Today’s guest picture comes from Dylan, the son of Marianne, our son Tony’s partner. He spotted a big bee among some fine blossom.
We had a day of wall to wall sunshine here. Once again the wind was brisk and somewhat chilly, but if you could get out of the wind, it was very pleasant.
Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy day hunched over the computer doing rather dull administrative work for the community buy out group, and that left me at a loose end as far as the garden went.
I did go out into the garden a lot and I did do some rather unfocused and desultory work but my chief interest was to see if I could spot a butterfly or two in the sunshine.
Not a single butterfly fluttered by, but I did see some other things, like this first dog tooth violet flower of the year…
…and lots of tulips wide open to the sun…
…and an almost complete drumstick primula and some cheerful lamium flowers.
I went round to the (corner) shop and on my way back I didn’t see any oyster catchers but I did see a profusion of Lady’s Smock which has sprung up on the bank of the river.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it is another Cardamine or cuckoo flower but we still haven’t heard any cuckoos.
I noticed that the heron which keeps watch over our pond seemed to have its spring plumage on today…
…and I suspect that Mrs Tootlepedal has been been busy with her paint brush.
One thing that you can say about our handsome heron is that it won’t be a threat to this frog which appeared in the pond this morning.
Although our feeder is not at all busy, there are quite a lot of birds about. This jackdaw looked as though it was holding on tight in the brisk breeze…
…but a sparrow on a stalk looked much more stable.
There were a lot of sparrows about and this was my favourite of the day.
I made some tomato soup for lunch and then managed to get myself organised to take my permitted exercise in the shape of a walk.
Because we are not supposed to drive to somewhere to walk, I am following in my own footsteps a lot these days but when the weather is as nice as it was today, that is no great hardship.
I went up the road to the Auld Stane Brig and popped down to look at the Wauchope Water on my way. It was very peaceful in the shelter there…
…and the water was rippling gently over the stones.
Up on the hill past the bridge, it was a different matter which this tree summed up rather well.
As I walked back down the track, I saw a bird. If anyone tells me that this is a thrush and not a meadow pipit, I shall be very disappointed as it really does look like a meadow pipit to me.
I walked through the Kernigal wood again
…but this time, I kept going and took the track down to the river at Skippers Bridge and then walked back along the Murtholm and up the track to the Stubholm. I had hoped to see bluebells but I didn’t spot any and had to make do with other welcome signs of spring on my way.
A reader asked me if the new larch needles were soft or bristly and I can report that they are very soft at this stage of their development.
I came down through the park and walked along to the bank of the Esk to see if the oyster catchers were back.
There were no oyster catchers but I enjoyed these sculptural buds….
…and a pair of goosanders fishing in the river.
I met my friends Bob and Nancy out for their walk beside the river and they told me that I must have just missed bluebells on my stroll as they had seen some very near to where I had walked. I will go back soon and have another look.
When I got home, I had a cup of tea and a toasted tea cake, and followed that with a walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal. She saw the thing that I had been looking for all day, a peacock butterfly.
The butterfly flew off, Mrs Tootlepedal went back in to do some more computer work and I checked on some more birds. A jackdaw flew up on to our roof and revealed that it was the bird with the white wing feather.
A dunnock stopped racing and chasing round the garden for long enough for me to take a portrait…
…and then set off again.
I don’t lead a wildly exciting life at the best of times but the present situation is even less exciting than usual and there seems to be nothing to think about that offers pleasing prospects so I apologise if the run of posts at the moment are a bit lacking in zest. Like toilet paper and yeast, zest is in short supply just now.
But I did get a very handsome starling for the flying bird of the day with its wings catching the evening sun.