Pushed back

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  His dogs take spring seriously in East Wemyss.

daffy dog

Finally the warm weather arrived in Langholm and when we got up we wondered if the the warmth would bring the tulips out.

It did.

And in the end, the race to be first tulip out was a dead heat.

first tulips

The bergenia was flourishing too.


It may have been warm but it was windy too and as the forecast suggested that it was going to get windier as the day went on, I took my permitted exercise fairly early in the day.  It would have been better if I had been earlier still, as it pretty windy by the time that I got out.  The wind was coming from the south so I thought I would try to see how far I could persuade my legs to go before they got fed up.

This turned out to be 15 miles straight down the A7.  The wind was very gusty and I thought that I might be in danger of being blown off course if I went on, so I agreed with my legs and turned across country to came back via the Brampton to Longtown road.  It was not busy.

empty Longtown Road april

Notice the verges mowed to within an inch of their life with no wild flowers showing at all.

With the wind now behind me, I did the next ten miles at 16 mph and had no trouble in getting up the gentle hills back to Langholm on the A7.  They were not busy either.

empty A7 april

I had hoped for more miles but in the end I was content to settle for 30miles in pleasantly warm conditions.  If I could get the same warmth next week with half the wind, I would be even more pleased.

I was back home in time for lunch for which Mrs Tootlepedal had made an extremely nourishing soup.

On a normal sunny, warm day in April, I would now have gone out for an interesting walk but, having taken my permitted exercise, I was stuck in the garden for the rest of the day.

There are worse places to be stuck in.

I had taken a picture of these cowslips before I had gone out in the morning and I took another one now just to show how much the light changes the colours that you see in the flowers.

cowslips in light

The sun picked out some old friends, including the last of the crocuses..

celandine, crocus and rosemary

…and the good light brought out the best in the cardamine.


I see that the cardamine is called the cuckoo flower because it is supposed to come out as the cuckoo arrives but I think that we will have to wait a bit before we hear that familiar call.

Mrs Tootlepedal found a delicate skeleton of a leaf and draped it across her sleeve to show it off for me.

skeleton leaf

I mowed the middle lawn and then needed a sit down so I tested all the benches in the garden in turn, hoping that garden birds would visit me.

I saw a sparrow getting ready to build a nest.

sparrow with nest material

But I had to get up and walk around to see this small tortoiseshell butterfly warming up its wings.

small tortoiseshell butterfly

Mrs Tootlepedal told me that she had seen another smaller brown butterfly, but it didn’t return so we couldn’t check it out.

The dunnocks were very noisy and active again, but this one paused in a tree long enough for me to take a picture.  It was off chasing other dunnocks a moment later.

dunnock in pear tree

I sat on the new bench for a while but no interesting birds (or any birds at all) appeared, so I had to make do with the view of the newly mowed lawn adorned with fresh tulips among the daffodils.

view from new bench with tulips

Then I mowed the front lawn for the first time this year.  This involves squashing a lot of moss but there were some blades of grass here and there so once again I hope for the best.  The lawns may, with luck, look respectable by the end of June.

I wandered around looking for new flowers and found that the lamium was nearly there…

lamium buds

…but lacking any other novelty, I went back to looking at the tulips and daffodils.

tulip and daff backlit

The magnolia was brightly back lit by the afternoon sun…

magnolia backlit

…and it has one or two flowers out.

magnolia flower

I sat on the bench outside the kitchen window and enjoyed the view…

view from kitchen window

…and then I went inside and upstairs to take the same view from above to give a more general picture of what is probably peak daffodil time.

middle lawn early april

The garden tidy up continued as Mrs Tootlepedal moved the second kitchen waste compost bin to a new position but I felt that it would be too exciting to have a picture of this in the same post as new tulips, so that will have to wait for another day.  (OK, I forgot to take a picture.)

We now have two aubretias out….


…and having recorded them, we went in for a cup of tea and the last of the ginger biscuits.

It was still a lovely day, perfect for a walk but we did our bit and stayed at home.  A collared dove kept an eye on us.

collared dove

Instead of a walk we had a six way meeting including  my three sisters, my brother and Mrs Tootlepedal and me through the medium of Zoom.  We are all, except my brother who uses it for a language class meeting, pretty new to this so it took sometime before we were all on screen and able to talk.  Then we had to learn not to all talk at the same time but in the end, we managed to have quite a cheerful conversation with added banter.

A lightly boiled egg for our tea finished the active day off.

The flying bird of the day is a rook which flew high over the garden while I was testing one of the benches.

flying rook

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

40 thoughts on “Pushed back

  1. Your garden looks stunning in the lovely sunshine and well done for cycling all those miles. I, too, enjoyed the six way family conversation.

  2. Your lawn with it’s dappled sunlight through the trees looks like not the worst place to self isolate …very pleasing indeed.
    I actually managed a very blustery 20 ml bike ride today,tough into the wind but enjoyable on what we’re largely deserted roads.
    I could have almost done the whole 2hr ride on the wrong side of the road,quite surreal.

  3. The views of the garden are beautiful. I’d be sitting there fairly regularly.
    I saw a magnolia blossoming for the first time today too so they seem in sync on both sides of the Atlantic.
    The leaf skeleton is interesting. It must have met a very small insect.

  4. The garden and magnolia, backlit by the sun, are particularly beautiful. You are in a good place to self-isolate. I wish we could grow tulips with impunity, but the local rodent of various species like them too.

    We had a window of sun today, and I took care of some gardening tasks here. We should get a run of sunnier and warmer weather this week, if the forecasters are correct.

      1. In a “normal” year, it rains from October to June, and then is dry, warm and sunny with little to no rain from July though September. The rainy season is less getting rainy, although plenty cloudy and cool, and the summers drier and hotter.

  5. Yes, we are definitely learning new skills due to our new circumstances…we had a zoom work meeting and also all ended up talking at the same time! But it’s lovely to be able to see and talk at the same time.

  6. Your garden does look lovely. Glad to see those tulips appearing.
    The zoom was a success even if not so very orderly.

  7. glad you have found zoom. My brother is the leader of his church congregation and he was ahead of the game having set up a group. They are playing games with the youth and on Tuesday they are going to have a singalong all on line. We chatted that way yesterday too so it was really good. loved seeing that the A7 was so quiet for you

      1. it wasnt actually in time as all the different computers i-pads etc were working at different speeds. It was fun though and got people together. Today , we had an online discussion which worked really well. This allowed me time to participate with people from my teen years. It was so lovely to discuss the atonement of Jesus and what it means for each of us.

  8. Wonderful that you were able to use Zoom to visit with your family. We did the same on Sunday. It really did feel as though they were in the same room as we were, even though they were miles and miles away,

      1. We listened in on a city council meeting on Zoom tonight, and we got points for being some of the very few citizens to tune in! First time use, one of the councilors never did manage to get his sound on.

        The garden is so glorious. I like that path that goes off diagonally to the left between the two clipped hedges. I like it all very much.

  9. What a delight to see your Spring Garden in all its beauty. It’s great to have an overview and see it all. It always looks very tidy … but this time there’s an extra shine on everything!

  10. That is an excellent skeletal leaf. I’ve seen quite a few holly leaves like that – they seem to form quite well under trees where the leaves are left undisturbed, but rarely anything else, and never seen one that size..

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