Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who visited Birmingham for an organ recital and took some time out to enjoy the canals while he was there.
We had what was possibly the last of our run of fine sunny days today and once again we started off with frost on the ground.
The frost was melting away when I crossed the suspension bridge on my way to visit the shops after breakfast…
…and was retreating from the front lawn under the assault of the sun when I got home again.
I checked on the frogspawn in the pond and found it hard to tell whether it had been damaged or not…
…but the early daffodils are certainly made of tough stuff and are standing up well to alternate bouts of warmth and cold.
I noticed that Mrs Tootlepedal has made use of some surplus woollen packaging as a mulch round one of her roses.
My morning coffee was enhanced by the presence of Dropscone bearing scones and I enjoyed mine with some two year old blackcurrant jelly which Mrs Tootlepedal had found in the back of the jam cupboard.
Dropscone revealed that he had won a golf competition at the weekend but he was honest enough to admit that as it was in a field of three, it wasn’t the most hard won victory of his long and successful career. Still, a win is a win.
When he left, I had a moment or two to watch the birds where an incoming greenfinch was racing a chaffinch to a vacant perch….
…and two greenfinches, having won a place at the feeder, were putting the wind up a siskin.
Then I sat in front of my computer and had a remote session with my speech therapist.
We decided that the exercises that she had given me had worked well enough for me to be discharged from her care and after giving me some sage advice as to how to proceed in the future, we signed off. The remote consultations have worked very well and saved me a lot of time and expense which driving to see her the hospital in Dumfries would have entailed.
When I had finished, Mrs Tootlepedal took me out into the garden to show me some intriguing green bubbles that had grown on a bucket of sieved compost. The bucket had got very wet as it had been standing under a drip for several weeks which might account for this result. We have never seen anything like it before.
After lunch, I lent a helping hand in the garden, getting the hedge clippers out and giving a spirea a haircut…
…while Mrs Tootlepedal prepared the soil and planted the new ground covering rose which she had purchased a day or two ago.
Although the sun was out, it wasn’t by any means warm and I wrapped up well before going off for a cycle ride.
The reason for the lack of warmth became clear as I cycled along. There was a thick layer of dirty mist in the air acting as an insulator and limiting any views to my immediate surroundings.
From the top of Callister, I should have had a clear view of the wind farm on the hill three miles ahead but today I could hardly see the hills, let alone the wind turbines.
As I am mildly asthmatic, I did think for a moment or two of turning round and going home but in the end, I stuck to my task and pedalled on, keeping my efforts well below the level that required heavy breathing.
I read a newspaper report which said that the light winds of recent days combined with the dry weather and some Saharan dust, which may have floated up on the southern airflow that has brought our warm weather with it, may be the cause of this concentration of airborne particles. It is not often that I think a bit of rain would be a good thing, but I hope that it rains soon.
I managed 27 miles and this took my mileage for February to just over the magic figure of 300 miles, which is my monthly target for this year. Thanks to the cloudy conditions, I didn’t stop to take any more pictures on my way.
In the evening, I went off to sing with Langholm Sings, our local community choir and we had a very enjoyable session with our regular conductor, who is also my singing teacher. I did my best to show that I had paid attention during my lesson on Monday.
I didn’t have long to watch the birds today and as a result, I caught my only flying bird of the day just as it head went into the shadow of the feeder.