Today’s guest picture comes from my neighbour Gavin, who is on a trip to see family in the USA. They have been been visiting Yosemite.
There was some every nice sunny weather when we got up but the wind soon got up too and if you weren’t in the sun, it was decidedly cool.
Being Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I made a lamb stew for the slow cooker. I didn’t go cycling when I had finished though as there were more important things to do today.
Needless to say I had my mind on turning compost so that I could start getting my new bins installed. By going very carefully, using a small fork and taking frequent rests, I managed to empty Bin D, turn Bin C into Bin D and then turn Bin B into Bin C.
In the rests between turning, I looked into tulips.
It’s wonderful to get such a variety of shades and styles but I notice that they all have six stamens. There’s probably some tulip rule about that.
I had the occasional sit down inside as well which let me watch the birds for a bit. Female chaffinches were to the fore…
…and a siskin wisely bailed out before being run into by a determined male chaffinch.
Out in the garden, the dog tooth violets are in full swing.
I even saw a butterfly but as I didn’t have my camera with me, you’ll have to take my word for that. I saw a couple of butterflies while I was out cycling yesterday so I am hoping to see a few more in the garden soon.
When Mrs Tootlepedal came home, we had some lunch and then we loaded up the car with clippings from the yew and two box balls which had been savaged by Attila the Gardener and took them off to the council dump near Annan.
When we got back, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that we should take a trip up to the Langholm Moor and see if we could see the goats that people keep tell us we are missing. We had hopes of perhaps seeing a hen harrier too, although it had clouded over by this time.
It was very hazy so there were no views to be had and as we drove over the hill to the county boundary, there were no goats either. We did see a buzzard high in the sky above us but we turned for home feeling that once again, we had missed the goats.
I stopped the car as we came down into the Tarras valley in order to take a rather gloomy shot of one of my favourite bridges…..
…and while we were stopped, the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal thought that she saw a goat on the far side of the river. When I looked, I saw another two so we drove over the bridge and looked around.
We didn’t have to be very sharp eyed to see a lot more goats.
There were goats and kids all over the place. I don’t how we had missed them on our way out.
One of the kids was bleating furiously and I could hear an answering bleat from some distance away. When I looked down the bank, I could see a goat sprinting along the far bank of the river.
It came to the bridge and went tip tapping over it with no regard for trolls at all….
…and was soon reunited with the kid.
The goats weren’t at all bothered by us and I was able to walk along the road side snapping away without disturbing them.
I don’t often get a chance like this so I overindulged a bit.
These are genuinely wild goats but they were very calm today.
They were as curious about me as i was about them.
Although we could have happily stayed and watched them for quite a lot longer,, we left the goats in the hope of seeing a hen harrier before the light faded…
…and drove on.
Before we left, I did take a picture of a sheep which was standing nearby so that anyone who is having trouble in separating their goats from their sheep can tell the difference.
We didn’t see a harrier, just another buzzard circling in the sky but we did see several grouse. Sadly, the light had gone too far to take a picture by this time.
When we got home, I took some advice from Mrs Tootlepedal, borrowed her spirit level and set about demolishing the old compost Bin B and installing the bottom layers of the new bin.
I got the bottom section level….
…installed the next layer and started turning Bin A into the new Bin B. It was a pleasure to use such a handsome new bin.
…and we soon had three layers of the new bin filled.
Here are Bins A to D in a row.
It just remains to finish turning Bin A into Bin B (which has two more layers to put on if needed) and then build the new Bin A. With a little good weather, that should happen tomorrow. The beauty of the modular bins is that I never have to lean in deeply to dig out the compost and I never have to lift the compost any higher than is absolutely necessary. These are important considerations for a man with a bad back.
We settled down to eat our lamb stew and watch the Masters golf tournament with a feeling of a day well spent.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch catching the morning sun..