I have recently been sent a good selection of guest pictures and will work through them. Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile, Irving and shows a visitor to his garden.
It was only a degree or two above freezing when we got up this morning and the wind was blowing more fiercely than yesterday so in spite of some cheerful sunshine, I was more than happy to stretch breakfast into coffee by way of a crossword and some bird watching.
As the birds that I watched today were exactly the same as the birds that I had watched yesterday, I thought that I might have a bird free blog today for a change.
After coffee, I took a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal. She is very pleased with these hellebores this year…
…and you can see why.
To make up for the lack of pictures of birds, I went out for a walk, hoping to find interesting things to look at and choosing a route that was well protected by hedges and woods. If you could get out of the wind and into the sunshine, it was a grand day for an expedition.
I went along the track to the Becks wood, passing fresh growth on the larches…
…new lambs in the fields…
…and a dove from above.
I kept an eye for scarlet elf caps in the wood and saw that there were still one or two about.
(I put an editing suggestion from last night’s meeting into action with this image. I need a bit more work at it but it was fun to play about in the photo editor.)
I thought that the light might be right for a visit to the little waterfall on the Becks Burn…
..but I still didn’t manage to capture just what a delightful corner this spot is. I’ll try again in summer.
When I had crossed the burn and got through the woods, I walked up the road for a bit. I noted a well built stone culvert…
…which no doubt these days would be a concrete or metal pipe. The labour involved in creating the roads round us must have been enormous as they are crossed by endless little streams….
…and I saw my first celandine of the spring…
…which was more welcome to me by the roadside than it will be to Mrs Tootlepedal if any appear in the garden.
The views were well decorated with clouds again…
…but they were kinder today and I got round my walk without encountering any hail or rain.
I went to visit the old curling pond but it is sadly overgrown now. The visit wasn’t wasted though as a’dogs tooth’ peltigera lichen caught my eye as I was jumping over a ditch in the wood.
I walked back down the road….
..with yet more views on the way…
…until I stopped to take a picture of the bridge over the Becks Burn as it passes under the Wauchope road .
There is a good show of daffodils waiting to greet visitors to the town as they approach from the west…
…but I liked this lone dandelion as well.
I put some vegetable soup on to cook when I got home and while it was simmering, I had another look round the garden.
In spite of the chilly weather, spring is definitely springing.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from helping at the Buccleuch Centre and joined me in a bowl of soup (which is a phrase that conjures up an image that bends the mind slightly).
I went out into the garden again and sieved a bucket or two of compost from the contents of Bin D and the results looked pretty good. I am hoping to rebuild Bins A and B which are falling to bits so I will have to get Bin D empty as soon as possible.
On my walk, I had noticed that the farmer who owns the manure mine from which he kindly lets Mrs Tootlepedal get her supplies, had completely cleared the manure from the site. There will be no manure mining for Mrs Tootlepedal there thus year.
Bearing this in mind, we set off to a garden centre after I had finished my compost sieving and purchased a selection of compost, manure and soil improver in bags as well as paying a visit to a pet food supplier nearby where I topped up my stock of sunflower seeds for the birds.
It was still sunny when we got home but the wind was just as strong and it was getting pretty chilly so we went inside where Mrs Tootlepedal got on with some interior decorating and I played about with my photo editor.
The flying bird of the day is an eager chaffinch in the morning sunshine.
Endnote: On my walk this morning, I passed the house of a cycling friend and he invited me into his garage to look at his indoor winter cycling set up which uses an app called Zwift. With this app, he can get on his bike on a standard turbo trainer and cycle against other cyclists from all over the world in real time while his route unwinds in front of him, projected onto a screen from his laptop. I might never come out into the open again if i had a set up like that. No wind!