The weather about Tern, but we could not find one!

College lake on a sunny day

It has been some time since I did a blog post, so here is one to cover the weekend. Friday was quiet I had noodles for tea while Helen was out for an early meal at the pub. We found the comedy series “2012” on Netflix so watched a couple of episodes, then retired to bed early to make the most of Saturday.

Saturday morning we were up early Helen, had a few things to do, so I busied my self in the garden. We now have a big flower pot with mixed herbs in it. I actually excavated our composter and spread some of it about on the veg patch I created a couple of years ago. I have onions and garlic growing which I planted before Christmas and they seem to be coming on well. The gap between the onion rows seemed wide enough to get another crop in between, so I put in three rows of different lettuce and a row a radish seeds. I have some seeds which have started to sprout, in a plastic tray divided into one inch square plugs, I need to wait before transferring them to the veg patch.

Dancersend Nature Reserve

I put some dough ingredients into the bread maker, before picking up Helen, the plan to have a walk around College Lake. The weather was gorgeous, the sun was shining and it was pretty warm. Having not been out bird watching for a while it was a real treat to see some of the spring birds. On the trees were the usual tits, but Helen spotted a Willow Warbler, and could then hear a Chiffchaff. In the scrape viewable from the octagon hide, we saw Snipe, Little Ringed Plover, and Redshank as well as the usual ducks, geese and swans. Next stop was to be Tesco for some Pizza ingredient, remember I put on the bread dough before i went to pick up Helen.

Suitably stocked up with pizza toppings we headed to Wilstone reservoir, I had heard reports of Arctic Terns passing through. We parked up and climbed the bank, but there was no sign of any of the bird we might expect. No Martins, Swallows, or Terns not even a common Tern, so we jumped back in the car and headed home, to find the dough had not risen very well probably something to do with the out of date yeast. As it turns out the dough did rise when in the oven but not as good as it could have been, but the pizzas were divine.

Spring and Autumn on one branch

Sunday started with a trip to church for Helen and a lazy start for me watching the London Marathon on the TV. Before Helen got back I decided I would have a go a making some bread by hand. I chose a wholemeal recipe and added some walnuts and seeds to the mix. I used some yeast that was almost out of date (there is a pattern emerging here) which needed mixing with sugar and warm water to make it work. I mixed everything in a bowl and then kneaded it for about 10 minutes before putting the dough in a bowl to rise. Helen got back and we decided so make the most of the weather by having a walk round Dancersend Nature reserve. We left the dough to rise.

The reserve was pretty quiet considering that this the the first real warm weather we have had fro some time. Spring was here for sure, leaves were emerging from the tree branches and wild flowers where staring to bloom. We spent about an hour and half strolling around the perimeter of the reserve, highlights included Chiffchaff (heard by Helen), Nuthatch, Buzzard and a couple of Greater Spotted Woodpeckers trying to attract the attentions of a female. We headed back to the house and I finished off the bread, knocking it back, kneading then covered it in seeds and left it to rise before scoring it and chucking it in the oven.

I then mowed the lawn and did some weeding in the flower beds, I have plans that this year I am going to make and effort with the veg patch and the rest of the garden, whether it lasts all summer remains to be seen!