Today’s guest picture shows a feature of the Sheffield Peace Gardens. They were seen by Bruce on a recent stay in the city.
Today started very oddly when I woke up realising that I had just had a good night’s sleep. This was so unusual that it took me until Dropscone arrived with Friday treacle scones for coffee to recover.
The scones were very good though and by the time that Dropscone left, I was back on an even keel and able to appreciate that the geums had started to flower in the garden.
They are droopy flowers and I had to resort to the mirror to get a good look at one from underneath.
When I went back, I looked out of the window and saw that the jackdaws were back in search of nesting material. They have discovered where Mrs Tootlepedal has buried the rest of the woollen mulch round a rose and they were busy digging it up, under the supervision of a senior member of the group.
At the feeder, goldfinches and siskins were in charge again and a lonely chaffinch appeared. I thought that it looked a bit wistful.
Since the chaffinches have been the most regular customers of the feeder all winter, they must feel a bit put out by these spring interlopers, much as loyal insurance company customers feel put out when they discover that new customers are getting preferential rates offered to them.
Not that the goldfinches look happy about their end of the bargain either.
I made some bacon and lentil soup for lunch, ate a bowlful and then got my bike out. It was quite a lot colder than my last outing and I had leggings and a waterproof jacket on as I faced a light north wind.
I had worked quite hard last time I went out and my feet had been painful afterwards so I took things very easily today, stopping frequently to admire the view…
…to take in the passing bluebell woods,…
…and to record some of the many wild flowers which have started to appear in the road side verges.
I crossed the Esk by the Bentpath Bridge…
…and admired the assistance that someone had given to nature on the other side of the bridge.
Then I cycled up the far bank of the river, noticing more wild flowers…
…and finding that some work by foresters in felling trees had made it much easier to spot the old suspension bridge that allowed residents on the west bank of the river a shorter walk to the church in times gone by.
I wouldn’t be inclined to walk over it now.
A little further on, I noticed what I thought was a tree in full flower by a gate…
…but a closer look showed that the colour came from buds and the flowers are not out yet. It should be spectacular when it blooms.
It wasn’t hard to spot wild flowers as the banks were covered with them..
…and fields were full of them.
When I came to the furthest point of my short ride, I had to cross the Esk again, this time using the Enzieholm Bridge, which looks modest enough when you cross it…
…but turns out to be a pretty substantial bridge when you look at it from the waterside.
The wind was behind me now (good route planning for once), and I didn’t stop so much on the way home, though I did like these fine copper beeches…
…and yet more wild flowers…
…which I passed before I got back to Bentpath village, where I took the obligatory picture of the church and bridge.
I did the last five or six miles with only one more stop. This was to take a look back at the Gates of Eden…
…before cascading back down the hill into Langholm, very cheerful after such an enjoyable and leisurely fifteen miles. (The pedalling took me an hour and twenty minutes and I added another twenty five minutes to the trip by stopping to take so many pictures.)
I had a quick walk round the garden before I went in…
…to find Mrs Tootlepedal, after a busy morning, sitting quietly over her embroidery.
Although the day was still quite cool for the time of year, when the sun came out it seemed pleasantly warm and Mrs Tootlepedal and I were able to have a short sit out on the new bench until the sun went in again.
Then the sun came out again and I was thinking of going for a short walk but as soon as I put my walking shoes on, the sun went in and a few drops of rain fell.
I abandoned the idea of a walk and cooked a feta cheese, tomato and potato bake for our tea instead. It was followed by some sticky toffee pudding. It is hard to have to eat all of the sticky toffee pudding ourselves instead of sharing it with Matilda and her family but we are being brave about it.
One of the thieving jackdaws is the flying bird of the day. It wants to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.