Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. Knowing that I like bridges, he has sent me this magnificent Derbyshire example.
We were promised a hot, sunny day and we got a pleasantly warm and mostly sunny day which was welcome. The wind was light and I would have liked to have gone out for a really long cycle ride, as this was the first really good cycling day for ages. However, it was a walking day on my two day rotating walk/cycle schedule and Mrs Tootlepedal rightly pointed out that long cycle rides are against the spirit of the lockdown rules anyway. So I stayed at home as I should have done.
The fact that we had that rare thing, a fine holiday weekend and light winds, neither of which we could make use of, unsettled me and I couldn’t get a grip on the day at all and I more or less wasted the whole of the good weather by mooching around the garden in a disgruntled mood, taking a lot of not very good pictures of bees. I didn’t even see a butterfly to lift my mood.
The tulips didn’t care about me and were very happy to see the morning sun.
And the daffodils, peeking over the back of the topiary chicken, laughed out loud.
And the Honesty looked promising.
In my search for bees, I saw a bee like object but as it spent a lot of time hovering in one spot before darting off to another, I don’t think it was a bee. My research tells me that it might be a bee fly but I am open to better suggestions.
It certainly had a long nose.
Then I saw this. It looks like a wasp to me.
I did see some bees.
And of course the blackbird kept its eye on me as I wandered moodily around.
It was a lovely day, about 15°C in the garden and the flowers and shrubs were enjoying life.
In our next door neighbour Liz’s front garden, a forsythia lights up the street.
And the plum blossom is coming along nicely.
I hope some of the bees and other insects get going on the pollinating soon.
I shifted some compost from Bin C into Bin D just for the sake of doing something. I thought about scarifying the lawn but decided that the forecast weather for the next few days didn’t look quite warm enough to encourage the grass to grow, so I went in and made sweet potato soup instead.
After lunch, I checked on the bird feeder and found a bird using it…
…which was a surprise.
Then I sat in the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal and we were serenaded by a song thrush in full voice. It sang in the walnut tree and then decamped to the roof of a neighbouring house and then came back and sang in the walnut tree again.
Then I went upstairs to put on my walking socks and inadvertently lay down on my bed and read a book for and hour or so. I don’t know how that happened. It happened to Mrs Tootlepedal too.
When we came down, we had a cup of tea and then we had a video call with Matilda who was enjoying a science experiment with her parents in their kitchen. It produced a very satisfactory amount of brightly coloured foaming liquid.
We followed that up with a Zoom chat with my three sisters and my brother with a late appearance from my brother-in-law. My oldest sister wore a hat and was very disappointed when we didn’t ask her, “Where did you get that hat?” She told us anyway. She got it in New Zealand.
After the call, I went for a quick walk just to stretch my legs and to try and shake off my lethargy.
It was still warm and calm…
…but the sky had clouded over and gone a genteel pastel shade.
A pheasant showed me who was king of the castle as I crossed the Becks Burn bridge…
…and I went back to the town along Gaskell’s Walk.
The path was dotted with wood anemones and there was a lot of golden saxifrage about too…
…but very little blossom. I think that this lonely patch is blackthorn.
After tea, I made some hot cross buns but like the rest of the day, they were vaguely unsatisfactory and I will have to have another try to see if I can make some better ones. Mrs Tootlepedal said that the one that she tried tasted okay, but they certainly wouldn’t win a prize in a beauty competition.
The bright spot was the appearance of a genuine flying chaffinch of the day.
I will pull myself together and be more cheerful tomorrow.