Quid pro quo

Hare stump

Today’s guest picture comes from our older son Tony.  He thought he saw a Mad March Hare when he was out walking his dogs this morning.  When he looked again, he realised that he had been stumped.

Hare stump

We had another springlike day today and once again, I was rather regretful because my fairly speedy bike was still at the bike menders.

Still, I cheered myself up by making some dropped scones and then entertaining both Dropscone and Sandy to coffee and scones. The scones weren’t as professional as Dropscone’s scones would have been but they were voted, “No too bad,” so that was praise indeed.

Our neighbour Hector, is going to build a fence between our properties as the present hedge requires a lot of clipping.  He is a hard worker and set about removing the hedge first thing in the morning and he was finished in no time at all.

No hedge

Mrs Tootlepedal was not unhappy to see the hedge go as it had a lot of holly in it and was very hard to handle.  I was a bit sorry because it means less places for birds to lurk before visiting the feeder but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she will grow all sorts of good things against the new fence.

With all this activity, there weren’t many birds at all in the garden in the morning and this coal tit was the only one that I caught on camera.

Coal Tit

At midday, I got out the slow bike and set out on a 15 mile circular ride down to Canonbie and back with photographic stops in mind.

I had hardly left the town when I made my first stop for a shy tree peeping over a hill.

Harry's hounds field

I took a few more before I got to Canonbie but they didn’t come out well so the next one shows my route home up the Esk valley taken from the road down to The Hollows.

View of Esk valley from Hollows

I usually use the old A7 rather than the main road to get home and  my next picture literally shows the end of the road.

Old A7

Luckily, as you can see,  they have left a gap for a small cycle path to take us round the corner before we join the main road for the last mile down to Skippers Bridge.

I stopped on the cycle path and walked down to the river bank.

Fisherman's Hut
I take it that this elegant hut is for the convenience of fishermen
Broomholm Island Bridge
This is the Broomholm Island bridge

I liked it so much that I took another picture.

Broomholm Island bridge
The island is on the left.

As I walked back up to the road, I noticed this little bridge…

Gaber Gill bridge

…which takes the Gaber Gill under the main road.  I have cycled over this bridge hundreds of times without ever noticing that I was doing so.  I was pleased to add it to my collection of bridge images.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden.  After a light lunch, I came out to join her.  While I had been out cycling, she had made me a set of mandarin jellies….

compost and jelly

…so I was happy to be able to sieve some well rotted kitchen waste and fill up the compost bucket for her.

I am getting a bit addicted to crocuses…

crocus

…which are really enjoying our spell of good weather.

As are the bees which like the crocuses too.

crocus with bee

Crocuses are available in other colours.

cream and white crocus

The white crocuses are so white that they posed quite a problem for the camera.

As the afternoon went on, the birds began to return to the garden and as I was a bit tired after cycling and composting, I was happy to spend a while inside looking out.

To begin with, there were  a few siskins hanging about…

siskins

…but they and some greenfinches were soon heading for the seed…

greenfinches

…while a pair of goldfinches held a watching brief.

goldfinches

They were followed by chaffinches flying in all directions simultaneously.

chaffinches

I had planned to go for a walk with Sandy later in the afternoon but I was quite pleased when he rang up and called off and I took the opportunity to do some serious sitting down with the feet up.

In the evening my flute pupil Luke came and we did some work on breathing.  I have been doing a lot of singing lately and it has helped my flute playing  quite noticeably so I was trying to pass on some of the breathing tips that I have learned to Luke.  Whether I was successful, only time will tell.

Once again the garden was full of the sound of frogs all day so here is the frog of the day….

frog

…and here is the flying goldfinch of the day.

flying goldfinch

Mrs Tootlepedal is off to visit her mother for a week tomorrow so my posts make take on a slightly doleful air for a while.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Quid pro quo

  1. The view of your garden without the hedge will take a bit of getting used to. The mandarin jellies look mouth-watering – just what I could do with at the moment!

  2. Five years ago I had just a fence. I bought a pack of ‘native hedge’ plants, just nine inches tall (field maple, hawthorn, blackthorn, and dog rose) and now I have a five foot hedge – and that’s after regular trimming – beloved by sparrows, chaffinches, reed buntings et al.

  3. That is a beautiful day indeed, and lovely pictures from your ride! Crocuses are addicting, and the birds are in fine form.

    You are very lucky to have Mrs. Tootlepedal. Those are delicious looking mandarin jellies. All that and gardening, embroidery and MTRS!

    We had snow here again today. Most of it melts by evening, but the rest of the week looks as bleak. Our crocuses and daffodils are braving the weather.

    1. Our regular daffodils are just beginning to make a show but twenty miles south in Carlisle, the roadside is a brilliant carpet of yellow already.

  4. The Broomholm Island Bridge is very elegant, as is the fisherman’s hut (a lovely place to read on a mild and sunny afternoon).

    Re. the crocuses – do you have any wild ones in Scotland? Ours are getting scarce, but are lovely. Not that they’ll be braving the elements any time soon – the roads are closed in the whole southwest section of MB because of the blizzard. Sadly, the prognosticators got this one right!

    1. I don’t know about wild crocuses. As Mrs Tootlepedal is away at the moment, I will have to wait to find out. I am sorry about the blizzard.

  5. What a lovely day! Pretty bridge scenes, acrobatic birds, lovely crocus and yummy jelly and scones and plans for a new planting scheme by the fence- bet Mrs T will be planning the plants to use whilst she’s away.

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