Today’s guest picture was taken by Thomas, one of our new members, and shows the Camera Club group posing for a picture at the meeting on Monday.
The forecast was quite correct and we got a dry day today which was welcome but our rapture was modified by a brisk and chilly east wind which kept the temperature down and held any thoughts of spring at bay for the time being.
Sandy came round for coffee after he had gone to top up the Moorland bird feeders. He was going off to Carlisle so sadly there was no chance of a walk later in the day.
When he left, I took a turn round the garden and tried to photograph the Forsythia again. The light was better but the flowers were still swaying wildly in the wind.
It is a cheerful sight.
The birds were not very cheerful. They are ready to start a fight at the least provocation. The fact that there were perches freely available didn’t stop this siskin abusing an innocent chaffinch…
I don’t know what impulse drives the birds to be so aggressive when it would be better to take the time eating the seeds.
A dunnock made an appearance under the feeders.
It should have been a good day for flying bird pictures but the strong wind made approaching the feeders tricky and there was no gentle hovering to help me out today.
I had some homemade sardine pate for my lunch but the regular consumption of oily fish doesn’t seem to be having much beneficial effect on my brain power. Luckily, I like sardines so I shall keep eating them regardless. I even have allegedly beneficial grains and seeds in my bread recipe (the wonderfully named ‘Oh-My Megamix’) but they don’t seem to improve my crossword solving skills either. Ah well, I live in hope.
I spent some time in the garden sieving a little compost. The material in Bin D is in good condition and I hope to have it all sieved soon. I filled Mrs Tootlepedal’s big red bucket of compost and then set about sawing up some more of the logs which Dropscone brought from his garden. I like to do these jobs a little at a time and keep my back in reasonable condition. It is tempting to do too much on a dry day.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents and I put on many, many layers of cycling gear and braved the east wind for 21 miles.
When I went out a couple of days ago, there was a strong wind from the west and I went up the hill at 10mph and came back at 20mph. Today, with the wind in the opposite direction, I went up the hill at over 13mph and came back at under 14 mph. It can be a bit depressing to find yourself pedalling more slowly down a section of gentle gradient on your way home than you cycled up it on the way out. The net result of the two days was an almost identical average speed.
I stopped for a tree picture…
…and to admire the daffodils beside the road as I left the town.
I had a look at my bike when I got home and decided that it needed a good clean after some riding on wet and dirty roads so I set about it with soapy water, de-greaser and cloths and toothbrushes. I won’t say that it was shining when I finished but it was a good deal cleaner.
I had another look round the garden.
Mrs Tootlepedal had remarked to me in the morning that it is very surprising to her that although she really only likes daffodils that look yellow like this…
…she has a lot of daffodils in the garden that look like this.
I am not complaining though because I like both sorts.
There are a number of these cowslippy things coming out around the garden…
… but the present chilly spell has slowed spring’s progress down to a crawl.
I made myself a sausage stew for my tea and then Susan arrived to give me a lift to Carlisle where we played quartets with our recorder group. We had a fine variety of music to play and excellent tea and biscuits to follow so I enjoyed the evening.
We passed the lorry gritting the main road as we drove home. Another cold night is in prospect.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, taken during the cloudy morning.