Today’s picture is another from Venetia’s African odyssey in the course of which she seems to have seen just about everything you could expect to see if things went really well on such a visit.
After the excitement of yesterday’s outing, I had a quiet day today. The weather was quiet too, with a tiny spot of sun and a single drop of rain, but it was mostly grey and unemotional.
Although Mrs Tootlepedal is still a bit under the weather, she managed to go out and sort out posters in the Welcome to Langholm office for forthcoming Buccleuch Centre events. I had a look at the birds.
It was a hard stare and shouting day.
I was suffering a bit from yesterday’s walk so I measured out visits to the garden in small doses but made the most of my time while I was out.
I started with a check on the developing magnolia…
…and then set about shifting some more compost from Bin B into Bin C. In spite of having a good cover on Bin B, the amount of rain we have had has made the compost wet and heavy so I am moving a modest amount at a time but I have got down to needing one more go after today’s effort. Perhaps because of the moisture, the compost is full of worms this year which is a good thing.
I also sieved some of the compost in Bin D but as it is wet too, the sieving is more tedious than it should be so there is quite a lot of that left to do.
I took a picture of a newly flourishing bergenia…
…and went back in looked out at the birds again.
They were still shouting.
I had some nourishing soup for my lunch and watched the birds whizzing round the feeder…
…and I was delighted to see a stranger among the chaffinches, siskins and goldfinches. A redpoll had come to call.
I paid another visit to the garden to gather the material for a panel of primroses and primula…
…and while I was out, I got the mower out and put the blades up high enough for me to be able to walk across the front lawn pretending that I was mowing it.
Basically I was just squashing moss, although a few blades of grass here and there stuck up enough to end up in the grass box. It is the first step in a process that I hope will end up with the lawn looking quite respectable for one or two weeks in the middle of summer before the moss starts its inexorable return. It is a pointless but amusing exercise.
I retired to my computer and added a new parish magazine from 1968, which Sandy had scanned and formatted, to our Archive Group website.
I was thinking of a very short walk or slow cycle ride but there was a hint of drizzle so I went back to my computer and put the accompaniment for the last movement of one of the pieces which I am playing with Luke into the kind programme that plays the keyboard and the cello part for us.
I got bored of sitting around in the end and in spite of the poor light, I went off on the slow bike to see if there were any birds down by the river. Because the light was poor, there were birds on all sides.
I saw a pair of oyster catchers showing that one leg or two is all the same to them.
I saw Mr Grumpy standing on the rock where the big gull usually stands.
I saw a pair of goosanders both standing out of the water for long enough for me to get a shot of them…
…though the female had lost her head.
All these were on the short stretch between the suspension and the town bridges.
I crossed the town bridge and stopped at the Kilngreen where a pied wagtail posed for a moment…
…while two mallards tried to sneak off unnoticed behind my back,
I was talking to a fellow cyclist when a dipper flew past but it was too quick for me and all that was left was to catch the fine show of daffodils along the bank up to the Sawmill Brig.
I pedalled gently across the bridge, up the Lodge Walks and then back along the riverside path….
…and then I went through the town up to Pool Corner where this fine crop of catkins caught my eye.
I had one final look round the garden when I got home…
…and enjoyed two of the different daffodils that Mrs Tootlepedal has planted over the years.
That pretty well concluded the excitement for the day apart from watching our local heroine Jilly making it through another day of Masterchef.
A chaffinch looking a bit uncomfortable is the flying bird of the day.
Note: I see that Sandy has put a set of pictures from our walk at Watchtree yesterday onto his blog. Those interested can see them here.