Good morning....

We get up pretty early around here. Even at weekends, usually by 7.30 and much earlier on work days. So it was just past dawn & very chilly and grey when I let Alice out yesterday morning. After completeing her - ahem - ablutions, I noticed that her attention had been caught by something on our next door neighbours roof. I couldn't quite see what it was, but called her in and we went back upstairs with tea. I went into the bathroom and looked out of the window - something I do every morning as I love the view, which seems to subtly change every day....and this is what I saw!
Such a beautiful, dapper young mallard! He was quacking away and when I looked to the left, I could just see another drake and a female duck on the next roof along. He stayed for quite a while before flying off to join them. We often have a pair in the churchyard at this time of year - someone leaves a plastic bowl of water out for them - and it's a wonderful sight.
The garden is looking gorgeous right now - all the rain and cold has done wonders for the plants, although the bees aren't too happy, I would guess. Luckily we left them plenty of honey to get them through the difficult spells.
Instead of vegetables this year, I have planted a bee-friendly selection of flowers in the raised encourage our new guests...
the irises & day lilies are burgeoning, along with the catmint and sage. When we have some warm sunshine (or should that be if??) I have a feeling that it will be an explosion of colour and fragrance. I can hardly wait!
I hope you have a fabulous weekend - a long one for us here. Happy Mother's Day to everyone who will celebrate that tomorrow...let yourselves be spoilt! (UPDATE!! One of my lovely Stateside friends has just reminded me that Mother's Day is, in fact, next week (thanks Nancy!) so please ignore the words above...or don't, and demand to be spoilt two weeks in a row!!)
I'll leave you with a few 'words' from our sponsor...


  1. My garden looks like a disaster zone after the persistent rain and heavy winds of the last few weeks. My neighbour's fence was blown down during the week (not my side, thankfully). Once the weather has stabilised I shall ring the gardener and leave it up to him.

    I have a pair of woodpigeons who stand on one of my fences and bill and coo, and cuddle up to each other. It's quite touching to see them.

  2. hmm I can remember a "bee loud glade" but not who said it. I'm thinking Yeats but I could definitely be wrong as my brain is now as fuzzy as my eyes. In any case I hope your garden is one and the bees sing duck-friendly songs. Here mothers' day is next Sunday not this weekend....

    Well turns out yes I am correct and it's one of my faves:

    The Lake Isle of Innisfree

    I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
    Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 5
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
    There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
    And evening full of the linnet's wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; 10
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
    I hear it in the deep heart's core.

  3. He is a handsome visitor, we have lots like him around the pond in our backyard in South Florida. I love reading about your life in England- your garden looks beautiful and I hope the days will warm up soon and burst your flowers into color for you! Have a happy weekend :) Jacqui G

  4. Dear Sweet Rachel,
    You are so funny! I think you have a great idea, we mothers should have TWO Sundays to celebrate! We deserve it!
    xx Quack, Quack

  5. Rachel your mallard friend looks like he's quacking for a mate! I'm sure he'll find a suitable young duckie to build a nest with.
    Here in Va everything is quite green and lovely! Enjoy your weekend!
    Martha Ellen

  6. Rachel, your garden is looking so lush and lovely! The photo of the mallard on your neighbour's rooftop is so pretty and I love the little clip of him quacking! By the time your read this, it will probably be morning...happy Sunday and good morning to you!! xoxo

  7. Hey, I saw a duck on the roof of my workplace this week! And it was also a mallard duck. I looove mallard ducks. I hope you are enjoying your three days weekend.

  8. Great video of Mr. Ducky!!!! Your garden looks great too!

  9. I love the videos, all of the time!! What a talkative mallard---and no British accent!! He did look regal, however; I have to admit!!

    Yes, Mother's Day is next weekend here and my own mom will be here for Amanda's graduation so we'll have 4 generations of women out for tea on Mother's Day!

    I love your garden--so lush!!! Everything is dry, dry, dry here..... so your photographs take me away and let me indulge my senses with green!!!

    Have a wonderful week Rachel!

  10. How lovely even the ducks look English! xxx

  11. Hi Rachel, I just wanted to say "Hi!" and wish you a most wonderful time with Susan & Joe !!!
    I first met YOU when Susan traveled and
    tweeted from the twain ! Susan's blog is the
    only one I've ever commented on...but I will
    be brave and say that my name is,"Dawn". I am
    a baker for our elementary school...and our
    school still bakes from I made
    rhubarb torte for 400 !!! We are a "Farm-to-
    School" lunch program and offer so many fresh
    and wonderful fruits and vegetables. Jamie
    Oliver would be proud...maybe ?!! I love
    thinking of you in your kitchen baking when
    I have a busy day ! Well, enough of my
    rambling on....but, I truly am so happy to
    think of you and Sue spending time together!!!
    .....and I hear lots of LaUgHiNG!!! :) Dawn


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