Today’s guest picture shows a stone which was so covered in colourful lichen that my neighbour Liz thought that it looked like a concealed tiger when she saw it deep in the woods.
After a busy day yesterday, I was quite happy to have a quiet morning today and so I was more than pleased after breakfast to welcome Dr Cat Barlow in for a cup of tea and a chat about moorland matters and bird life in general.
We were pleased to see greenfinches in the garden during her visit…
…even if one of them was a bit argumentative.
We watched jackdaws…
…and siskins too.
Cat is having a demonstration bird ringing session soon as part of the Moorland Festival so I hope to be there, as it gives me a chance to get closer to the birds than usual.
After Cat left, Sandy and Dropscone came in for a cup of coffee. Dropscone surpassed himself by bringing not only six scones but six special Friday treacle scones. We had a feast.
The morning was shaping up very well with all this sociable activity and when Sandy and Dropscone left, I went out into the garden to see them off and was delighted to hear the gentle croaking of frogs in the pond. They too had been busy at some social activity.
I made a good morning better by sieving some well rotted two year old kitchen compost which turned out so well that it would have been a pleasure to lie down and have a snooze in it.
Mrs Tootlepedal had had a busy morning with a visit to Carlisle to buy paint followed by a coffee morning with ex colleagues from work.
After lunch, she got busy applying the paint to walls upstairs and I got the slow bike out and went for a photographic outing.
I started by visiting the Moorland Feeders bird hide and on the way, I saw an oyster catcher standing on a rock in the middle of the Esk. I stopped the bike, got the camera out of the saddle bag, took the lens cover off and fully expected the bird to fly off the very moment I raised the camera viewfinder to my eye. To my surprise, it stayed put and even straightened up a bit to get its photo taken. A very rare occurrence.
When I got to the top of the hill and went in to the hide for a welcome sit down, there were a lot of birds to watch. Although the light wasn’t very good, I couldn’t resist a shot or two, or three.
I didn’t stay for too long as I didn’t want my legs to seize up so I was soon on my way along the road to Claygate and then back down to the river Esk at the Hollows.
Sandy had told me that there was a new sight to see just before the bridge so I kept an eye out but I wasn’t expecting this:
That brightened my day up a lot and I cycled back up to Langholm in a very cheerful mood.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out this colourful corner to me.
It was slightly warmer today after a frosty start but a little sun would be a big encouragement for new growth in the garden.
Our sociable day continued when our neighbour Liz leaned over the garden fence and asked if we wanted any bluebells.
She had had a very hard day in the garden digging out an unwelcome crop of the devilishly persistent Spanish bluebells for several hours so we were easily able to decline her kind offer politely but firmly. She was looking a bit fraught after the long battle with the bluebells so we invited her in a for a cup of tea and an iced bun.
The hours of deep digging had left her feeling very stiff and she went home after the refreshment with a view to a good soak in a hot bath. A very sound plan.
Our social day was not over as Mike and Alison came over in the evening and Alison and I enjoyed some flute and keyboard work for the first time for several weeks. This made the perfect end to an enjoyable day. As I went out into the garden to see our guests off when they left, the frogs were still singing away in the pond, with one basso profundo leading the choir.
The flying bird of the day is a garden goldfinch clapping the brakes fully on.