Today’s guest picture comes from one of my brother’s permitted walks. He tells me that the bluebells were much more exciting in real life than they are in the picture, but that is always the case as any photographer will tell you. That is why photo editing programs sell so well. I think the bluebells look good.
We had a some rain overnight and although it had stopped by the time that I got out into the garden, there was still evidence of it to be seen…
…and this was my favourite example.
The feeder was getting more attention than of late, with a siskin, a sparrow and greenfinch among the visitors.
Goldfinches appeared too, waiting their turn in Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree….
…and so did this pair of chaffinches, who appeared to be a bit hard of hearing.
During the morning I didn’t do much in the garden while Mrs Tootlepedal transplanted some alliums, though I managed some light daffodil deadheading.
I had a look in the greenhouse and marvelled at just how whiskery meconopsis plants are.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that they are not looking quite as well as she would hope. I have my fingers crossed for them as they are being specially grown for me to take pictures of them later in the year.
Lettuces and peas in the greenhouse are looking good.
Mrs Tootlepedal recently transplanted some tulips and in the course of the action, one tulip suffered fatal injuries. The garden’s loss is the kitchen windowsill’s gain.
When I came out of the greenhouse, I couldn’t resist taking another look at the rosemary plant just beside it. It has really enjoyed the rather odd weather this year.
After lunch, I went for my permitted walk.
My friends Nancy and Bob had told me two days ago that they had seen a few early bluebells on a recent walk so I went in the direction that they indicated to see if I could spot some for myself. It didn’t feel like bluebell weather so i wasn’t very hopeful.
It still looked rather wintery as I got on to the Stubholm track on a chilly, grey afternoon…
…but it is April and there were lots of sprouting leaves to be seen, and a bluebell.
Yes, a bluebell.
And not just one bluebell but several more as I went along….
…and a small carpet of bluebells when I got to the track up into the Kernigal wood.
Just as my brother says, they looked better in real life than they do in the picture, but a few days growth and some sunshine should make a difference. I will return.
While I was looking at them, I met fellow camera club member Mairi, also out for her permitted walk, and we chatted (at a distance) for a few minutes.
Like me, she is rather fed up at having to do the same walks all the time and longs for freedom but the coming of the bluebells had cheered her up a bit.
I walked up through the wood, pleased to see fresh green leaves on the young birch saplings beside the path..
…and then went onto the track that leads to the top of Warbla.
Even on a grey, chilly day it is an inviting prospect, especially when things are dry underfoot as they at present.
Not long afterwards, I heard a strange gasping noise behind me and I found myself being passed by a young fellow on a mountain bike. He pedalled off up the track in front of me and must have been quite surprised when he passed me again before he got to the summit. The track takes a wide route to the top of the hill and I had walked briskly up the more direct route across the grassy hill.
As the cyclist had parked his bike against the trig point at the top of the hill and was busy putting on a jacket for the descent, I didn’t linger.
It wasn’t a great day for views anyway…
…and after taking a single shot, I set off down the rough track towards Skippers Bridge….and was surprised to be passed by the cyclist again. He soon disappeared from view though and I took my time over the tussocky terrain and didn’t see him again this time.
I had met a lady early on my walk who uttered those fateful words, “You should have been there with your camera yesterday.” It seemed that she had been sitting under Skippers Bridge in the sunshine when she had seen an entertaining frog.
I thought that since I was there, I should see if I could see an entertaining frog today.
I couldn’t, but the view of the bridge never fails to please so I didn’t miss the frog too much.
The water is so low at the moment that I could get close to the bridge and look up to see how much it was widened to cope with increasing traffic. It was built in 1690 and widened in 1807.
I took a puzzle picture while I was there. The water was so calm below the bridge that is difficult to see what is above the surface and what is under it.
I walked back home along the right bank of the river and enjoyed this tree stump with a skirt of daisies and a lone lady’s smock flower on top, looking much like a candle on a birthday cake.
Some fresh green leaves down on the river bank caught my eye and I saw many little yellow flowers among them. I had no idea what they are and indeed, I wasn’t even sure if the leaves and the flowers were related or just coincidental.
(I have consulted Mrs Tootlepedal and she thinks that flowers are marsh marigolds and the leaves are not.)
When I got home, I once again reflected that you can get a lot of value out of a four mile walk round Langholm.
My good mood was further enhanced by an excellent meal of roast chicken, roast potatoes with stuffing and peas. It had been prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal as an Easter treat.
Tomorrow is going to be even chillier than today, but with a bit of luck, the sun may come out in time for an afternoon bike ride.
The flying bird of the day is one of the starlings that zoom about above the garden. They have very neat wings.