Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who appears to be spending May Day in Madrid. He visited El Parque de Buen Retiro where he admired the colossal statue of Alfonse XIII, best viewed from across the boating lake.
After putting on a good show for the visit of Mary Jo yesterday, the local weather gods fell back exhausted today and we reverted to mostly grey skies, a very cold wind and rain later. It didn’t matter all that much to me but Mrs Tootlepedal has got very fed with gardening in the cold.
She had woken up early and done quite a bit of good work in the garden before breakfast and then after breakfast, she decided to drive to the council dump, 18 miles away to get rid of the old vegetable bed boards, the old bench and sundry other items.
I had woken up with a very tender and arthritic thumb with a considerably swollen right hand so my plan was to let Mrs Tootlepedal do any work that was going and to try to rest the hand as much as possible. While she went off to the dump, I took a very gentle walk with my pocket camera clasped in my left hand. Even with the light camera, taking pictures was not easy.
I had hoped that the bluebells might be out so I walked along the river past great banks of wild garlic, just about to burst into flower….
…and a lot of golden saxifrage and the occasional bluebell…
…but it has been too cold and not sunny enough so when I got to my preferred bluebell spot, only a few were showing and the path up through the woods was still waiting for the blue carpet to be rolled out.
I walked up the path all the same and enjoyed what there was to be seen along the top.
Views over the town are disappearing behind fresh leaves.
When I got to the Stubholm, I continued along Gaskell’s Walk with just a hint in the blue sky above Meikleholm Hill to cheer the day up.
The path through the young birches was at its most magical.
There were a lot of grasses coming into flower along the path.
When I got to the Auld Stane Brig, I stopped to look at the permanent little lichen forest that grows on the fence post beside the bridge. At only a little over an inch high, it stubbornly resists rain, snow, hail, wind and the road of passing traffic.
Further along the road some of the hedge was full of different lichens.
A lone butterbur was in flower beside the Wauchope Water…
…and on the wall at Pool Corner there was enough heat under the shelter for the slow worms to have come out.
They like to snooze in a heap.
When I got back to the garden, i was welcomed by the magnolia at the gate and Mrs Tootlepedal who had got back from her visit to the dump…
…and she, with a little help from me, gave the car a good clean up, even going as far as getting the vacuum cleaner on to the job.
The nearby tulips caught my eye…
..and I went off to look at some more.
I couldn’t hold the big camera up or get the tripod into position so there are no bird feeder pictures today. I did take a picture of the chimney pot underneath the feeder though….
…before going indoors.
That concluded my activity for the day and I spent the rest of the day sitting down reading the papers or working at the computer, typing carefully with gentle fingers and holding the mouse in the loosest possible grip.
As it started to rain heavily, this was no great hardship.
I did take one more picture of some flowers in a vase on the kitchen table with Mrs Tootlepedal kindly holding up one of her scarves to make a background.
The quiet day certainly did my swollen hand no harm and I may need to look after it again tomorrow as I have learned that my new bike might be ready for collection on Friday and I shall want to be in as good condition as possible for a test ride.
There being no flying bird of the day, I have put in standing still and swimming ducks of the day instead, shot in a sunny moment on my walk.
Mary Jo kindly sent me a picture of an old man she saw at the blogging computer in our front room yesterday. I don’t know who he is. He looks much older than me.