Bedding in

Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Gavin who is making friends with a cactus out in Spain while we shiver here.

cactus

We had some equivalent sunshine at the start of the day….

chaffinch and goldfinch

…but it couldn’t disguise the fact that it was jolly chilly again and I had to put a coat on as I cycled to church to sing in the choir.   As the other two choirs that I sing with are on holiday this week, it was doubly enjoyable to get the chance of a good sing today.

The sun was still out when I got home and I had a wander round the garden to see if there were any developments.

A scilla or two had come out to join the chionodoxa in the very small blue flower department…

chionodoxa and scilla

…and a resilient primrose is producing more flowers…

primrose

…not far from where a fancy daffodil that Mrs Tootlepedal recently purchased is doing its best to defy the cold.

daffodil

But on the whole, we are still waiting for spring, although there are signs.

potential flowers

I went in to make some soup, using some parsnip which Mrs Tootlepedal recently dug up from the vegetable garden.  It has got through the winter well and with the addition of WETILA*, it made for a tasty soup.

I noticed a few greenfinch about as I cooked.

greenfinch

After lunch, I considered my options.  It was still cold, with a sharp but fairly light north easterly wind and the sun had gone in.  It seemed to be dry enough for a cycle ride so I wrapped up well, got the  slow bike and a banana out and went off heading north into the wind and up the main road.

The holiday traffic was light, with very few lorries and a glimpse of sunshine ahead up the Ewes Valley…

Ewes valley

…made the trip look well chosen.

However, although there were fine trees to admire on my way up the valley…

Ewes valley tree

…the combination of the sun going in quite quickly and the arrival of a short but crisp hail shower made me look at things in a different light.

It was a fairly gloomy light, with a covering of snow on the higher hills…

Ewes valley

…and patches still left beside the road.

Mosspaul road

So when I got to the top of the hill at Mosspaul, I didn’t go down the other side as I had vaguely planned to do but instead, turned when I got to this little cottage tucked into a sheltered spot…

P1080565

…and headed back down the road to Langholm and warmth.

Mosspaul road

The eleven miles home, downhill and with the wind behind me, were a pleasure.

Because my ride had been shorter than planned, I still had time for a walk but the afternoon got greyer as it went on and I decided to watch the birds for a bit before deciding what to do.

A chaffinch rudely turned its back on me but at least it gave me a good shot of its colourful wing feathers.

chaffinch

I noticed a small group of jackdaws poking around in a flower bed at the top of the lawn.

jackdaw

Obviously, in spite of the cold weather, nest building was on their minds.

One of them broke away to visit the fat ball feeder and warned the others off with an imperious gesture of the wing…

jackdaw

But it was only a gesture and it was soon seen off by a fiercer bird with a piercing eye.

jackdaw

The jackdaws didn’t stop for long and I gave up the idea of a walk and went out to do some preliminary work on the second of the four new raised beds.

20180401_171148

It is now more or less in position and the new, wider path between the beds is beginning to become obvious.

While I was out in the garden, I was visited by some young friends who were hoping to see frogs in our pond.  Alas, the frogs are gone to wherever it is that our frogs go to.  They had just come back from a holiday in Portugal and their father told me that the whole family was feeling the cold back in Scotland.  That’s the trouble with sunshine holidays in winter.  You have to come home again.

We are forecast a very cold day tomorrow with the possibility of snow but after that things should warm up a little at least.  It can’t come soon enough.

The flying bird of the day is one of the ever reliable chaffinches.

chaffinch

*WETILA:  Whatever Else There Is Lying About,  a very common ingredient in soups.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

19 thoughts on “Bedding in

  1. We’re promised a cooler week. I hope your cold only lasts a day.
    It’s nice to see the flowers. That’s an unusual daffodil. I’ve never seen one like it.
    It looks like you’ll have enough kneeling room between the raised beds. It can get uncomfortable when there isn’t.

    1. The crucial thing is to be able to get the wheelbarrow along with room to spare. Mrs T is an ace croucher and doesn’t do much kneeling if she can help it.

  2. I thought that WETILA was a required ingredient to soup, or at least that’s how I’ve always made soup. And, I’ll bet that a hot bowl of sup really hit the spot after such a chilly day.

    At least you have a few flowers beginning to bloom, and the birds that come to your feeders to photograph. The weather has to improve for both of us soon, or at least I hope that it does. Your forecast and ours sound the same, and I can tell that you’re as tired of it as I am.

  3. WETILA soup is known here as “fridge cleaner soup” – the best kind. You’re fortunate to be able to leave the parsnips in the ground until you need them in the spring.

  4. we call it bottom of the fridge soup. The weather here is very wet and I haven’t been out much. did go out in the rain and ride this morning early but only 5 miles. have been sewing or knitting ever since.

  5. Singing must release all those pent up feelings of angst that we all have with this weather…maybe joining a choir should be made compulsory by the NHS! It’s lovely to read above that we all seem to make soup the same way…I always find at least two ‘dead’ brussels sprouts lurking at the bottom of the fresh food drawer in the fridge…they are my special ingredients!

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