All hail

No guest picture today but a garden puzzle instead.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I thought that someone had thrown a bicycle tyre into the garden when we caught a glimpse of this but we were wrong.  We know what it is now but can any gardening reader identify it?

puzzle picture We greeted the dawn brightly today for two reasons.  Firstly it was a bright dawn itself with lovely spring sunshine and secondly….

end wall…the scaffolding magically disappeared, revealing the new wall in all its modest glory.  There is still plenty of work to be done inside but this was a significant moment all the same.

The fine dry weather was still keeping the garden fairly free of birds which was a pity because the light was very good.

chaffinch
The sole chaffinch of the morning.
female blackbird
A female blackbird looks for fallen seed.
robin
One of the two robins in the garden.

Since I had little to do, it was lucky that Dropscone came round with scones.  He had already cycled round the morning run but he was even more pleased about a hole in one that he had scored in the winter golf competition on Saturday.  This was not only satisfying in itself (and cheap, as there were only two people in the clubhouse when he got in) but also put in him the lead in the whole competition with only one more weekend to go.

I was planning on a gentle pedal in the afternoon but a terrific rattle alerted me to a sudden and violent hailstorm.

hailIt was fairly pinging down and not something that you would like to meet when on a bicycle.

Interestingly, as soon as the shower was over, more birds than before came into the garden.

goldfinchThe forecast offered more showers ahead so I abandoned the after lunch cycling plan and went for a walk with my big umbrella in hand instead.

There was the first sign of cherry blossom in the park.

cherry blossomThe hail shower…

hail…had left things looking quite wintery.

Kernigal trackThe hailstones had come down with such force that even the ground in the woods under the canopy was well covered.  I was a bit worried about my footing but the hail seemed to have the interesting property of being ‘sticky’ rather than ‘slippery’ and I negotiated the narrow rough track through the Kernigal woods and then the broad forestry track with hardly a stumble.

The view on each side of the valley could hardly have been more contrasting.

whita and warblaThis shows just how localised the hail shower must have been.

I was able to apply the brakes to take yet another catkin portrait.

catkinsI walked on down to the cottage at Skipperscleugh and was diverted by the varied animals there.

sheep

geese and ducks
Fortunately, there was no tendency of the geese and ducks to scurry.

I made my way down to Skippers Bridge where I took the obligatory lichen shot…

lichen…before  walking back along the Murtholm.  I admired the sunlight on the hill behind the farm…

Murtholm..and some coltsfoot beside the track.

coltsfootMy umbrella came in handy with a few hundred yards to go when another hailstorm got going.  This one had less hail and more rain in it and left things looking quite damp.

chaffinch in wet plum treeMrs Tootlepedal cooked me some tasty pancakes to revive me when I got in.

In the evening, I drove Susan to Carlisle where we met at Heather’s to play recorders as our usual hostess, Jenny was off on a ploy.  Heather is an excellent pianist so we took the opportunity to play some Bach duets with (electronic) harpsichord accompaniment.  This was a rare treat.

The temperature dropped to below zero as we drove home and I fear for the future of our potential tadpoles in the pond.

The rain brought enough birds into the garden for me to get a traditional chaffinch as flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “All hail

  1. I don’t know what the item in your first photo is but I got caught in a hailstorm while riding my motorcycle once and I can say that you were wise to avoid bike riding in it.
    It’s great to see the plum blossom and the coltsfoot. They make spring seem a little closer.
    The sunshine on the hill is a nice photo.

  2. I wouldn’t want to be out walking in a hailstorm such as you had, certainly not cycling, that’d be crazy. It’s nice to see so many signs of spring appearing there, we’re back in the deep freeze for a while, so our signs of spring are limited.

  3. At first I thought the picture was the underneath of a caterpillar but that doesn’t fit with your description of thinking a bicycle tyre has been thrown onto the garden. It’s not the imprint of some kind of creature or some kind of mould growth? A nice puzzle. Another lovely and diverse set of pictures from your walk. We don’t have snow in Brisbane, but hail storms are quite common in summer. Some are as big as tennis balls.

  4. Beautiful pictures, especially the bird photos and the hail. (!) What a great idea to use the electronic harpsichord, I’ll have to remember that.

  5. I’ll bet you’re glad to see the back of the scaffolding! The wall looks fine, especially with the old stone the builders used in it. Sorry about your hail – we’ve just had more snow (sigh), but it’s “heart attack snow” – wet and heavy and should go in no time. Your mystery photo looks like the underside of some kind of packing material.

  6. The wall looks wonderful! I’m befuddled by your mystery object but will throw “eel” into the mix disregarding the whole logistical hoo-hah of it getting there.

  7. The mystery photo looks like seaweed to me but I know that’s unlikely. I shall be rushing to your next post to find out the answer. It sounds like my Tuesday hail storm dashed up to you. Good to see your blossom is coming out but odd your coltsfoot is earlier than ours. How strange.

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