Today’s guest picture comes from my Welsh correspondent Keiron, who thought that a Welsh lamb would be appropriate for the time of year. I thought so too.
We had another in the run of dry and warmish days that have made March such a contrast to February. Once again there was thin cloud about but there was plenty of sunshine too and the temperature had no trouble in leaping into double figures (just).
Some daffodils appreciated the sunshine…
…but others are still hanging their heads.
I am developing the skills required for facing the lockdown and have learned to stretch time to fill the available space. Where it might have taken me five minutes last week to put my socks on in the morning, now it takes me ten, and where I might have taken five minutes to walk round the garden to check if anything new had appeared, now it might take me a full quarter of an hour. In this way, the day positively rushes by with no need for extra activities to fill it up at all.
And there was new grwoth in the garden, an emerging grape hyacinth…
…and signs of cracking in the magnolia buds.
But pride of place in the novelty stakes goes to the cardamine
I paid a visit to our local shop and got almost all of what was needed but unfortunately couldn’t get any set honey so I will have to go again tomorrow. As well as the lack of honey, there was a marked lack of oyster catchers on the river bank on my way home.
My friend Dropscone rang up to have a chat in lieu of coffee and scones and in the course of the conversation revealed one of the deadly hidden perils of the lockdown. His daughter Susan, who has been laid off and has got time on her hands, is intending to tidy the house. Dropscone is worried. How will he ever find anything again?
The tidy bug affected us too and after having had our logs in cheerful disarray for a long time…
…Mrs Tootlepedal is getting some order into the log store.
We made good use of an old raised bed surround, I thought.
While Mrs Tootlepedal gardened, I shifted another third of the compost from Bin B into Bin C and should finish the job tomorrow. Last year, I might have done it all in a ‘oner’ but the new expanded time method applies to composting as well as socks.
After lunch, I went out for my permitted exercise.
It was a day for cycling, and it started well with this fine display of daffodils against a wall just as I left the town.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though as there was a stiff wind in my face as I headed west and it took me an hour to do the first ten miles. I was glad to have en excuse to stop to take a picture of this tree on a very steep slope.
I have photographed it before but I am always pleased to see it still resisting the pull of gravity, and if I can keep cycling, I expect that it may well appear again if it survives.
I got as far west as Paddockhole, and then I turned north and headed for Bailliehill up the valley of the Water of Milk. There are turbines on every side here already….
…and more are going to appear in the near future.
But it remains a very peaceful valley and a pleasure to cycle up.
I could see the work being done to prepare the ground for the new turbines in the shadow of the existing wind farm.
As a bonus for elederly cyclists, the narrow road across the hill has been slightly widened to accommodate the lorry traffic for the wind farm and this lets a car pass me without either of us having to stop.
I only met one car though.
At the top of the hill, just before the road swoops down to join the course of the River Esk, this lonely man made pond had been well filled with water by the February rains.
The wind had been behind me from Paddockhole and I had been blown up the hill so I expected that once I turned at Bailliehill to follow the road back to Langholm I might find the wind a bit troublesome.
My fears were largely unfounded and the wind was helpful more often than not so I was able to maintain a reasonable speed to Bentpath, where I stopped to admire the bridge and church, looking at their best.
And I took in the view across the river at the same time.
As I got nearer to Langholm, the hills which were sheltering me from the wind also left me in shadows, while the sun shone on the opposite side of the valley.
It was still warm enough to make me happy that I only had had to put on two layers of clothing after months of cycling wrapped up like a Christmas parcel.
As I came down Caroline Street in the early evening sunshine at the very end of the ride, my neighbour Irving popped out of a side road and ambushed me. You can see that I like to wear clothing that passing motorists can’t fail to notice.
Mrs Tootlepedal made a sausage stew for our tea and another day of the crisis passed off peacefully.
In the continued total absence of flying birds at our feeder, the non flying bird of the day is a ‘shopping trip’ gull in the midst of the very sparkly Esk river this morning.
Footnote: members of the camera club have sent me some pictures for our virtual gallery while the club is not meeting and they can be seen here: www.langholmcameraclub.org