Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone, who is not too old to take a walk along the track above the town.
A very brisk wind greeted me when I got up this morning and this provided a convenient excuse for a morning of not cycling after yesterday’s efforts. Instead, I had coffee with Sandy, mowed two lawns and wandered about looking at flowers.
There were plenty to see. The azaleas and rhododendrons are progressing well…
…with more still to come as you can see.
The white rhodies deserved a shot of their own, I thought.
Other flowers were available in charming clumps.
The flowers may have been colourful but the bird colour of the day in the garden was black.
While I was sipping coffee with Sandy in the morning, we agreed to have a walk after lunch so I made a nourishing pot of soup for my midday meal to keep my strength up and went off with him in the afternoon.
Incidentally, keen grammarians will have spotted the transferred epithet in that sentence about the soup. It isn’t the pot that is nourishing but the soup of course. The government thinks that children in primary schools in England will be improved by knowing things like that but it has never done me much practical good. A bit of basic horticultural knowledge would have been more useful.
Sandy drove us down to below Irvine House and we walked back up the fishermen’s path beside the River Esk. It was not sunny, apart from one or two tiny breaks in the cloud but it was quiet and warm enough in the shelter of the steep river banks.
We were hoping to see some river birds and we did catch glimpses of a heron, goosanders, mallards and dippers but they were in flighty mood and we couldn’t catch them on camera.
We did see pied and grey wagtails, who were a bit more co-operative…
…but they tended to dart away when we got close.
We walked up towards Irvine House…
…keeping our eye out for anything interesting.
It was not hard to spot a wild flower or two, both colourful….
… and pale.
When we got Irvine House, we disturbed a pair of oyster catchers. One was most indignant.
We must have been near their nest.
The river was looking good and the walk, as ever, was balm for the soul.
We didn’t have as long as we would have liked to hang about taking pictures…
…because we were both due to attend a meeting of volunteers at the Information Hub so we had to hasten back down the path to the car. We passed a lot of the Pyrenean Valerian on the way.
Fortunately, my part in the meeting was very brief and I was soon at home looking through the 150 pictures that I had taken in the garden and along the river. When will I ever learn?
I even went upstairs and took another one to show how the garden is looking at the moment. Mrs Tootlepedal has edged the lawns.
I had to sift through the mound of photos quite quickly because we had the second of our Langholm Choir concerts to go to in the evening. This one was at Kirkandrews-on-Esk…
…which is quite a small church so that the singers were a bit squashed up when it came to performing. Still the concert went well and although the choir beat the audience by one when it came to quantity, the audience was well pleased with the quality of the choir and they hope to see us back to sing again soon.
The only down side of the evening was the discovery, when we came out of the church, that it was pouring with rain. After a pleasant day, we hadn’t thought that it was necessary to take a coat so there was a hurried scamper for the car.
We have only one more practice and one more concert with the Carlisle choir and then the spring singing season will be over and serious gardening and cycling will be on the menu.
My thumb has benefited from a couples of weeks of rest so I picked up the big camera today and the result is not one but two flying birds of the day, one from the garden in the morning…
…and one from the river in the afternoon.