East is best

Today’s guest picture is another from Ada’s trip to Tenerife.  She saw lots of this attractive tree heather while she was there.

Tenerife tree heather

It was another day when we couldn’t see much here as once again it was very grey and drizzly.  It has been reasonably warm though and there are flowers just waiting for a sunny day to spring into action.

soggy flowers

As I was walking round the garden in search of flowers, I heard a familiar purring sound and when I looked towards the pond, I saw that the frog clock was working well and they had returned on schedule.

frog in pond from behind

They are amazingly punctual.  I checked on past years and found that they seem to arrive within a two or three day window each year.  Day length rather than warmth or rain must be the determining factor.

They had got to work pretty smartly.


It wasn’t very attractive standing around getting rained on so I went back in and watched the birds.  My timing was off and I caught this chaffinch half a second too late.

landing chaffinch

It was a lot drier looking at the hellebore through the kitchen window.

hellebores from kitchen

This shot summed the morning up.


It got a little drier and I nipped out to have another look for frogs.  There were half a dozen visible in the pond but this was the only one who hung around for a portrait shot.

frog in pond

After lunch, we set off to catch the train to Edinburgh and as we travelled, the weather improved until by the time that we got to Edinburgh, the sun was out, the wind had dropped and it was a very pleasant day.  The neat and regular houses in the New Town were looking handsome…


…and the view across the Forth from the top deck of the bus as we went down the hill from Queen Street was worth the journey on its own.


When we were walking from the station to catch the bus, we passed a splendid show of crocuses in Princes Street Gardens…


…although a tourist was clashing with the muted colours of the flowers.

We arrived at Matilda’s house just as she got back from nursery and for the next three hours we had fun.  First Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda did their now famous dishwashering dancing as they filled the dishwasher and set it off and then Matilda and I played throwing and catching, setting Grandpa’s feet on fire (“It’s only pretend Grandpa, it won’t hurt.”) and then Matilda enjoyed being trapped and released by both Granny and Grandpa in turn. Matilda is growing up fast and gave me a sound thrashing at a bout of arm wrestling.  This was all very energetic so it was lucky that once again Al and Clare provided us with a splendid meal to restore our strength before we caught the bus back to the station.

Very unusually, our trains, both up and down, were bang on time.   Long may this continue.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch seen from an upstairs window for a change.

flying chaffinch from above

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “East is best

  1. The return of the frogs is always a welcome event. Nothing says spring quite like a smiling frog portrait and new clutches of eggs. Our Pacific Chorus Frogs have also started up operations, even on very cold nights.

    What a beautiful bank of crocus in Princes Street Gardens!

    Matilda will be joining you on bike rides before long now.

  2. Sounds like an excellent way to spend the day. I wonder who will be first to mention tapioca pudding. If there’s one thing I miss from my youth it’s milk puddings. I sometimes make a rice pudding but it’s a rare treat.

    Nice to know the frogs are so punctual. Day length is important to poultry coming into lay so it is probably the same for frogs.

  3. You know it’s spring when the frogs can be heard. We have what we call spring peepers and I’m anxious to hear them again.
    Nice to have a hellebore right outside the kitchen window.
    That’s an amazing display of crocuses. Beautiful!

    1. We call them spring peepers, too, on the west coast. I wish frogs in vast number would find my new pond. We heard the peepers at night about a month ago and then it snowed and they must have returned to hibernating till a couple of nights ago.

  4. My pal is moving to Edinburgh…it looks such a fine city. Your afternoon sounded very interesting and tiring and well deserving of a nourishing meal to replenish your energy! Love the smiley frog.

  5. Your frogs arrive earlier than ours do by some weeks. I love to hear that first, instantly recognisable froggy noise in the garden. I liked your photo of the frog a lot.

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