Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who managed to find some splendid blossom on a recent permitted walk.
Although the forecast for today was for a worse day than yesterday, it was in fact just as good a day, not quite so warm in the morning when it was cloudy but sunny and springlike in the afternoon.
I resolved not to mooch about aimlessly as I did yesterday but to take advantage of the time on my hands provided by the lockdown and enjoy life.
I was greatly helped by a WhatsApp chat with our daughter Annie and her daughter Evie followed by a convoluted but enjoyable, and ultimately solvable, extra big holiday crossword. This passed the morning until coffee most pleasantly.
The garden was in good form too, with plum and pear blossom brightening things up.
The Brunnera is adding new flowers every day, and nearby, Honesty has arrived…
…while the pulsatilla is realising its potential and aubretia drips over the side of the dam at the back of the house.
Not everything in the garden is showy like the primroses and I really liked this tiny white flower….
…until Mrs Tootlepedal told me that I was not to like it as it is called hairy bittercress and is a pest in the garden.
I resolved to put a dry day to good use and shifted more compost from Bin C to Bin D and then I scarified the middle lawn. I have a little electric machine which does the hard work of digging the moss out and it leaves the lawn looking like the panel on the left. Then the push mower acts as a sweeper and collects all the moss which ends up in the wheelbarrow….
…and the lawn ends up looking like this.
There is still a lot of moss there but there is a lot less than there was half an hour earlier.
After lunch, I went out into the garden again and enjoyed the tulips and daffodils in the sunshine.
We filled the pond and the tadpoles were grateful for some extra water to swim about in.
Marsh Marigolds have come out in the pond and together with backlit daffodils and richly coloured dicentra, everything was good.
I took my bird camera into the garden and sat on the new bench hoping for interesting birds to arrive. This did not go to plan and I pointed the camera rather randomly at flowers instead…
…though I took care to line up this shot properly to do justice to the cowslips.
I did more sitting down on different benches and watched bees and flies enjoy the delights of a euphorbia and a bumble bee visit the berberis
…and I followed up that with a pond inspection with Mrs Tootlepedal where we met a frog.
Mrs Tootlepedal went in and I thought that I might as well scarify the front lawn too and when I had done that, I mowed the greenhouse grass as part of the neat and tidy garden project. There are now peas and potatoes, radishes and beetroots in the raised beds.
A blue tit arrived on the rowan tree to check out the work.
After all this, I took a moment just to enjoy the views.
I had put a diagonal stripe on the front lawn.
Wauchope Cottage was looking quite contented in the sunshine.
And the pond was grateful for being filled up.
Then, after all this contemplation, I thought that it was time for some action, so I got my cycling clothes on and went off for a short pedal. To be truthful, I got my cycling clothes on, then watched the ‘Flash Bang Wallop’ routine from Half a Sixpence which Mrs Tootlepedal was watching on the telly, and then went for a pedal.
It was five o’clock by the time that I left, but it was still warm so I was able to wear a layer less which made the ride more comfortable. Needless to say, there was a brisk wind blowing but it suited the route that I took on my familiar 20 mile Canonbie circuit and kindly blew me home up the hill to Langholm.
I didn’t stop for many pictures as I had promised Mrs Tootlepedal that I would be home in time for tea, but I couldn’t resist this little lamb…
…or the view back down Wauchopedale.
Cycling is a great pleasure at this otherwise rather gloomy time because there is little or no traffic on either the side or main roads, and as a result of the lockdown and the pause in economic activity, the views are often much clearer than usual. I could almost count the sheep on the English hills when I looked over the Solway plain from the top of the hill at Tarcoon.
I stopped for a look at Whita Hill and the monument as I got near to Langholm just to show that good weather accompanied me all the way home.
To round off an excellent day, Mrs Tootlepedal cooked corned beef hash for our tea and I had a little pudding of stewed rhubarb and ice cream.
It wasn’t a day for flying birds so a greenfinch is the perching bird of the day today.
Footnote: I took the precaution of not listening to the news today. That helped.