Today’s picture is another of my sister Mary’s from her visit to Richmond Park.
We had another wonderful day of warm, sunny weather with a light breeze to cool us a little as required. Neither of us had slept very well so we enjoyed a late breakfast before taking advantage of the day.
It was a gardening heavy day for Mrs Tootlepedal as we are going away for a week and there were seeds to be sown and seedlings to be planted out. I walked around the garden counting all the things that are going to come out while we are away and hoping that they will still be there when we get back.
There are ferns unfolding on all sides.
And azaleas bursting out all over.
Surprisingly to me at least was the appearance of not just one frog in the pond…
…but a group of four.
Obviously the warm weather has brought them back out to sunbathe.
The birds on the feeder were asking for a portrait in detail.
I was feeling the effects of yesterday’s activity in the pool so I eased my way through the morning doing nothing much and doing it sitting down for a lot of the time but the day was too good to waste so at midday, I got out the slow bike, packed the good camera in the boot and pedalled up to the moorland feeding station at a snail’s pace.
In accordance with my medical orders, I stopped halfway up the hill at Broomholm for a rest. It happened to be a place with a lovely prospect. How fortunate.
I was rewarded at the feeder station by a very active woodpecker trying all available sources of food.
I took a lot of pictures and you can find more if you have time to burn on my Facebook page
I was gently roasting behind the hide and out of the wind so when the woodpecker left, I went too and cooled down in the breeze as I freewheeled back down the hill. I went on to the Sawmill Bridge to see if the the dipper would be as obliging as the woodpecker. I was looking upstream to see if I could see one when an old friend appeared.
Soon the heron left and a dipper appeared but although it flitted about a lot, it steadfastly refused to perch on a rock in the sunshine, except for one glorious moment when it flitted on to a handy sunlit stone. Needless to say, it had flitted off again before I could get the exposure right. I cried.
Here are three pictures of a shady dipper with its mouth full.
I don’t know why the bird couldn’t follow the example of the people taking advantage of the weather and lounging in the sun on the Kilngreen.
After lunch and a rest, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal to abandon the garden for a moment and come for a pedal up to Wauchope Schoolhouse with me.
It was really quite hot by now (27°) by our usual May standards and we met a couple of groups of children who had been swimming in the river as we went. Mrs Tootlepedal, ever alert to a manure opportunity, had taken a plastic bag and a trowel with her as she had knew of some manure on the way which she could collect.
I was more interested in photo ops and stopped to snap a sheep on the skyline.
And to get a shot of one of the places on the Wauchope that I like to visit from time to time.
I have put a photograph of this on the blog before but I am always amazed by the violence of some of the heaving and bending of the strata that lie beneath our peaceful hills.
All this exercise required another rest while I counted up the distance that I had cycled in the day. It came to a heady thirteen miles at an average speed of 8 miles an hour. I really do hope that all this doing nothing will pay off.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the community choir where we had a fine time warbling away. We are singing a couple of hymns with the local concert orchestra as part of the celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee in a fortnight. I am a republican and would do away with the monarchy at a stroke if I could but the present incumbent has lasted very well and done as little as possible to annoy anyone so I am happy to wish her a happy jubilee. I’m sure she’s pleased to know that.
Today’s chaffinch is a wagtail that I spotted while waiting for a dipper to appear.
I may not be able to post tomorrow. After that I should have access to the internet again.