Today’s composite guest picture is a celebration of Matilda, who has just reached the age of two, sent by her parents. She is being very helpful in the garden now that she is so old and the weather is nice.
There was hardly a cloud in the sky again today and even more importantly, it was warm. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to wish Matilda a happy birthday (a day late) and I tried to do useful things at home.
I started by putting a heavy week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database. It was a heavy week because it had all the names of those who had attended various functions in Langholm and nearby to celebrate the wedding of the eldest son of the Duke of Buccleuch in 1893. It didn’t do not to be respectful to the Duke so there was a very good turnout which gave me and the data miner who had compiled the index a great deal of work.
After that, I went out to look at the flowers. I don’t know if I have mentioned that the tulips are out.
I mowed the front lawn and sieved some compost and then I put some buck-u-uppo on the worst parts of the front lawn in an effort to encourage a blade or two of grass to push through the moss.
It should have been a good day for taking bird feeder pictures….
…as there was plenty of light about but unfortunately, there were hardly any birds about. Whether it was that the warm day had tempted them to go elsewhere or perhaps that they have finally had enough of the frequent sparrowhawk visits but for one reason or another, visitors to the feeders were very scarce.
This blackbird was enjoying the peace and quiet.
The dogtooth violets are beginning to show their dancing feet.
…but the cool mornings are keeping new flowers from arriving.
After lunch, I went out for a short ride just to test out some new cycling shorts I have recently bought. The temperature was at a mellow 15°C (60°F) and it was the first day this year when I hadn’t needed to be well wrapped up against the chilly air. It was a treat not to have to spend several miles getting my muscles warmed up and I enjoyed a twenty mile circular tour.
I stopped to look at a fine display of wood anemones near Canonbie…
…and got home in a very cheerful mood.
Alert: Skip the next picture if you are of a nervous disposition.
Several passers by received a very nasty shock when they saw my bare knees flashing past them and who can blame them…
…I got a shock when I looked at them myself.
I had a look round when I got home.
There were still very few birds to be seen. There were one or two tulips open.
And then I went off on a short walk to see if there were any nuthatches to be seen. A friend told me that a friend had told him that he had seen the nuthatches emptying the nest and we wondered if the nest has been abandoned. I certainly didn’t see any sign of nuthatch ctivity and walked on after a while.
The downside of the lovely weather was the number of other people enjoying it too so I didn’t see much else as I walked round. A sheep entertained me by peering out from behind a tree and saying,”Boo.”
Two oyster catchers flew overhead, calling loudly. I thought I heard an echo as they passed but it turned out to be these two other oyster catchers shouting back at them.
They really are noisy birds. These two soon flew off complaining loudly as they went.
When I got back to the garden, I noticed that the magnolia bud had survived the morning frosts but only just.
The pond was busy with skaters…
…and showing some pretty marsh marigolds (with added insect).
I saw several butterflies, both coloured and white in the garden during the day and passed quite a few more when I was out bicycling but none of them when I had a camera to hand. It is a bit of a false dawn for them as the temperature is going back down again tomorrow and the wind was coming out of the north east by the time that I had finished my cycle ride.
Still, even one really nice day is always welcome and we have had a good spell for the last few days. The farmers must be very relieved as the fields are full of new born lambs.
Before Mrs Tootlepedal got home, Susan came and picked me up to go Carlisle for our usual recorder group meeting. We had a hard working play and I was grateful for a cup of tea and biscuit when we finished.
Mrs Tootlepedal had returned safely by the time that I had got home and she told me that she had had a very pleasant time with Matilda in the garden.
The flying bird of the day is of the few chaffinches about today.