Today’s guest picture is another from Tony. He has been looking up lately and as well as holes in clouds, he has seen the moon.
We had another fine sunny day here today and because the wind had dropped, it felt really warm and we were able to discard several layers of winter clothing.
We started the day with a visit to church to sing with the choir. Because our local amateur operatic society was having a full day of rehearsals for their forthcoming show, we were a bit short of numbers but we gave it our best anyway.
When we got back to the house, we had a stroll round the garden. I checked on the frogs and saw an odd sight…
…with two frogs looking as though they had been shot and mounted on a wooden board. A second look showed me that they were in fact floating on top of a reflection of the bridge above them and if you look carefully, you can see the rest of their bodies under the water.
The rest of the pond was full of frogs.
The garden is full of crocuses…
…and other interesting things like a naturally dried sunflower head, a ladybird and the developing euphorbia.
I was just going about photographing things when I was hailed by neighbour Irving who was leaning over the garden fence. He has been very poorly recently with a bad back and was keen to share some experiences with me as I have suffered from a bad back too in my time.
He felt that after being ill, he was probably not at his best photographically and told me not to put his picture in the blog. You can see that he is perhaps looking a little part worn still so I won’t use his picture.
During the day when she was between choirs, Mrs Tootlepedal completed the varnishing of the rocking horse.
The dappling of a rocking horse is a very stylised business and she has settled for a fairly restrained version which I think is just the thing.
We are waiting now for the arrival of the saddle, bridle, main and tail from the rocking horse shop and then the final stage of the work can begin.
We had a busy day at the feeder today with a good number of siskins flying in and out…
…alongside the usual chaffinches and goldfinches…
…and a visiting starling showed off its iridescent colours.
I had time for a short three bridges walk and spotted quite a few oyster catchers beside the river..
The sense of a spring day was heightened by the sight of the first blossoms on the trees which line the Esk between the suspension and the town bridges.
At the Kilngreen, the crocuses are starting to come out along the banking and although they are not quite as showy as the Edinburgh display which I saw on Thursday…
…they are not to be sniffed at.
I haven’t seen Mr Grumpy for some time, so it was good to see him back on guard beside the Ewes Water.
I walked over the Sawmill Brig and walked up almost as far as the Lodge…
…before crossing the Castleholm and taking the riverside path back towards the Jubilee bridge. I was wondering if the spell of good weather might have tempted some hazel flowers to come out.
The catkins were open and if you look carefully, you can just see a little red female flower at the top of the picture.
This tree had several flowers out…
…but I didn’t see any more as I walked along the path. They have arrived early this year. It has sometimes been almost a month later before I have seen them.
I called in on our friends Mike and Alison on our way home as Mike has been poorly with a chest infection. I had seen him briefly on our way to church when he was on his way to buy a newspaper and looking far from well but he was much more cheerful by lunchtime and reported that he is on the mend.
When I got home, I found the pond full to bursting with frogs.
I had time for a quick lunch and while I was eating my soup, Mrs Tootlepedal noticed that a redpoll had arrived. I put down my soup spoon and picked up a camera and recorded this welcome arrival.
After lunch, we went off to Carlisle for a very hard working final practice before the Carlisle Community Choir goes to Manchester next week to compete in the Manchester Amateur Choir Competition.
Mrs Tootlepedal is not taking part this year so I will be going down by myself, except of course for the other eighty choir members who will be coming too.
I am hoping for good weather so I can wander about during the day taking pictures.
I had made a venison stew in the slow cooker in the morning and in spite of saying recently that we had used all the veg from our garden, I was happy to find that we still have some home grown turnips in store in our garage so one of them went in. Thanks to the good summer, things have lasted well in storage this season.
The flying bird of the day was a lucky shot taken at the Kilngreen as I clicked my camera at random as a duck flew by down the river. I must have moved it inadvertently at almost duck flying speed.