Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce. It shows that when it comes to Scottish sparrows, a sparrow’s home is its castle.
I am starting this post with a cheat, as it is a picture that I took a couple of day ago but forgot to include in that day’s post. Mrs Tootlepedal saw a most unusual visitor on the plum and I got there in time to take its picture. It is a meadow pipit. You would expect to see it up on the moor not on the plum tree in our garden, so I thought that it ought to appear on the blog, even if a bit belatedly.
Back to today.
It wasn’t as warm as yesterday by a long chalk and there was no sun about, but it wasn’t raining and we are still happy to count any dry day as a good day, even if it is a bit cold and grey.
Oddly enough, the light outside suited my pocket camera very well, and when I walked round the garden, it picked out some good detail, like the rosemary flower with its tongue out….
…the emerging leaves on a raspberry cane…
…and the tiny fruits on the silver pear.
I am endlessly fascinated by the lengths that euophorbias go to make themselves interesting.
The recent compost bin reorganisation left Mrs Tootlepedal with some rough mulch on her hands, and she has bestowed it on one of the front hedges which is now well mulched.
The continuing cool weather is making flowers hesitant to emerge but every day shows a little more progress…
…and the magnolia is gradually shedding its winter fur coat.
Mrs Tootlepedal filled up the third log library shelf and then made a fourth while I sawed up some logs to help fill it up.
The result was very satisfactory and some sweeping up made sure that the flags on the floor of the log shed saw the light of day for the first time for many years.
There is a little more sorting and tidying still to be done but it looks as though we will have plenty of time on our hands to do it.
We sat on a bench in front of the espalier apples to rest after our labours, and I was pleased to see the first shoots appearing on one of the apple trees.
Across the vegetable garden, the rose shoots on the fence were standing up very straight.
I went to the corner shop to collect a jar of honey which the shopkeeper had kindly procured for me and was a bit puzzled when I saw a line of people standing several yards apart from each other in front of the Buccleuch Centre which is currently closed. The puzzle was resolved when I remembered that a butcher’s van visits the town and parks beside the Centre on a Friday. I realised that the queue was would be shoppers correctly socially distancing themselves as they waited to buy their pound of mince.
People are taking these things seriously and I had to queue outside the ex-corner shop until it was safe for me to go in.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal took a well earned siesta and I went out for my permitted exercise. After yesterday’s walk, it was time for a cycle ride today. The cooler weather and a brisk wind made sure that I was back to being very well wrapped up. Although the wind helped to get me across the hill and down to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass in good time, it also meant that the trip back up to Langholm on the old A7 was a bit of a battle.
Talking of battles, I noticed as I passed that Hollows Tower had lost the fight against the virus and was closed to visitors.
And as it was a grey day, I took a picture of a grey bridge. It carries the new A7 and is much wider than the camera angle makes it seem
Whether on the cross country roads, the new A7, or the old A7, there was very little traffic about and I enjoyed a peaceful ride.
When I got home, I had another walk round the garden and found the daffodils in a mathematical mood. They came in squares…
As I came through to the middle lawn, I saw a jackdaw trying to creep off unobserved…
…but it was no good, I could see the evidence of savage lawn pecking which it had left behind.
Checking the news on my phone when I got in, I found that in the midst of the virus mayhem, the government had released a statement saying that they are intending to reduce private motor car travel and increase cycling and the use of public transport. This is a jaw dropping change of tack for a government and the Ministry of Transport whose only plan for many decades has been to increase roads and road congestion at any cost. I don’t suppose that it will actually happen, but to have the government even thinking about it must be a good thing.
The non-flying bird of the day is a ‘shopping trip’ goosander having a nap beside the river this morning.