A ferntastic morning

Eyam sundial

Today’s guest picture is another form Bruce’s visit to Eyam.  A helpful notice tells you that this is a wall sun dial.

Eyam sundial

It was warmer today and it got even warmer as the day went on whihc was very welcome.  It was rather damp and grey in the morning when I went out to learn something about ferns from fern enthusiast Mike Tinker.

We met at his house and his garden offered plenty of photo opportunities before we set out.  I took two of them.

Mikes garden

We started our walk on the path round the new playing field at the school.   There is a big wall at the end of the pitch whihc had a lot of interest.

There was maidenhair spleenwort, showing the very dark centre rib on the back of the leaf…

maidenhair spleenwort

…and wall rue which I had passed many times without ever realising that it was  a fern.

wall rue

…and among the interest was a strawberry tucked in among the stones of the wall and a hart’s tongue fern which was definitely past its best.

strawberry and hart's tongue

We moved on to Langholm Castle…

Langholm Castle

…where we found common polypody and polystichum aculeatum or hard shield fern.

polypody and polystichum

The hard shield fern had an interesting looking back.

Polystichum aculeatum

We walked up the hill to Pathhead and saw many more examples of both polypody and polystichum.  Mike explained to me that these were evergreen or semi-evergreen ferns and told me that we would need to wait about a month to see any of the new ferns coming out.

As we walked up the hill, we passed liverworts and golden saxifrage too.

liverwort and golden saxifrage

On our walk as well as ferns we saw fungus…

jelly fungus

….a hazel with a good number of flowers on it and any amount of dog’s mercury.


Back in Mike’s garden, he showed me two of his own ferns, a soft shield fern, Polystichum setiferum….

Polystichum setiferum

…and another very handsome one of which I have forgotten the name…

Mike's fern

…and an unusual version of hart;s tongue.

hart's tongue

I haven’t done justice with the camera to all the ferns we saw and may have missed one or two out of this account.  I hope that I have recorded the ferns correctly but there was a lot to take in.  I am looking forward to the walk when the fresh ferns arrive in about a month.  Thanks to Mike for a really interesting outing.

After a cup of coffee, I went home and watched the birds for a moment.

goldfinches and chaffinches

There were still a lot of goldfinches about in argumentative mood.

sparring goldfinches

Then I checked the pond…


and went in and had some lunch.

The afternoon was fine and even sunny sometimes and the wind was supposed to be quite light so I set out for a cycle ride.  Either the wind was stronger than was forecast or my legs were weaker, or both, but I found the going quite tough on the way out and had to take things easy.  I didn’t stop for much as I went along as we are still waiting for the roadside wild flowers to appear in numbers.  There were some good clumps of celandine…


…but I am still waiting for the spring carpet of dandelions to be rolled out.

A small forest of equisetum near Kirkpatrick Fleming caught my eye…


…and a single daisy while I was pausing for a snack and a breather.


I have cycled over the bridge at Glenzier many times and wished that it was easier to take a picture of it but you can see my problem…

Glenzier Bridge

…so this is probably the best that I will manage.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from an all day embroidery workshop and was busy in the garden.  I was unaccountably tired after a shortish and slow 31 mile ride but if you turn the distance onto kilometres, it comes to 50km and that sounds more impressive.

After watching some sport on the telly while I relaxed, I made baked eggs and spinach with a cheese sauce for tea and resolved not to go cycling tomorrow, whatever the weather.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A ferntastic morning

  1. Great fern pictures, though you may need a notebook and all your Pelmanism skills to remember the names.

    You are right about 50km – it sounds a very impressive distance.

  2. It’s so nice to see growing things and signs of Spring. We are in the throes of a winter/spring storm here with snow, freezing rain and high winds.

  3. The shot of the male and female hazel blossoms if excellent. It’s a very hard one to get. I was trying just today, without success,
    You’re lucky to have a friend as knowledgeable as Mr. Tinker. I’d try to find an excuse to be walking his way often.
    Some of the ferns are amazing and like nothing I’ve seen here, and the celandines and daisy are beautiful.
    I’m anxious to see some horsetails now.

  4. Lovely fern walk, and I look forward to the next one. I wish Mike could come here to enjoy Allan’s fern garden. Perhaps I will get Allan to do a blog post about it!! The FBOTD is beautiful.

  5. Sounds like a really fern day, I’ve just had a similar hour, no ferns involved I’m afraid, but out on my bike in the “light rain and breezy winds” forecast for today? I know I’m far from fit after my enforced long lay off, but 8.7 miles felt like 16, but I really enjoyed it. I’d forgotten what a great treat it is to cycle in the rain. Really enjoyed your post with a post ride cup of tea. Cheers.

  6. Pleased to see your frog is happy with your warmer weather. Lovely blossom and interesting ferns and a great FBTD. It’s amazing where the celandines suddenly sprout from …a true spring carpet.

  7. A spectacular crop of ferns, which might be expected given all the rain you’ve had. Still, they are lush and beautiful, and a nice contrast to our gloomy landscape.

  8. Beautiful goldfinch photo! I am still on my exercise bike. The weather has been so bad that at this rate we won’t be on the road until May.

  9. Mr T… it’s fun to visit your post, but I still have a whole week to catch up to you. Luckily I seem to have overcome that nasty cold, but then there were visitors and a trip to the Redwoods just south of us (you’ve heard of them perhaps?) We plan to take at least the next week off so I can catch up on some much needed rest and housekeeping and perhaps some blogging (posting and comments)! I’m hoping you’ll like some of my captures from down in the Redwoods. It was quite the extraordinary place. If only I could find the time or energy to post! Soon, I hope! 😀

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