Livid willow

As expected, Alex has gone down with the dreaded lurgy - but every cloud has a silver lining and I got to have a bit of a lie in :) It looks as though he won't be at college tomorrow either - his throat is red and swollen, and he has a headache and cough. But his temperature is fairly normal, so I'm fairly confident that it's just this pesky cold rather than tonsillitis, which he is prone to.

Yesterday's long day left me feeling fairly drained, so I bimbled about, not getting anything much done. The highlight of my day was going to the hospital for my first ever breast scan. I knew what to expect from past conversations with my Mum, who had breast cancer and had to endure scans relatively frequently, but I was still quite amused by the whole process. The radiographer was brisk and businesslike, and slapped my delicate parts down like they were pieces of meat, before they were pressed very flat and photographed. All my macro experience made the keeping very still part quite easy though!!

The weather has turned mild and damp again, so I was very glad I took advantage of yesterday's wonderful frosty start. I had a quick look round the garden to try and secure a blip before I went out, and was surprised to find some snowdrops in full bloom, which I duly photographed. But when I returned home, and was telling Pete about my experience, I suddenly noticed that the sky had turned a quite unusual, rather livid shade of purple which only lasted a couple of minutes at most. As there'll be plenty of chances to photograph snowdrops in much better conditions, I decided to post this silhouette of part of our crack willow against the unusual clouds.

This willow dominates our garden, and every year we think about having it pollarded. It can be a pain, especially after a gale, when the whole garden is covered with twig fragments - crack willow's Latin name Salix fragilis is given with good reason. And in May the seeds drift across the garden like an unseasonal snow storm. But it provides welcome shade on hot summer days, is lovely to look at for much of the year, and is appreciated by many birds, particularly the green woodpecker, who likes to forage in its upper branches. So I suspect it'll stay pretty much as it is...

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