Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She got as far as Parliament Fields on her walk today and came across this rather odd tree stump.
One of the down sides of having too much time on my hands at the moment is that I tend to end up taking far too many photographs for want of anything better to do. When I checked this evening, I found that I had managed to depress my shutter finger over a hundred times today. This sort of thing makes it hard to keep to my intended limit of twenty pictures in a post and I have exceeded that limit several times lately.
On the plus side, it is possible that readers too may have more time on their hands than usual so perhaps a few extra images will not matter so much.
The picture glut leads to lots of panels like this ‘heart of a tulip’ selection…
…and this colourful collection.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes the vivid primulas and grape hyacinths that sit in front of the pond and I like them too.
Not everything in the garden is lovely. The magnolia looks fine from a distance but…
….a closer inspection reveals that almost every flower has been touched by the recent frosty mornings.
The chill doesn’t seem to have upset the pollinators too much and there was good selection at work in the garden again today.
Two late arrivals in the flower beds caught my eye today, this lovely plain fritillary…
…and this subdued but rich tulip.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s morning coffee conference enjoyed another sunny morning but (metaphorical) dark clouds loomed when she tried to drive our car to the Co-op to give it a little exercise after some very quiet weeks. A fierce warning came up stating: YOU HAVE A PUNCTURE: STOP
She returned home promptly and we inspected the tyres to find that we plainly didn’t have a flat. All the same, obviously one or more of the tyres was low on pressure. I have to take the car to Carlisle on Monday for its annual service so this was a problem. Our local garage is shut and trying to use my bike pump proved to be no good. Fortunately our neighbour Kenny came up trumps as it turned out that he has a portable compressor in his shed. He kindly brought it round and pumped up the errant tyre. We are now keeping our fingers crossed that it will stay up for long enough for me to get to the service garage on Monday.
We are fortunate with our neighbours both as far as conversation and compressors go.
In the afternoon, I went for a walk and chose a route which would take me past the bluebells so that I could see if they were fully out yet.
I set off over the park bridge. The rivers are very low for this time of year.
Then I went up to the Stubholm and down through the bluebell wood. There were fresh buds and leaves, with promising wild garlic and the first sighting of stitchwort
…but there were not enough bluebells up to make a carpet. You can see early birds here and there in the picture below.
I think that another week will be required before the few that are up will have been joined by a crowd. Looking at my records, I see that we are still a bit soon for the full show.
I continued my walk along the Murtholm, enjoying the sight of leaves on the trees in the birch woods on the other side of the river.
The Murtholm track had its own delights…
…and as it ends at Skippers Bridge, it is always good to walk down it on a fine day.
This was a fine day…
…and in spite of the low water, the bridge looked purposeful.
The dry spell has led to the exposed rocks in the river turning white and the lichen on the wall beside the riverside road going grey.
But when I got to the track that leads up into the woods, there was plenty of green around, even if the oak trees are not in leaf yet.
The grass is growing strongly under the young birch trees,
I got to the Round House and although I didn’t sit on the bench there, I did enjoy the view over the town.
The walk back into the town was as good as the walk out, with perfect conditions under foot.
The poplars in the park and a de[parting gull provided interest as I walked back along the river after I had come down Hallpath, where the wall had a lot of colour to keep me happy.
The bank the riverside path was full of wild flowers but the pick of them for me was this gently blushing daisy.
I crossed the suspension bridge and reflected once again on how unnaturally low the rivers are at the moment. There will be a hose pipe ban next!
When I got home I was physically refreshed by a toasted tea cake and spiritually revived by a WhatsApp visit to Matilda in Edinburgh. She has recently acquired a small keyboard and gave us a recital of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Blacksheep. We are hoping for the Moonlight Sonata next week.
That was followed by a Zoom meeting with my four siblings who are certainly not letting distance keep us apart at the moment.
Mrs Tootlepedal couldn’t buy yeast or flour today but there is no shortage of rhubarb so we had more rhubarb and custard to follow some lightly boiled eggs for our tea.
The fine weather is due to last until the end of next week. If it does, it will certainly make the extended lockdown more bearable.
Not one or two but twenty four flying birds of the day today, as I caught a flock of homing pigeons out for their permitted exercise this morning.