Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce’s recent trip south and shows a public sculpture in Sheffield. The sculpture is called ‘Double Helix’. I like the sculpture but don’t know how it got its name as it looks more like a contorted screw eye than a double helix.
Our slightly warmer weather continued today but so did large quantities of rain which fell from the sky with gusto during the morning, making everything soggy again.
As the rain was accompanied by a very brisk wind, even when the rain stopped the day didn’t feel a great deal better.
Happily, while the rain was at its worst….
…I had the pleasure of Dropscone and Sandy’s company for a cup of coffee and a scone. They are both off to southern European sunshine islands for holidays shortly and so they didn’t mind the weather here as much as I did. It makes going abroad more fun if the weather is horrible at home.
The rain stopped after lunch and I was able to go out into the garden to capture the daffodil of the day….
…but it was too wet to wander about or do any lawn care so I came back in and watched the birds.
They were very busy again today but you can have too much activity so I settled for some quieter portraits of our regulars today.
A greenfinch turned up and was probably quite surprised to be treated with an unusual lack of respect by both siskins and chaffinches.
The siskin flew away and the chaffinch just bounced off so the greenfinch continued feeding quite unruffled.
Mrs Tootlepedal was helping at the Buccleuch Centre coffee shop over lunchtime and when she came back, the weather was too unsympathetic to garden so she went for a rest and after doing some computer work, I went for a walk.
It was still very windy but it was warm enough to make walking a pleasure if you could get out of the wind.
I walked along the park wall to see if the red tipped lichens were enjoying the warmer weather….
…and found that they were thriving.
I thought that it would be better to walk along the top of the bank at Stubholm rather than along the rather soggy riverside path so I went up the track and along the top of the wood. I am impressed by the fact that only some of the trees on this steep bank have fallen over so far.
When I got down to the Murtholm fields, I could see that quite a bit of rain had fallen….
…so it was no surprise to find an oyster catcher in one of the fields (in a rare moment of sunshine)…
…as well as traditional sheep and lambs.
The willows are starting to show along both banks of the river.
And there was plenty of water coming down the river past the old distillery building.
As it got near Skippers, it was foaming and boiling…
…but the new bridge repairs are holding up well and the bridge is still standing.
Although the river was quite high, it wasn’t high enough to need all three arches of the bridge.
I entertained myself by looking at lichen on the bridge parapet (right frame in the picture below)…
…and a very pretty sort on the fence at Land’s End (in the left frame).
I stopped off at the Co-op to acquire some fish cakes for my tea and then walked back to the suspension bridge. Looking up river from the suspension bridge, I could see that the Langholm Bridge was using all three arches…
…and looking downstream, I could see three goosanders on the gravel bank beside the Wauchope.
I was expecting them to get up and swim away when I got close but obviously they thought about swimming much as I had thought about cycling in these conditions and they were fast asleep and going nowhere.
The garden continues to show a little more colour each day…
…and I was happy to see the dicentras coming out as they are great bee magnets.
It was far too wet and windy for bees today though.
When I got in, I persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal that it was warm enough to be out in the garden in spite of the wind and we spread a little manure about in a helpful way and then she stayed outside doing useful tasks for a while before the wind blew her back inside.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal settled down to some serious sock darning while I looked through my pictures and tapped away at the keyboard for this post. In this throwaway age, it is rather reassuring to be able to wear well darned socks.
We are told that it is going to get suddenly very warm for the time of year tomorrow afternoon and then stay quite nice, if a bit cooler, for the next three or four days. I hope that this turns out to be true.
Following my success in thinking about things and then seeing the things that I had thought about appear, I bought a lottery ticket along with my fish fingers this afternoon.
I am going to have to think a bit harder it seems.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.