Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Dropscone and shows the opening day of the golf season at Langholm. Dropscone, the club captain this year, is modestly holding the trophy which his team has just won in the opening match.
We had an unquestionably pleasant day of weather here today, with wall to wall sunshine, light winds and no chill in the air at all. It was lovely.
In younger days, I would have been off on my bike like a shot, but things are slower now and I was happy to have coffee and treacle scones with Dropscone instead of pounding the pedals. Both before he came and after he left, I wandered round the garden for a while. There was much to see.
The garden is full of tulips and daffodils at the moment.
The tulips had spread their petals wide to welcome the warmth.
The silver pear is covered with blossom…
…and although I have been dead heading a lot of daffodils, there are still a lot on the go of many varieties.
The plum is getting leaves to go with its blossoms and I only hope that the few bees that have been around have managed to pollinate those flowers which were too far above my head for me to reach with the pollinating brush.
Mrs Tootlepdal’s river of blue with the grape hyacinths doesn’t go all the way round the front lawn this year but it has produced some good splashes of colour all the same…
…and trout lilies and a new fritillary are keeping the garden looking cheerful.
I was so encouraged by the warmth and a good forecast, that I got the lawn scarifier out and scarified the middle lawn. It has a little basket of its own to collect the debris but it is so small that I find it easier not to use it and then run the mower over the lawn to tidy everything up. I took this picture while I was having a rest in the middle of mowing.
It is a pain free process if the lawn is firm and dry as it is at the moment.
When I had finished, I admired some more tulips…
…and the magnolia (which is looking well if you don’t look too closely at it).
Mrs Tootlepedal has used the old rotten planks from the veg beds which have been redeveloped to make a little wild life hotel beside the compost bins. We are hoping for interesting (and useful) guests.
I had a rest on our new bench for awhile and noticed a bee visiting a dicentra beside me…
…and then we went in for lunch.
After lunch, I went back out to look for frogs in the pond as we had heard them muttering away while we were working in the morning, but hadn’t been able to see them.
They were easy to see in the afternoon, surrounded by tadpoles.
We had filled the pond up before lunch because it hasn’t rained for ages and the level had dropped a bit and I thought the pond was looking better as a result.
The date stone is one of several in the garden that are a reminder that a stone mason lived and worked here once.
The better weather had obviously encouraged birds to find food elsewhere today as we had many fewer visitors than recently and the feeder was still half full quite late in the day.
I was visited by a member of our Langholm choir who is coming to sing with the church choir on Sunday and we went through the hymns and then, while Mrs Tootlepedal had a well earned snooze after a hard morning the garden, I went off for a cycle ride.
I am still looking after my foot so I chose an easy route of just under 26 miles and took things steadily. However, I was quite daring and put on my cycling shorts and exposed my peely-wally knobbly knees to the world as I went along. The world took this in its stride.
The hawthorns on the hillside up the Wauchope road are in leaf and we should see the blossoms soon. In the meantime, it was hot enough for sensible sheep to seek some shade under one of the bigger bushes.
Although spring is springing, the rough pasture on the hills is still in full winter mode, and there was no colour to be seen when I stopped for a drink and a stretch and looked down a farm track after my first five miles.
I was getting near to Canonbie when I came across a quite unusual gate…
…with a plump oyster catcher perched on each gate post. I was very surprised that they sat still and let me take their pictures.
On the other side of Canonbie, I liked this variegated lamb and ewe scene…
…and noted that it has been so long since it rained that the moss on a bridge parapet has begun to dry out.
When I got to Langholm, I cycled through the town and out along the Ewes valley for a couple of miles. This gave me the opportunity to record a fine deciduous tree near the High Mill Brig…
…a rather hazy view up the valley…
…and a romantic looking conifer near my turning point.
When I got home, I got the washing in and made Mrs Tootlepedal a cup of tea. Then I watered the middle lawn as I am going to put some treatment on it tomorrow and it says that the soil should be moist..
That concluded the business for the day.
Today’s flying bird of the day came a little late to the table.
WordPress offers blog writers a wealth of statistics about their blogs if they have the energy to look at them and last night, I browsed the word count since I started this blog in mid 2010. I was staggered to find that I have written 2,150,000 words, an average of about 700 words per post. It seems a tremendous amount of writing to use to record a fairly humdrum existence but to be fair, there has been a lot of repetition so I don’t have to constantly find new words and phrases. If I look back, I find that life was much the same last year and the year before…and the year before….but that is how I like it.