Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who went with my sister Susan to visit the refurbished temperate glass house at Kew Gardens. It was worth the trip.
The big question, after a night listening to the wind howling round the house and rain battering at the windows, was would there be anything left?
We got off lightly with no structural damage and the electricity still working but the plants were not quite so lucky. Tall thin plants did the worst….
…while flowers sheltered behind stout hedges did the best.
It all depended on your point of view. I felt that we had done well with plenty left still standing for me to photograph while Mrs Tootlepedal, who of course had done all the work to get the flowers to grow in the first place, mourned those that were gone.
The wind was still blowing rather alarmingly in the morning even though the rain had stopped. Indeed, it didn’t seem to have rained as much as the noise in the night would have indicated and the garden soon dried up. By the afternoon, the sun had come out and if you could get out of the persistent wind, it was quite a nice day. I mowed the drying green and the greenhouse grass while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some shopping.
I also took a look at the birds. I saw this young blackbird sitting on a fence when I glanced out of the back window while passing through the sitting room.
Out of the usual window I could see that here were plenty of sparrows at the feeder today….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal had put out a suet ball on the kitchen windowsill in the hope of attracting sparrows there too. It worked.
I had used the gloomy morning weather as a motivation to put a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database but the afternoon looked good enough for an expedition so I got my new bike out and tested the wind.
It really is an excellent bicycle. It turns out to be extremely stable in strong and gusty crosswinds and for some reason which is hard to explain, it is also almost a pleasure to cycle into the wind when riding it. Whether it is the frame design and riding position, or the aerodynamics of the bike or the very user friendly gear system, or a combination of all three, riding into a strong breeze is not at all a discouraging experience.
This was lucky as the wind was certainly strong today, gusting to well over 30mph as I went along.
I stopped to see how much water was going over the little cascade near Wauchope Schoolhouse after the overnight rain.
The answer was not a great deal.
I noticed a pretty yellow wild flower in the grass beside the river. It is probably a meadow vetchling.
A bit of the roadside verge had become waterlogged through poor drainage during the wet winter. Now it is home to a small forest of horsetail.
Because of the strong wind, I skulked about in the valley bottom and did two laps of the seven mile trip to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back. I cycled through the town and down to the river when I got home and checked to see if the young oyster catchers were still at the water’s edge.
They were there with their fluffy feathers getting ruffled by the wind.
The parents were there too, rather indignant at my presumption in taking pictures of their children.
I surprised myself by really enjoying my 14 mile windy ride and I had enough energy left to mow the middle lawn.
In the evening, Susan arrived and we drove to Carlisle to play with our recorder group. As we drove down there was a little rain but some sunshine too and this provided us with a splendid rainbow which we took as a sign that the stormy weather was over.
As always, some of the pieces we played went better than others but there were enough of the sound performances to make the evening good fun and the biscuits with the after-playing cup of tea were very tasty too.
A flying bird of the day today, one of the sparrows at the feeder.