Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who found this very unexpected thistle pie while out on a walk. He may have had a hand in its creation. The things that people do during lockdown.
(He says that the recipe for the pie can be found at http://www.thistlehurtyour hand.com.)
The weather changed this morning and the hills were misty when we got up. Jackets were required for the morning coffee as the temperature had dropped to more normal April levels. Luckily I had made a batch of ginger biscuits after breakfast so the gathering was not entirely without warmth.
Following the advice of our son Alistair and his wife Clare, I visited out local shop and asked the owner if he felt that I was old and frail enough to warrant getting deliveries rather than shopping in person. “Undoubtedly,” he said, looking me straight in the eye. He is an old friend and he is under pressure from his children too so he understood. I was very grateful.
After coffee, we went into the garden. There were still many daffodils to dead head, there was compost to sieve, and things to water so I was quite busy.
I checked on the fruit. Apples, blackcurrants and gooseberries are all looking quite potential…
…and the silver pear is looking lovely but sadly it does not produce eatable fruit.
In spite of the cool, cloudy weather, flowers still looked pretty as a picture…
…and there were riotous scenes all over the garden.
A trout lily is the flower of the day.
In the pond, pond skaters were busy. I like the way that they slightly dent the surface of the water.
I cooked some lentil soup for lunch and Mrs Tootlepedal made bacon butties to go with it so we were well fed when we set out on an afternoon walk together.
Our primary target was to see if the bluebells were fully out yet. They were almost but not quite at their best and it was a treat to walk along among them.
It is difficult to stop taking pictures of bluebells because you always think that your next effort is going to be the best yet…
…and I had two cameras with me and used them both freely. In the end, I think that once again, this path down the hill is my favourite.
I will be back again in a few days time to take the same pictures all over again!
We walked on down the hill and on to the Murtholm Track towards Skippers Bridge.
There was plenty to see besides bluebells including English plantains, uncurling ferns, brilliant dandelions and incipient geums.
And having seen a lesser stitchwort…
…we saw these too. They all look different. There must be a greater stitchwort in there but is there a marsh stitchwort too? I am sure knowledgeable and helpful readers will tell me.
I can recognise a horsetail. There were a lot at one spot beside the path.
Even without the sun, it was a lovely walk.
We came to Skippers Bridge and instead of crossing it, we walked along the same side of the river using the path in the woods between the river and the main road.
We had come to see a heronry which a friend had told Mrs Tootlepedal about. We hadn’t walked along the path for many years and never before in this direction, so it was a novelty to us.
The dry weather meant that it was in good condition for elderly walkers and we enjoyed a fine blackthorn bush…
…and when the sun unexpectedly came out, the walk through the trees was a real pleasure.
We saw several herons’ nests and one or two herons as well.
The bank of the river is rather steep at this point but we found a place where we could scramble down onto the river bed. There is so little water at the moment that we could get well out into the river and look back to get an unusual view of Skippers Bridge at a distance….
…and, thanks to the zoom on the Lumix, from close up too.
I can’t tell you how life enhancing it was to be able to sit for a moment in such a beautiful spot.
We were completely sheltered from any wind, and the light was gorgeous now that the sun had come out. As we walked further down the river, it was hard not to stop every few yards…
…to watch ducks on a rocky promontory and some thick and luscious sedge.
Not to mention flotillas of ducklings….
…and the fine metal bridge that crosses to Broomholm Island from the far bank.
It was a peaceful scene.
Everything was so fresh and green that it was hard to tear ourselves away from the river bank but in the end, we followed this path up to the main road…
…and walked along the road back to Skippers Bridge.
I looked at one of my cameras at this point and saw that I had already taken 100 pictures with it since breakfast so I thought that it was now time to stop. We walked home back along the river bank to the park without pausing for more photo ops on the way.
In the end, we walked just under four miles but because of the many stops to admire our surroundings, it had taken us a long time and we were more than ready for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit (or two) when we got home.
After the cold and cloudy start to the day, the warmth and the sunshine of the afternoon were even more welcome than they would have been if the recent good weather had continued unabated. The morning made us realise just how lucky we have been with our weather.
We are promised 1°C for early tomorrow morning so the winter wear may have to be dug out again.
I didn’t have time to look for a flying bird of the day today and a curl of poplar leaves in the park, my final shot of the day, is standing in.
Sorry about all the pictures but what with bluebells and river scenes, it just couldn’t be helped.