our head girl and boss 'senior under-gardener', Ruby is moulting; as is little Nutmeg and although they are usually at opposite ends of 'the pecking order' they are now being sisterly and stand together, preening (it won't last). It must be very uncomfortable and undignified when ones feathers get pushed out by the stubby quills of new plumage. Don't worry, they'll be the belles of the ball when their new feathers have grown.
1 hour ago