Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia. She was walking at Burrington Combe in North Somerset, when she saw this sight on the far side of the road. It is the very crag which inspired the writer of the 1763 hymn starting: ‘Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee’
We had another dry and mostly cloudy day today. The dry weather was very welcome but once again the chilly and brisk wind took away some of the pleasure of being out in the garden.
After a cup of coffee and some excellent scones with Dropscone, I spent a lot of time in the garden so felt the wind quite keenly.
I was finishing tidying up after the installation of the compost bins. I sorted the old wood into ‘(possibly) usable’ and ‘totally rotten’ piles and then with Mrs Tootlepedal’s help, I used some of the wood to improve the partition between Bins C and D. It all looks very good now but I haven’t put in a photo of the finished set up because I have elderly readers and don’t want to over excite them two days running. This is a responsible and caring blog.
In between the compost work, I mowed the two lawns and looked at the moss, which always seems more conspicuous after a cut, in a slightly depressed way. I am waiting for some warmer weather to encourage grass growth before getting the scarifier out.
Mrs Tootlepedal has transplanted some hellbores and a fritillary as she thought that they were blooming rather unseen where they were and she has put them beside the other hellebore near the feeders….
…where they will make up a new ‘spring corner’ if they survive the transplanting.
I couldn’t resist another look at the amazing euphorbia…
…although the brisk wind made taking flower pictures tricky.
We are getting quite excited by the prospect of azaleas….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal is impressed by her rosemary beside the greenhouse.
I find it a very difficult plant to photograph well as my camera sees the leaves much more clearly than the elegant flowers. I will try again with the macro lens on a sunnier day.
I thought that I had found a nascent tulip afflicted by a dread disease….
…but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is a fancy variety and is supposed to be like that. I look forward to seeing it when it is fully out.
The aubretias overhanging the side of the dam are thriving.
In spite of having had quite an energetic time in the garden, I had enough oomph left to go for a short cycle ride late in the afternoon. It was still very windy so I settled for a valley-bottom-hugging ride up and down the road beside the Wauchope Water to Cleuchfoot and back a couple of times with a bit added on to make up twenty miles.
I was rewarded for my get up and go spirit when the sun came out just as I started cycling
I saw a towering gorse bush…
…and some very young lambs in a field.
I went along the banks of the Esk in the town on one of the laps, hoping to see some interesting birds but had to settle for a small meadow on the bank beside the suspension bridge…
The flowers that look quite white in the sunshine are in fact a very pretty purple when seen from closer in.
Whenever I had a chance through the day, I looked out of the kitchen window. It was not hard to spot birds lining up to try the new feeders.
Some customers got impatient though…
…which led to some unedifying moments. ..
…while off feeder, discussions on the value of a second Scottish Independence Referendum became heated…
A goldfinch wished that all this bad behaviour would cease immediately.
All this bird action is very entertaining to watch but it leads to mess under the feeders and Mrs Tootlepedal is justifiably starting to complain about the smell. My sense of smell is so poor that I don’t notice anything myself but I will have to put my mind to clearing up and disinfecting the affected area.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see some high class ballet being streamed to the screen in the Buccleuch Centre and but as I find ballet very impressive to watch from a technical and athletic point of view but painfully slow and repetitive from the point of view of advancing a plot or telling a story, I left her to go alone and did some catching up on blog reading.
There are two flying birds of the day, a goldfinch absolutely delighted by the prospect of one of the new feeders….
…and a siskin. Not a good picture but siskins don’t hover so getting a picture at all on a dull day is a bonus.