Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who passed the Bridge Inn at Duffield while on a bike ride. As he had already fuelled up elsewhere, he took the picture and went on his way without calling in to sample the wares.
I know that I ought to be resting my Achilles tendon but I am feeling really exercise deprived and I might easily have done something inadvisable this morning had not the weather come to my rescue by producing another cold and grey day, ideally suited to sitting in and getting stuff done in the house.
I did stroll round the garden after breakfast.
Mrs Tootlepedal recently bought some depressed ranunculus plants in a pot at a garden centre. She gave them some care, divided them up, planted them out, watered them in and now they are rewarding her with a splendid show.
A berberis in a shady corner caught my eye, with its flowers brightening up a gloomy corner.
A blackbird was quite happy to help with getting the moss out of the lawn.
I opened the greenhouse and was much struck by this handsome Fuchsia inside.
Mrs Tootlepedal bought it recently and put it outside in the warm spell. Then it got badly hit by the frosty mornings so Mrs Tootlepedal trimmed off the damage and gave it some shelter and now it is looking very well.
Just outside the greenhouse, the rosemary bush is covered in flowers from top to toe.
I noticed that the geums are coming along nicely….
…and then went inside to get warm.
Later on in the morning, the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted the sparrowhawk resting in the walnut tree after an unsuccessful fly through the garden. It stayed there long enough for me to get a camera…
…but when I went out to see if I could get a closer shot, it flew off in disgust. It didn’t take the little birds long to come back to the feeders.
The quarrelling pigeons were back again today and it went beyond hard stares and descended into flapping and waving which led to both birds losing their focus.
I put another week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database and noticed that if you were shopping in Langholm’s High Street in 1899, you could acquire ‘all the latest London novelties’ from Mr Hyslop, the draper, who had just come back from a visit there.
Mrs Tootlepedal had to go out for an errand on her bicycle in the late afternoon and as the sun was shining, I went out with her and then turned off to do a little three bridges cycle instead of a walk by myself.
The copper beeches at the park bridge are looking good.
I didn’t go into the park but continued down to the waterside, and was happy to catch a glimpse of a grey wagtail at the Sawmill Brig. It was living up to its name and waggling about a lot so I couldn’t get a very good picture.
The trees that have been felled along the Lodge Walks have taken some of the magic away from the green tunnel that used to greet walkers…
…and you can see how big the gaps are when you look at the trees from the other side.
The sun was disappearing rapidly behind the clouds by this time and the colours were rather subdued so I headed home (pedalling very gently)…
…noting this burst of blossom on a tree beside the Jubilee Bridge.
Once back home, I had a last walk round the garden, enjoying the cow parsley above and the sweet woodruff below in the back border.
The yellow azalea is doing its best to come out to join the pink one and the first yellow potentilla flower of the year has appeared nearby.
There had been a light shower of rain earlier, which was welcome, but it had not been hard enough to wet the soil thoroughly. It did make the lily of the valley shed tears apparently…
…and of course it gave me an excuse to take a picture of a spirea with droplets, one of my favourite subjects.
In between times, I practised choir songs and prepared some music for Luke. Our wonderful Carlisle choir conductor has gone done in my personal popularity stakes a bit as she is making us learn another song off by heart. As it is one of those songs where you sing the same words to slightly different notes each time they reappear (and they reappear a lot), so this means a lot of hard practice is required.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s tasty quorn concoction made a welcome return to the tea table in the evening, this time in the guise of a shepherd’s pie.
There are two flying birds for the price of one today with a siskin coming and a goldfinch going.