Today’s guest picture comes from Fiona, my Newcastle correspondent.  She has been forced to go and work in Malta for a while and is having to put up with surroundings like these.

MaltaWe had another lovely day here today, genuinely warm and with gentle winds.  I would like to have used it to go cycling but the pressing need to have a lie in wasted the early part of the morning and then the pleasure of entertaining Dropscone, who was also recovering from yesterday’s efforts, took up the next hour.  This was followed by a visit to the health centre for some regular maintenance and before I knew it, the morning had gone.

After lunch, my plan was to have a quick visit to the Moorland bird feeders and follow that with a bike ride.  As a plan, it wasn’t one of my most successful.

When I got to the road to the bird feeders, I found that teams of pothole fillers were hard at work and while this is a very welcome activity, it put paid to my scheme for a little bird watching.  Watching men filling potholes is not so much fun as spotting woodpeckers so I came home.

Once home, something in the air got my asthma interested and far from cycling, I needed a quick sit down.  This was enhanced by a good snooze and the desire for a pedal had evaporated by the time that I woke up.  I was some what recovered though and managed to mow the middle lawn and sieve a little compost so the day wasn’t entirely wasted.

In the absence of any adventures, my exploring was limited to the garden.  There was enough there to keep me fully entertained.

pink and yellow tulips
Multicoloured tulips are brightening the garden up.
Plainer ones still have plenty of ping.
Plenty of ping.

There was activity in the pond.

pond skater and frogAnd in the dam at the back of the house.

little fish in dam
I was surprised to see a shoal of tiny fish there.  Perhaps some expert can tell me what they are.
And delighted to see the flourishing aubretia.

I always keep an eye for new flowers and although I am not entirely happy to see them in the middle of the front lawn, these daises looked very cheery.

daisiesThe marsh marigold in the pond was more suitably placed.

marsh marigoldAmong the established plants, the pulsatillas are going great guns….

pulsatillas…and the magnolia is looking better every day.

magnoliaAlthough we always nervous about late frosts, it was very pleasing to spot the first plum blossoms on the year…

plum blossoms….and even more pleasing to hear the buzzing of many bees in the garden.  They were very keen on the hyacinths today.

bees on hyacinthsbees on hyacinthsOther insects could be seen too.  Although they didn’t seem ready to spread their wings open and enjoy a little basking, I did see both a peacock and a small tortoiseshell butterfly.

butterfliesSo in spite of not getting much accomplished, I was able to enjoy the sunshine and not dwell on missed pedalling opportunities too much.

In the evening I went off to our local choir practice and had a most enjoyable sing.  Mrs Tootlepedal spent almost the whole day working on the floor in the front room and was still working in the evening and as a result, she missed the choir.  Still, her work is paying off and the floor is going to look very good when she has finished.

The only fly in the ointment of the end wall development is to be found in one of the old sandstone blocks which we saved from the old fireplace and re-used in the new one.  The plaster beside it is not drying and when our project manager came round with his nifty damp-meter, the reason for this became clear.  The old block is still very wet after years in a leaking end wall.  We will just have to be patient while it dries out but it does mean that the decorating won’t be finally finished for quite a bit yet.  The room will be quite usable though and Mrs Tootlepedal plans to start moving the furniture back in tomorrow.

Mr reason for wanting to visit the Moorland bird feeders was the lack of birds in our own garden but I did manage to find a flying bird of the day as the shadows lengthened in the evening.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Downhill

  1. What a gorgeous carpet of flowers! Always look forward to these posts.

    The trees here bloomed early, and petals are falling like pink and white snow in the breeze.

  2. Poor Fiona!
    No clue on the fish but know they must be kept away from the tadpoles. In my own pond the taddies are fast being eaten by the backswimmers.

  3. We feel for Fiona. Everything is looking stunning – love the macro shots. Your flying bird of the day is curious – looks like it’s perched on an invisible wire.

  4. I agree. There was plenty of ‘ping” in those flowers! You do have a delightful garden. Sorry to hear about your asthma problems. I get that with our national floral emblem – golden wattle – and a few other natives. The pollution compounds the pollen problem. It can be very tiring. It can be frustrating when you want to enjoy the lovely weather. Thanks for the tadpole and frog picture. I am still waiting to see some in my yard this year. Wonderful pics as always.

    1. It takes me time to work out what is making me tired and grumpy before I do the sensible thing and have a rest. Of course those who know me tell me that it very hard to distinguish between when I am tired and grumpy and when I am fit and happy.

  5. Your FBOD ist either Leonard Cohen (“Like a bird on the wire”) or Johnny Cash (“I walk the line”). Another very inspirational post. Aubretias at the dam are looking wonderful. Here nature seems to be exploding – green leaves where there were but bare branches, multicolored blossoms where there was only an dreary grey.

  6. Thank you for sharing another fun frog photo! (Today I sang the “Five green and speckled frogs, sat on a speckled log…” song with my preschoolers. 🙂 )

    Love seeing all the spring flowers!

  7. Yes, it’s asthma and allergy time. Our fields are full of oil-seed rape flowers which cause all my family great trouble. Mrs T’s choice of garden flowers is very good, and your photography is excellent. The purple-red pulsatillas are beautiful.

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