A good start to the new month

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s birthday tour and shows a very United Kingdom team of bell ringers over a jeweller’s shop in Gloucester.

gloucester

The new month started in good style with a chilly but fine morning and it was a pleasure to see the sun and some blue sky.

Even though it was not far above freezing, the sun was enough to bring a snowdrop out in the garden.

open snowdrop

I am trying to take care of my chest as it is steadily improving and I don’t want to set it back so I resisted any slight temptation to go cycling (there was a strong wind to go with the low temperatures) and spent a quiet morning in.

We are going to get the bridge over the dam behind the house replaced after a large hole appeared in the roadway some weeks ago….

bridge repairs

…and this will be quite a big deal.  One of the problems is that record keeping has been poor and no one is quite sure what utilities run under the bridge.  We have had several visits from experts who have given fine displays of head scratching and chin stroking and today, we had the man from the water board.    We just hope that they don’t cut off our gas or sewage when they start the work.

There were plenty of birds about again today…..

goldfinches, chaffinch and blackbird

…and although there weren’t as many as yesterday, there were still times  when the feeder was very busy.

busy feeder

I was pleased to see a greenfinch or two among the goldfinches, chaffinches  and siskins.

greenfinch

Although the skies got a bit cloudy after lunch, it was still fine enough to tempt Mrs Tootlepedal out into the garden and I took the opportunity to go for a walk.

I had intended to walk to the top of Meikleholm Hill to get some wider views and started out full of pep….

Langholm from Meikleholm

….but when I met a group of hill cattle half way up the hill, I gave that idea up and settled for contouring round the hill and back down to the road.  My decision was helped by the refusal of the sun to come out from behind the clouds where I was, even though it was shining on some distant snow capped hilltops.

Snow on hills

I chose a route that was well sheltered from the north-westerly wind and enjoyed my outing.

When I got to the road, I was observed by a curious sheep…..

sheep

…and considered a handy bench with its view….

bench at Breckonwrae

…but thought that the moss on the arm of the bench was the most  interesting thing about it.

moss on bench at Breckonwrae

I considered taking the path through the woods on my way back to the town but it was damp underfoot and I had already slipped over on the soggy patch of hillside so I decided to stick to the road.

This was not a boring option as there was an interesting wall with maidenhair spleenwort on the face of it….

spleenwort wall

…and any amount of different mosses on the top.

moss on wall

At the end of the wall, the road is lined by a fence made from pipes set into concrete fence posts and each fence post had its own hat….

moss on conrete fenceposts

…and I could easily have taken a picture of every one that I passed.  I restrained myself.

The sun actually came out as I got to the town so I walked down through the wood, crossed the Jubilee Bridge and took the new path round the bottom of the Castleholm.

New path castleholm

I was struck by the large number of comes at the very top of one of the noble firs beside the path…..

noble fir cones

…and by the even larger number of moss sporophytes on the wall opposite the Buccleuch Estates yard.

moss on wall, ewesbank

I don’t think that I have seen such a furry wall before. The mosses and lichens are still enjoying our weather.

As I walked along the Kilngreen, I passed Mr Grumpy, who was looking very well turned out.

heron

When I got back to the garden, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had spent the time digging out a tree peony and…..

tree peony move

….replanting it a few yards away.  It was too close to the dogwood before and should be able to make a better mark in its new position.

My walk was about three and half miles and I was more than happy to find myself in as good condition at the end of it as I had been at the start.  Both Mrs Tootlepedal and I are continuing to throw off the after effect of the bug, though I met someone on my walk today who was complaining that he still wasn’t entirely cured after five weeks so we are  going carefully and trying not to do too much at a time.

That concluded the active part of the day and I went into pro-relaxing mode until the evening came and it was time to look at pictures and write this post.

My moss book tells me that I really need a magnifying glass to get the best out of moss watching so I might think about that.  In the meantime, it has been an eye opener to see how many different forms of moss there are about.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin crossing in front of the lawn.  It is not a brilliant picture but I really liked the colour scheme.

flying siskin

On the subject of flying birds, I saw a picture in one of the blogs that I follow of a flock of birds rising from some tree tops.  We often have that from the trees of Holmwood.  In our case the birds are rooks….

rooks

…and we had a small example of a flock today.  They are very noisy.

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

38 thoughts on “A good start to the new month

  1. So glad the day was fine and you were able to go on a nice walk. Moss is enchanting. Our front lawn has a lot of moss, and we don’t mind a bit. I have been to lie on the ground to get a close-up picture of moss.

  2. I enjoyed your description of the fence posts with moss tops. it reminds me of all the white snails I encountered in Provence on fences. The natural world has so much to teach us. What a pleasant walk!

  3. What a lovely view of your village from the hill. The mosses on the benches and stone walls are beautiful. A most enjoyable post all around. What is the breed of sheep ? A most handsome specimen.

  4. OMG, i just discovered where Langholm is! i hiked Hadrian’s Wall Path in September and enjoyed the whole route. What a lovely part of the world. i’ll return someday soon for another adventure.

  5. I’d say that it was a fair day overall from the way that you described it. While no one photo stood out from the rest, you shot a fine collection of images for the day. It looks like spring is beginning to arrive there, which tends to cheer me up from the winter doldrums that we’re in here.

  6. Beautiful and varied moss-scapes today. I do have friends who carry magnifiers for close Garden observation. I have a small old folding 12x magnifier from printing class of 40 years ago that would be handy to carry…if I could find it.

  7. Love the guest photo- I wonder if they ‘play’ on the hour? Your moss photos are so lovely – they’ve opened my eyes to the wonders of their miniature world. Hope your dam’n’ bridge gets sorted quickly and successfully.

  8. Great photos, way too early for those early spring flowers here in the frozen puddles, but you bring a smile and delight that soon, this dreadful winter will be over. I will live vicariously until our spring (usually a soggy mess) but warmer arrives.

  9. I don’t know how I could have missed two of your posts. That’s a first.
    The moss on the far left after the wall full of spleenworts looks like our stair step moss (Hylocomium splendens.) I wish we had spleenworts like those.
    I’m glad that you and Mrs. T. are feeling better, I hope they don’t harm the house when they start digging, but the work might be interesting to see up close.

  10. I enjoyed looking at so many of these photos. The perfect snowdrop, the sun on the distant snowy hilltops, the varied mosses and spleenwort and the attractive green photo of the FBotD. We have a rookery a few yards away from our house – they are *very* noisy.

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