Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. On his way back from his Welsh outing, he visited Nantwich and had a cup of coffee in this wonderful building next to the Crown Hotel. As everyone knows, the present Crown Hotel was built on the site of an earlier inn of the same name, destroyed in the Great Fire of Nantwich of 1583.
We had another dry and sunny day today but it was not of much use as it came with an even meaner wind than recent days and my eyes were running with tears as I cycled up to the town after breakfast to collect the key for the camera club meeting in the evening.
I had a look round the garden when I got back and the tulips had decided to ignore the wind and pay attention to the sunshine…
…and among them, the very last of the daffodils was making an appearance.
There are blossoms on the silver pear tree and it is a pity that it does not produce edible fruits.
Sandy came round for coffee and when he left, I checked the birds and found a single siskin on the feeder. Why he has stayed while the others have gone is a mystery.
We have a lot of sparrows in the garden but they don’t come to the feeder very much. Perhaps this hostile stare from a chaffinch gives a clue as to why they stay away.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree is quite popular with our visitors and thoroughly repays the effort of nailing it together.
The chaffinches and goldfinches were very busy again scrapping for seed.
After a morning spent hammering bits of tack onto the rocking horse, Mrs Tootlepedal went out into the garden and I went out to see what she was up to.
She was mostly hoeing and didn’t need my help so I took a speculative shot of a trout lily, holding the came in my stretched out hand under the flower and hoping for the best. It came out well. Who needs a mirror?…
…and then I went off for a walk. (It was too windy for a comfortable bike ride.)
It was a cap and gloves day but if you could get out of the wind, it was quite pleasant and I even saw a bee visiting some laurel flowers beside the Town Bridge.
When I got to the Kilngreen, I met Grace, one of our camera club members and taking care to sit on her leeward side, I enjoyed a chat with her on this bench beside the river.
She told me that she had seen a dipper and when I left her to walk on, I too saw one as I leaned over the parapet of the Sawmill Brig.
I spent so long watching it dip and dive that Grace caught me up and we watched a pair of goosanders cruise up and down…
…before once again, I left her and walked onward. There was the merest hint of green among the trees on the Lodge walks….
…but it didn’t come from leaves.
The first race meeting of the season will take place next weekend and the course is looking in good condition.
Wild flowers are spreading on all sides…
…though at the moment, dandelions and celandines are by far the most prominent.
I crossed the Duchess Bridge…
…and walked back to the town, passing this fine crop of lichen on a tree stump beside the path.
I had a last look at a tulip trying its best to come out in the garden…
…before I went in to prepare pictures for the camera club meeting in the evening.
Then Mike Tinker dropped in for a cup of tea and when he left, Mrs Tootlepedal gave me a hair cut. To round off a full afternoon, the next visitor was my flute pupil Luke, who has been practising again to good effect.
After tea, I went off to the camera club meeting. Ten members and a guest turned up and we had a very entertaining selection of pictures to look at. Of course there were some of Langholm, its surroundings and its wild life but they were mixed in with shots of beautiful highland scenery, amazing wild life from South Africa, shimmering deserts in Australia and hot mud springs in New Zealand. Come to the camera club and see the world.
There was a slight hiatus while I scurried home to fetch the milk for our half time refreshments but otherwise, everything went very smoothly.
The ruffled feathers of the flying chaffinch of the day, gives an idea of the strength of the wind.