Another dull day but fine for cycling so Dropscone and I went off on the regular morning pedal. After five miles, disaster struck Dropscone in the form of a puncture. I had a spare tube and although it was not the right size, we stuck it in and hoped for the best.
Dropscone decided to head for home and I went on round the run. I rang him up when I got in to say that the coffee was ready and he came round on his second best bike. This was because the new tube had only lasted a couple of hundred yards and he had had to park the bike and hitch a lift home. He was very cheery all things considered.
When he left, I took this picture of a siskin and two goldfinches on the nyger seed feeder.
It is the last such picture that there will be as, under pressure from Mrs Tootlepedal who does not like her garden to look like a rubbish tip, I have moved the feeder to an inconspicuous spot at the back of the old apple tree. I was pretty sad because I have had a lot of fun looking at the birds through the dining room window but I had to admit that a three foot pile of old nyger seed just where the casual visitor entered the garden did not create a good impression. The feeder outside the kitchen window is still in play so I hope to be able to continue to provide a bird picture or two (or three) as time goes on.
This jackdaw looks rather oversized for the plum tree but since they started nesting in the unused chimney, they have become regular visitors.
It was a day of garden tasks today. We got the shredder going and shredded a huge pile of stuff which went into one of the compost piles. I don’t know how we would manage without the shredder as we had enough stuff to fill ten wheelie bins. While we were doing this, the gas fitter appeared and gave our flueless gas fire its annual service and test. Annoyingly, he discovered a tiny gas leak in the supply to our boiler. It is inside the legal limit but we will try to get the boiler people to sort it as you don’t really want a gas leak however permissible under the regulations and however tiny.
After the shredding, I gave the square lawn a light scarifying and a mow. Moss is a big problem after two hard winters and I am going about sorting it in an incremental way (if it can be sorted at all). It’s too pervasive just to rip it all out as there would be no moss but there would no lawn either. I am hoping for some strong grass growth so that I can put moss killer on and then give it a thorough scarifying.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy with other tasks so I mooched around taking shots of tulips.
She’s got some yellow ones too. The blossom I am most excited by is this one in the greenhouse.
It’s a ragged old strawberry plant which I stuck in a hanging basket last year and which looks as though it might come up trumps on the early fruiting front this year. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
In the early evening, with the sun shining brightly, we took the car up to the White Yett and walked up to the monument. Here’s the view to the east as we walked up the track.
..and this unfortunately was the direction that the weather was coming from. I had hoped for glorious views but the hopes went the way of the sun before we were even half way up to the monument. I have often taken shots of the monument from the Velux windows in the roof of our house so today, by way of a contrast, I took a photograph of the Velux windows of our house from the monument. The house is bang in the middle of the picture and you can see four Velux windows and a white flat roof beside them.
The house looks nicer from the front.
We could hear larks singing to bust a gut on all sides as we walked up but they were very hard to see at all. However, we could easily see a bigger bird doing great aerobatic tricks when we got to the top. From its cry and the flying style, we think it was a raven.
We walked past the police aerial to the end of the summit ridge and there is a tremendous view from there. Of course, because of the cloud and the general murkiness, it was impossible to convey it on camera.
While we were up there we saw this grouse. I wonder if it has been tagged in some way because it has a very funny looking leg. Maybe this is just the way grouse legs look. I have never studied them closely before.
They are spending oodles of money on trying to restore the grouse moor here and there were certainly more grouse about than I have seen in recent years. While we were on the top of the hill, a little weak sunshine shone down on Peden’s View. The camera and the editing program make the day look a lot brighter than it was.
Here we see Mrs Tootlepedal looking at the information board at the monument.
Being a gardener, she was much struck by this lichen on the stones of the monument.
On our way back down the hill, we caught a glimpse of a pale bird circling below us. We wondered if this was a hen harrier. Perhaps it is a seagull. We hope it was a hen harrier.
By the time we got home, the sun had come out of course and it had turned into a beautiful evening. I was rather cross about this but at least it made the small lawn look as good as possible.
In the evening, I finished the Prehistoric trail website and I have put a beta version on-line. If anyone has the time and interest, I would welcome constructive comments. You can find it here.
Oh..and I found that I had taken a picture of the yellow tulips too.