Today’s guest picture, sent by my sister Mary, shows a stained glass window from the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow.
Once again we enjoyed fine weather today which was better than the forecast. I was pleased to be able to get out for a pedal after breakfast in dry conditions and with a tolerable breeze blowing.
I stopped at the newly gravelled section of the road.
It looks wonderfully smooth but in fact contains hundreds and thousands of little bumps, every one of which you feel as you cycle over it. Not only does it bump you about but it slows you down too as energy is dissipated by the uneven ride. Add to that the possibility of being peppered by grapeshot as cars rush past you, grossly exceeding the recommended speed limit, and you can see why it makes me a bit grumpy.
It doesn’t last for long though and I enjoyed the rest of my ride on smoother roads.
The farmers are very busy on every side and many fields have been cut for silage already….
…turning the country from rich green to a pale dull brown.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was seeing two cuckoos flying past when I was on the top of the hill at Callister. I often heard them but I don’t think that I have ever seen a cuckoo before. I was able to identify these two because one or both of them was going ‘cuckoo’ as they flew past me. I also met wagtails, curlews, oyster catchers and a buzzard on my way.
The cycling did my aching joints quite a bit of good and I spent the rest of the day feeling quite cheerful.
The garden is a riot of colour at the moment and today I was concentrating on things that are blue or at least blueish…
…when Mrs Tootlepedal distracted me with two new primulas by the pond….
…and I distracted myself by noticing some curiously claw like additions to the Euphorbia flowers.
Mrs Tootlepedal spent most of the day in the garden but I had to go off to man the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen after lunch. My usual day is Friday but I have swapped with another volunteer this week. I used to do Tuesdays but got fed up because I never saw any tourists to give information to and today wasn’t any different. Only one visitor came in and he was just killing time and didn’t need or want me to tell him anything.
Luckily Sandy came in to keep me company and this gave me time to pop down to the river to see the heron…
…and go to the dentist to get some treatment after my recent tooth extraction.
I was seen to very promptly and got back to the TIP and Sandy went off to do some resting at home.
The air was heavy and there was that warm smell of impending spring rain in the air as I cycled home after shutting up shop but it came to nothing and when Mrs Tootlepedal went up to get some manure from her manure mine, I went with her, camera in hand.
The bluebells are still showing well on the hillside beside the road…
…and the lambs in the field….
…and the new growth on the conifers beside the field…
…all made for a very pleasant scene. I walked along the path through the wood beside the river…
…in the hope of catching a glimpse of a squirrel but I had to settle for the pleasure of the walk alone as the squirrels remained hidden.
When we got back, I but several watering cans of buck-you-uppo onto the front lawn and had another look round. There are some yellow flowers by the pond.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these are called poached egg plants and when they were originally planted had white rims round the flowers which gave them their name. These ones are self seeded from the originals and have lost the white in the petals altogether.
Reading Mrs Uphilldowndale’s blog last night had made me look at the ferns in the garden more closely today. They were worth the look.
The blackbirds had been entertaining the gardener all day with their antics but by this time, they had calmed down a little.
After tea, I picked up Susan and we went to Carlisle to play with our recorder group. All six of us were present this week and we had an excellent time playing the varied music which Roy had picked out for us. This was all the more welcome because I have been short of playing opportunities lately.
The was a truly wonderful sunset on the way home but it was over before I could get near a camera. It rounded off a fine day.
The non flying flower of the day is a new dark blue iris.