Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2017

Today’s guest picture shows the village pond in Osmaston, Derbyshire.  It was passed by my brother Andrew while on an outing with his walking group.

Osmaston

After a moment of dry weather before breakfast, the day very soon reverted to type and got wet.

tulip

The tulips are trying their best despite the weather

Dropscone rang me up  from the golf course where he was hitting a few balls before the rain arrived and we arranged to have a cup of coffee.

I was expecting treacle scones as it was Friday but he arrived bringing the standard issue with him.  He had gone to buy some treacle from our local Co-operative Store but they had been literally unable to get their doors to open so he had had to return empty handed.

The standard scones were very good.

The main business of the day was waiting very nervously to see if a change in my internet provider would go smoothly.  After staying with my previous provider ever since I first connected to the internet, I had been put off enough by the poor customer relations of the big firm which had recently taken them over to change to a new provider.

I got an absurdly good deal from my new supplier which is entirely based on the (probably justified) hope that I won’t bother to change when the rate goes sharply up after a year.  I was promised that the whole change over would happen seamlessly without the need for me to do anything more than plug in a new router when told and greatly to my surprise, this turned out to be true.

Not only that, the provision was, as promised, a great deal speedier than my old one.  This is very unsettling and i am still expecting bad things to happen but meanwhile I am very happy and shooting pictures up the line onto the WordPress server at great speed.

Osmaston

As it was raining pretty well all morning, I was quite happy to wait in and watch birds while the switch over happened, even though the light was terrible.

chaffinch and goldfinch

The birds were quite happy to quarrel

We had regular visits from the sparrowhawk but it was too quick for me today and I didn’t even get the camera raised let alone take a picture of it.

We also got regular visits from redpolls who did hang about a bit more.

redpoll

I took a picture of one beside a siskin….

redpoll

…which shows how similar they are in size.  When they have their back to you and the red head and chest is not visible, they are often hard to pick out among the siskins.

As I said, the switch over went smoothly and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Hawick on business, I noticed that the rain had stopped so I went for a walk.

The wind hadn’t stopped along with the rain and it was blowing too briskly for comfortable walking in exposed places so I just tramped through the puddles round Gaskell’s Walk.

There was the usual selection of lichens to enjoy.

lichens

They are often little works of art.

The larch trees are just beginning to turn green which is a very cheering sight…

Larch in spring

…and the willows are working hard too…

willow

…though the wind made taking good pictures of them tricky.

It was still rather gloomy so I thought that a black and white tree might demonstrate the feel of the day…

b/w tree

…but perhaps this one getting its feet wet….

tree and puddle

…shows the day off better.

I was pleased to see an old friend at Pool Corner…

heron

…and I was very impressed by this colour daffodil beside the road there.

daffodil

When I got back home, I put the dry weather to some good use by sieving some compost and mowing the front lawn and the drying green.  I am thinking of applying to have the garden designated as a national centre for moss.

There are new flowers to be seen in the garden though.  There are fritillaries…

fritillary

The brisk wind blew one flower head up to reveal the riches within.

…and the very first tulips to open a little…

tulips

….and the daffodils are at their peak.

daffodil

I just need the wind to drop and the sun to come out.

When I get bored with the birds outside the kitchen window, which is very rarely, Mrs Tootlepedal has provided me other things to look at.

flowers under the feeder

 When she came home from Hawick, we discussed whether the tulips were a bit earlier this year than usual so I looked at last year’s posts for this time and discovered that we are perhaps a week further forward than we would usually be.

Looking at the posts was rather disturbing because I discovered that my life runs in very well regulated channels and last year’s pictures are uncannily similar to this year’s efforts.  I even noticed that I had done more or less the same long cycle run to Caerlaverock last year as I just did this year.   I will have to try to get a bit of photographic variety into my life.

Nature is repetitive though and looking at last year’s posts for early April, I saw several pictures of a sparrowhawk in the garden and this year again,  we have had several visits from one over the past few days.

In the evening in a very welcome piece of repetition, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I played Corelli, Rameau and Loeillet along with Greensleeves on a Ground from the Division Flute.  Unlike the new internet connection, we took things at a very steady pace and as a result we enjoyed our playing a lot.

I didn’t get a good flying bird picture today and have had to settle for this ‘two for the price of one’ effort.

flying chaffinch flying goldfinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter Annie who is working abroad.  She says it is a hard city in which to take pictures with her phone in portrait mode.

New York

An excursion to Edinburgh was the order of the day and to give ourselves a bit more time than usual in the city, we drove to Tweedbank and caught a train on the new borders railway line rather than going to Lockerbie.  It was raining  as we left Langholm in the morning and it was still raining when we drove back in the dark so it looked like a good day to be somewhere else.

It wasn’t raining in Edinburgh (except for a very brief shower) so Edinburgh turned out to be a good somewhere else to visit.

While Mrs Tootlepedal did some enjoyable shopping, I went for a walk.

I admired the newly painted sides to the road up from the station.

waverley station

This is a purely cosmetic frontage for there is nothing behind it and it simply serves to stop the impertinent traveller throwing orange peel or peanut shells onto the passengers waiting for trains on the platforms below.

Princes Street gardens boasted a host of chionodoxas as I walked towards the Scottish National Gallery…

chionodoxas

…but my camera did a very poor job of capturing their beauty.

An overenthusiastic gardener has ruined the view of the National Gallery from the east by planting a tree smack in front of the middle of the building.

National gallery

I wonder if he/she has relatives who plant trees in front of picturesque bridges.

I walked up the hill from the railway line through Milne’s Court, one of the many dark and narrow wynds that give the Old Town so much of its character.

Milnes Court

And this took me up onto the Lawnmarket, part of the Royal Mile from the castle to Holyrood House.

Lawnmarket

On my way I could see the Camera Obscura…

Camera Obscura

I would like to have had enough time to pop in as it is a great treat to see the city from this bird’s eye viewpoint.

…and one of the many curiosities which lurk to attract the attention of generous minded passers by.

headless man

As it was, I did have time to go into an old church….

Festival Hub

…which has been re-purposed, as they say, and is now used as a centre for the Edinburgh Festival and called The Hub.

I thought that it was rather smart inside and stopped to have some haggis and a cup of coffee for my lunch. The haggis was very upmarket and was described on the menu as ‘bonbons of haggis’.  Little balls of haggis had been covered in toasted breadcrumbs and they were perched precariously and incongruously on small mounds of mashed potato and neeps surrounded by a creamy whisky sauce.  Although the dish looked rather  comical, it tasted really good so I shouldn’t complain.

I went up to the castle esplanade after my lunch…

Edinburgh Castle

…and since I had taken a picture of the Castle from Arthur’s Seat on a previous visit, I took a picture of Arthur’s Seat from the Castle today.

Arthur's Seat

Looking over the edge of the esplanade to the north, it was obvious that the city fathers had put their hands unusually deep into their pockets when it came to the purchase of daffodils.

Castle daffodils

That’s Princes Street and the Firth of Forth in the background.

I started to rain so I walked down through the daffodils towards Princes Street.  I had to glance back as I went, because the daffodils were so astonishing, even in the rain.

Edinburgh Castle

They brought on a severe attack of photedititis

Back down at ground level, I took another look back to the house perched on the edge of the castle rock which might make me nervous about looking out of the window if I lived there…

Edinburgh castle

 …and then walked down to the top of Leith Walk to meet Mrs Tootlepedal.

Edinburgh is a tourist hot spot and there are hotels tastefully inserted into many buildings which had former lives but this piece of unconvincing and rampant facadism with a glass box hotel stuck on the back of a slender frontage, is quite the oddest.

Leith Walk hotel

We were tempted by a very inviting opera bill on the front of the Playhouse….

Leith Walk hotel

…, especially by Musetta’s dog, until the alert Mrs Tootlepedal realised that the majestic war horse and the magnificent black stallion might be one and the same animal.   The cheapskates.  What a swizz.

We took a back route down to Matilda’s and this gave us a different view of the upstairs Greek temple at the end of London Road which defies any architectural interpretation.

Greek Temple

There has surely never been a Greek temple with so many chimney pots and its columns resting on the roof of another building.

Although Matilda’s parents were both suffering from colds and were not at the peak of their condition, Matilda was very jolly and joined wholehearted in a game of Pelmanism as well as the more familiar Snap.  She is a dab hand at both games.

This was followed by a dance demonstration and some solid nursery rhyme work so we were quite ready for a roast chicken for our tea which Mrs Tootlepedal had thoughtfully cooked for us all.

After tea, Matilda settled down to a little painting before her bath.

Matilda painting

In a sign of the digitally aware age we live in, when I asked Matilda if I might take a picture of her, she laughed out loud and shouted, “Cheese!”

The effect was very good, I thought.

Matilda painting

No flying bird today although I did chase a magpie through the castle daffodils in vain.

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture is another look at South African exile Tom’s Orange River Old wagon Bridge.  Unlike our bridges, it rests on metal pillars. The iron bridge was built by Scottish Engineers Breston and Gibbons 1878-1882

orange river bridge

It is going to be a short post today for two or three reasons.  Politically it was a depressing day with  a good deal of portentous nonsense being spouted on every side in a situation where nobody seems to have any idea of what is going on and this was matched by incessant rain from dawn until dusk.   On top of that, whether for spiritual, medical or physical reasons, I was feeling a bit ‘off’ all day and even a two hour sing at our choir in the evening hasn’t restored me  to full amiability.

A look out of the window in the morning gives a feel for the day.

orange river bridge

Birds being disagreeable in the rain.

Juts to prove me wrong yet again, a huge flock of siskins descended on the garden only a day after I had remarked that the siskins had gone on somewhere else.

The activity at the feeders was as relentless as the rain.

siskins

Total siskinnery

siskins

A step too far for an intrusive chaffinch though another one had sneaked in

I made some vegetable soup for lunch and it turned out well but I wasn’t cheered up much by this and spent the afternoon stomping about the house, muttering to myself and finding out just how difficult it is to get new songs mastered.

The action outside the window only slackened for a moment when a passing sparrowhawk made off with an unfortunate chaffinch and a few minutes later, it was back in full swing.

busy feeder

The sparrowhawk didn’t even have the grace to pose with its trophy.

I was pleased to see a few less frequent visitors among the hordes of goldfinches, siskins and chaffinches.

A greenfinch dropped in for a snack..

greenfinch

….a collared dove looked things over….

collared dove

…and as the light faded away, a redpoll popped up on the feeder.

redpoll

In fact Mrs Tootlepedal saw two redpolls like bookends on each side of the feeder but by then the light had gone entirely.

I made a beef and mushroom stew for my tea and then went off to sing with our local choir. The practice was enlivened by a vigorous political discussion (not about Brexit) at the tea break and that did cheer me up, as I enjoy a bit of give and take.  The singing went not too badly, although the choir couldn’t be said to have totally cracked the pieces we were working on.

The only thing that really raised a smile today was the suggestion by some wit that the European Union should have returned Mrs May’s Article 50 letter to her on the grounds that it was written in English and thus they couldn’t understand it.

At least we are due to visit Matilda tomorrow so that should bring a ray of sunshine into our life.

I did (just about) find a flying bird among the raindrops.

flying siskin

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie.  She has been working hard in her allotment and has got a nice selection of seeds doing what seeds do.

Annie's seed trays

The forecast said “Rain later” but the morning was a continuation of our sunny spell with the added benefit of enough haze about to keep the temperature up.  Under the circumstances, the obvious thing to do was to get out the fairly speedy bike and go for a ride so I did exactly that.

The question of what to wear was important.  The temperature when I started was about 6° or 7°C which is by no means warm but it was bound to be warmer as the day went on so the trick was to find a combination which wouldn’t let me freeze at the start or boil at the finish.

The wise reader will say that one can start with an extra layer and take it off as the day warms up and this is true but harder to do for your feet and legs and head and if you have to take gloves, overshoes, skull caps and jerseys off then you have to stow them somewhere and that means carrying bags….and so on.  Still, I made a one off choice and was a bit chilly at the start and a little hot at the finish but quite contentedly so in both cases.  I did swap gloves for mitts at Eccelefechan.

I should add that this is only a problem for the older cyclist.  The young ones just put on shorts and a vest and go out regardless.

The wind was light, the roads were empty and the route choice was good so I enjoyed my ride.

lambs at Bigholms

It really felt like spring and I was serenaded by lambs in many places on the ride.

Paddockhole Bridge

 I love this bridge at Paddockhole because the riparian owners have clearly heeded my plea to make bridges accessible to passing photographers.  The banks used to be covered with scrub.  All bridges should be like this.

The bridge crosses the Water of Milk and I always enjoy looking at the Water further along as it snakes through the hills.

Water of Milk

You can see from the picture above that it was  very hazy  so I took no views today.

I cycled along the Lockerbie road but turned off a few miles before the town to follow the Water of Milk down its valley.

The road crosses the main railway line and the motorway and between the two I stopped between where a new road has been constructed to cross the motorway.  I walked a short way down the old road to find a little bridge crossing a tributary of the Water of Milk.

Water of Milk

There were laid back lambs in the field here….

Castlemilk lambs

…and a magnificent roadside tree.

Castlemilk tree

This was the most scenic part of my route (and the hilliest) and for the next section I pedalled along the rather dull old A74 to Gretna.  I stopped for a snack at Ecclefechan and parked my bike against a concrete post well supplied with lichen….

concrete lichen

…and while I ate my banana, I enjoyed the wildflowers beside the road…

ecclefechan wildflowers

…and the sensible energy choices of a householder and a small business in the village.

ecclefechan green energy

I kept an eye out for spring in the hedges as I pedalled down the long straight road to Gretna and it wasn’t hard to find some evidence.

Blackthorn

There was plenty of blackthorn in bloom

Willow

I don’t know for certain what this is but I suspect it might be willow

I was following well travelled roads after Gretna so I kept my camera in my pocket and concentrated on getting home.  I was once again seized by decimal fever when I got into the town and had to cycle right through it and go a mile out of the other side so that I could ring up an exact 50 miles for the outing.

This took me to just over 500 miles for the month and left me ahead of schedule for the year so I cannot complain about March from a cycling point of view at all.

I had enough energy for a stroll round the garden when i got home  (Mrs Tootlepedal was busy there already of course).

frog

There is a steady supply of frogs peeping through the weeds in the pond at the moment.

There was nothing new in the floral department to catch the eye but the weather for the next few days is going to be warm and wet so I am expecting quite a bit of growth.

I did see a most unusual large bumble bee with a very red back but this was the best picture that I could get of it.

bumble bee

I think that it is probably a tree bumble bee, a relatively new arrival in Scotland which would explain why I have never seen one before.

I did think of sieving some compost and mowing a lawn but strangely found sitting down and having a cup of tea and a biscuit with Mrs Tootlepedal more attractive.

I looked out of the window though.

The large flock of siskins which has been eating me out of house and home has moved on, leaving one or two to come to the feeder but there were plenty of chaffinches and goldfinches to fill the gap.

chaffinches and goldfinches

Spot the single siskin at the top of the picture.

Some bad bird has made off with two of the perch bars for one of the feeders but goldfinches are quite good at clinging on to the feeder regardless.

chaffinches and goldfinches

I had to pay a routine visit to the Health Centre to top up my system and when I got back, another look out of the window was rewarded with a sighting of a redpoll in very bright raiment.

redpoll

Attracting female attention is the name of the game.

Not long afterwards, the promised rain arrived so I was very pleased to have made good use of the recent fine weather by cycling every day for the last six days.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch trying to work out where the missing perches are.

flying chaffinch

Those interested may get further details of the ride by clicking on the map below.

garmin route 28 March 2017

The calorie counter is a fantasy.  I ended the ride heavier than I started!

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce, who recently met this Glasgow tram at the Crich National Tramway Museum.  It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘going to university’

glasgow tram

We had what is probably the last of our superbly sunny spring spell today.   As is all too common in life, instead of being out in the sun, I had to sit inside the Welcome to Langholm visitor centre for two hours in the morning as it has just opened for the new season.

At least I did get a couple of visitors to welcome and I was able to to spend some useful time putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database so, although I would have preferred to be out cycling, it wasn’t time wasted.

I was also in a  very good mood as Dropscone had come  round for an early cup of coffee before I went to work, bringing a mountain of drop scones with him.  These disappeared so quickly as we drank our coffee that we could only consider that they must have been of the very top quality.  Naturally, as Dropscone had made them.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden, having already put an undercoat of paint on another door upstairs.  I got the mower out and finished pressing the moss on the middle lawn and then I had a wander round.

There are a host of daffodils now…

daffs

…and new flowers as well.

bergenia and a mystery flower

A bergenia and a mystery flower. Mrs Tootlepedal can’t remember what it is called.

tulip and magnolia

Hints of things to come

Pulsatilla

A Pulsatilla, our entry into the hairiest plant of the year competition

The pond was alive in the sunshine.

tadpole

A tadpole wriggles away from the heaving mass

frog

A frog thinks of things.

After a late lunch and a quick look out of the window…

chaffinches

A forceful male berates an oncoming female chaffinch

…I did a bit more mowing and sieved some compost and then I got the fairly speedy bike out and went off to stretch my legs.

I went far enough to see how the alder catkins are doing….

alder catkins

…but I didn’t get too far before I remembered that a friend had told me this morning that the wild goats on Langholm Moor were feeding right beside the road and would make a good photo opportunity.  I went back home and picked up Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike Tinker and we went off on a goat hunt.

We saw the goats (Mike spotted them) but the phrase ‘beside the road’ did not spring to mind as they were grazing a good distance from us to say the least….

wild goats

…and they had managed to find the only spot on the moor where a photograph might be spoiled by electricity lines.

Even with the zoom at full blast, they were too far away but you could see their fine horns.

wild goats

We couldn’t wait about too long as I had to be home in time for my flute lesson.  We did stop for a moment on the way back because a small group of bird watchers were having a good time watching hen harriers and we wondered if they were in view.  There was only time for the briefest glimpse of a female before we had to move on.

After a glance at my favourite view….

Ewes valley

…and Mike’s cherry tree as we dropped him off…

cherry tree

…we got home in good time for another look round the garden….

aubretia

The first aubretia has appeared

….and for my flute pupil Luke, who came for his lesson.  We are going to concentrate on tone production and technique for a week or two so I will have to practise hard myself if I am to set a good example.

The flower of the day is a scilla.  It is a pity that to get the best view of them, you have to be about three inches tall.

Scilla

The flying bird of the day is a passing chaffinch.

chaffinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my sister Mary, who was on the Unite for Europe March yesterday (as was my sister Susan).  It was rather mentally dislocating to see this peaceful and sunny picture after the recent events nearby.

Unite for Europe March 25.03.17 003

We had our third consecutive day of beautiful weather here and we are having to try very hard not to get too used to this sort of thing as it can’t possibly last.

It was such a good morning that I didn’t spend any time making a meal for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir but got out on my bike instead.  Once again, I had to wait until the morning had warmed up a bit but considering that the clocks had jumped forward an hour during the night, I was quite pleased to get out as early as I did.

My route was extremely dull, being straight down the main road for 15 miles and then straight back again so I didn’t take my camera but I did use my phone to catch a tree at my turning point.

tree near smithfield

The Sunday morning ride is usually very peaceful but for some reason there was a steady stream of traffic going south today and this made the trip less enjoyable that normal so I was happy to get home.  I had hoped to do the 30 mile trip in under two hours but  a freshening crosswind on my way back meant that I missed my target by three minutes.  On the plus side, the thirty miles took me over 1000 miles for the year which is a notable landmark.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I arrived and I got out my camera and had a walk round.

The crocuses have enjoyed the three warm days and were putting on a good show…

crocuses

…after looking as though they were completely over  earlier in the week.

In the pond, the warmth has caused the weed to grow a lot…

frog

…but there was enough space for a mass of wriggling tadpoles…

tadpoles

…who seemed to be blowing bubbles under the surface.  I have never seen foam like this before and can’t decide whether it is a good or a bad sign of tadpole health.

The grape hyacinths are making a little progress…

grape hyacinth

…although the planned river of blue is still the merest trickle.

The euphorbias are growing bigger every day.

euphorbia

…but so is the moss on the lawn.  I did mow a bit more of the middle lawn but there are spots when a blade of grass is hard to find.

I went in and looked out.

chaffinch

A chaffinch, perhaps wondering sadly if it always has to be the same seed for lunch.

flying chaffinch

And another putting a spell on a bird below in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We had a light lunch and then, after a quick run through one of the songs for out Carlisle choir, we set off for a bit of shopping and the weekly choir practice.

The practice was fun but hard work, as we are going through a couple of songs where if you are singing an A, there is bound to be someone else singing a B in your ear.  Still, we did get praise from our conductor for having obviously done home practice so that was very satisfactory.  More is required though.

It was such a lovely day, that we took a  roundabout route home.  We passed a pub in Rockcliffe and called in to see if we could get a meal as there wasn’t one ready in the slow cooker at home.  We had forgotten that it was Mothering Sunday though and the pub told us that they were on their third session of people taking mum out for a meal already and if we hadn’t booked, we were too late.

 We consoled ourselves by walking past the village church…

Rockcliffe Church

…and down onto the water meadow beside the River Eden.  It is a beautiful spot on a sunny evening.

River Eden

River Eden

River Eden

The River Eden floods so the church is placed on a handy hill…

rockliffe church

…and the bank below it was covered in pretty primroses.

rockliffe church

Mrs Tootlepedal was much struck by the roots of a tree fixed into the rocks beside the track to the church.

rockliffe church

There must be the makings of a ghoulish fairy story in the manner of the Grimm Brothers there.

We drove home and enjoyed a fry up for our tea.  Not quite as good as a meal out but quite tasty all the same.

The flower of the day is a chionodoxa, smiling back at the sun…

chionodoxa

…and the flying bird is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture, sent to me by Irving, shows the Black Esk reservoir which provides us with our drinking water.  I have often meant to visit it but never have so perhaps this will spur me into action.

Black Esk reservoir

We had another frosty morning heralding another beautifully calm and sunny day and we tried to make good use of it.   For some mysterious reason, I was feeling a little tired in the morning so I needed a leisurely breakfast which morphed into a leisurely cup of coffee and a look out of the window…

Black Esk reservoir

…before I went off for a little walk while Mrs Tootlepedal put a second coat of paint on the bathroom door.  (It is looking very smart.)

There are no new flowers on the go as the frosty mornings are delaying things a bit but the drumstick primulas are looking finer every day.

drumstick primulas

Taking my walking poles in hand, I left the garden and  walked up onto Meikleholm Hill and then, having found that my legs were in working order, I went through the gate at the top of the hill…

Meikleholm gate

… and  continued to the top of Timpen at which at 326m offers fine views.

Timpen trig point

I was in windmill country and I could see not only the long established Craig turbines but some of the new ones on the Ewe Hill wind farm peeping over the horizon behind.

windmills

To the north I could see the Ettrick Hills….

Ettrick Hills

…and to the south, the same Lake District hills that I had enjoyed on my bike ride yesterday.

Lake District Hills

I was shooting into hazy sun and I liked the resulting interpretation of the scene by my camera.

Down below, on one side of the hill, the Esk river wound through the valley.

Esk at Milnholm

…and on the other, the town lay peacefully in the sun.

Langholm

As I stood there, I was delighted to be serenaded by the constant singing of larks.  It was a privilege to be alive.

On my way down, I noticed a tree which was doing its best to get a little shelter in the lee of a slope….

Meikleholm tree

…and a bright dandelion beside the track into the town.

dandelion

When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal had finished her painting and was going three rounds with a overgrown rose that needed pruning.

We retired indoors for lunch and then put her fairly speedy bike and my slow bike into the back of the car and drove off to Longtown.

Our aim was an eleven mile circular drive up the hill behind the town and then back down again.

We hoped for quiet cycling and great views and got both……as a nice little bridge too.

Easton road bridge

We had a bit of work to do to get our views….

Easton road

…but it was worth it.

My camera has many virtues but taking pictures of extensive views is not among them so you will have to take my word for it.  This is the view looking back towards Langholm.

Easton panorama

You can click on this if you want to get the bigger picture.

The view towards the Lake District and the Pennines was magnificent to the eye but rather hazy from a camera’s point of view…

Lake District

…but the prospect to the south and west was enough to take the breath away  (though cycling up the hill may have contributed to this).

Once we had enjoyed the views, we were able to scoot back down to Longtown in a very relaxed way.

We were cycling along without gloves and an indication of just how pleasant the day was can be gained from the fact that Mrs Tootlepedal suddenly exclaimed, “I can smell coconut.”

As we don’t have any palm trees around, it meant that the sunshine was warm enough to get the gorse to release its very coconutty aroma.  Sure enough, there was the gorse in the hedge beside the road.

gorse

It was almost like a summer day by this time and the temperature was in the mid teens.

We thoroughly enjoyed our outing and  and I hope that we get many more cycle rides together as the year goes on.  The cup of tea and a biscuit when we got home went down very well too.

I had enough energy left to do a little lawn mowing  (or moss pressing as we call it at this time of the year) and some compost sieving.   Mrs Tootlepedal’s gardening had left the stock of sieved compost rather low so I will need to get some more done soon.

During the day we had two less common bird visitors, a greenfinch in the bright morning and a coal tit as the light went down in the evening.

greenfinch and coal tit

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to the local operatic society’s performance of Sweet Charity and I had a quiet sit down.

Rather annoyingly, instead of the clear blue sky which we should have enjoyed, the atmospheric conditions revealed just how many aeroplanes fly over us and the the sky was full of drifting con trails all day.  At least the passing pilots had the good manners to sign off in style as the sun went down.

St Andrew's Cross in the sky

I took a closer look.

St Andrew's Cross in the sky

The flower of the day is a daffodil…

daffodil

…and the flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying caffinch

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »