The rhododendrons are all budded and soon will be blooming, fast and furious. I was checking out one of my favorites today (the deep red one) and the buds are even starting to show color, so shouldn't be too long.
There's a pair of mallards who are trying to claim our pool as their own. Several years ago I 'encouraged' a couple of mallards to hang around because I was hoping to see the ducklings arrive. To that end, I went out every day at about the same time to give the ducks some bread. Unfortunately, my plan didn't work: the ducks got so bold they would come up to the patio doors and tap with their bills, begging for handouts - and if you've ever been around ducks or geese, you know what the patio was covered in! And nary a duckling did I see.
Two years ago I watched nearly every day as a 'mother mallard' led her babies up our stream and back - some kind of feeding trip, I suppose. She started with nine, and the last time I saw them (the ducklings still had the mottled brown-yellow color, but looked like feathers were starting to develop, not just 'down') she had four. I don't know if that's typical, but I read somewhere that there's a high mortality rate for ducklings. And we have plenty of foxes in the area.
Anyhow, after I gave our current mallards their bread today, I took a couple of pictures. They came out rather dark, so I don't know how well you can see them:
The pond is covered with duckweed; aptly named, I guess, as they seem to love it. After they move on, we will clear it off again, tho like mowing the lawn, it seems a neverending chore.
Catching up on a previous walkabout: I don't think I posted a picture of this shrub before - I don't know what it is, but it has such a pretty deep-pink color.
I took a short walk thru the little park across the road. There was a robin - an English robin, of course - who kind of kept up with me. Sing? Do they ever! I had a wonderful opportunity to get a sharp, clear closeup of him, but I could not seem to spot him thru the viewfinder. I am NOT a good photographer, as the picture I finally DID get of him will show:
No, it's not your eyes, and yes, it is blurry and somewhat out of focus. I don't know WHY it's blurry and out of focus. I hope it's me and not a sign that the camera is going up. Also in the park is a strange little 'cave.' Now, it's not actually a cave, because it has no depth to speak of, but it's a sizeable indentation in the rock. It has a bit of brickwork around the entrance, because in the 1800s the slitting mill operation used it as some sort of storehouse (possibly for the extra iron supplies) and they had put a door on it, presumably to prevent theft. The door is long gone (and local vandals have had to leave their mark, of course) but maybe this will give you an idea of what I'm describing.
That's it. Evening is drawing down, so a little TV, some reading, and the end of another day. I do like my peace and quiet! :-)