Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone. He was officiating at a golf match near Galashiels at the weekend and took the time to photograph this bridge over the new Borders Railway line which splits the course in two.
It was another fine day but rather chilly in the morning so I was happy to wait in and have a cup of coffee with our neighbour Ken He had called in to check a cycle route which Mrs Tootlepedal and I devised when we cycled south to visit her brother near London some years ago. He is thinking of cycling part of the route in the opposite direction.
I was was also waiting to check on the proposed arrival time at Carlisle of Mrs Tootlepedal. She was returning from having fun with Matilda.
By the time that the ETA was established and the coffee finished, the temperature had risen enough to make cycling tolerable and I decided to take my frequent 20 mile trip down to Canonbie and back.
I attracted the attention of this cow as I passed along the old A7 before Canonbie…
…and a bold splash of white on the verge a little further along attracted my attention.
It was a fine show of wood anemones.
There was a noticeable wind but luckily it was behind me on the way home so I ended my ride in a good mood.
I had left myself enough time before going to collect Mrs Tootlepedal to walk round the garden in the sunshine.
The tulips are going from strength to strength…
…while fritillaries and dicentra offer a more modest show.
The grape hyacinths are come along nicely and we can almost see the intended river of blue running through the beds round the front lawn.
The daffodils are flourishing, although the early ones are now needing dead heading, and the pale hellebore is also doing well . It is a pity that it was fatally aesthetically wounded by early bad weather.
While i was out looking at the flowers, a burst of noise from the bird feeder made me turn round. Two redpolls were giving a siskin a hard time.
I went back inside and looked at the birds through the window in a more traditional manner.
Regrettable behaviour was all too common.
There were moments of quiet.
I had a little stewed rhubarb and some Stilton cheese for my lunch and went off to collect Mrs Tootlepedal from the train. She arrived bang on time and brightened up my day even more than the morning sunshine had.
We took advantage of being in Carlisle to do some shopping and then drove home.
Having fun with Matilda is quite tiring so Mrs Tootlepedal had a well deserved rest and I went out on the slow bike to hunt for nuthatches….
…or at least I would have gone out if the front tyre wasn’t as flat as a pancake. When I took the wheel off and got the inner tube out, I found that the valve had snapped in half so there was no chance of a repair. The valve must have taken a knock in the garage. Luckily I had a spare tube to hand and I soon had everything back in order and went off on my hunt.
I waited patiently by the tree for a while and then my patience was sorely taxed by a passerby saying, “Don’t you get nuthatches on your feeder? They are always coming to mine.” Oh really.
Luckily, I did see one…
…but it didn’t like the look of my long lens and flew off and didn’t return so I left it in peace and cycled down to the river.
I was rewarded by spotting a grey wagtail bobbing up and down near the Sawmill Brig…
…and two oyster catchers at the Meeting of the Waters. They flew off as I approached….
…but at a steady speed which allowed me to catch them in both black….
…and white. The one at the back is undoubtedly saying, “Wait for me.”
I crossed the Langholm Bridge and stopped to admire two herring gulls (I think) on a rock in the middle of the Esk.
When I got home, I had many plans for doing useful things in the garden but after I had thought them over carefully, I had a little sit down instead.
In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we practised some pieces he is playing at a musical evening tomorrow. I hope he plays well and wows the audience.
The flying bird of the day is a redpoll, caught between two stools.