A shower or two

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary’s permitted walk yesterday.  It was raining, but she didn’t care as it kept other walkers away, and the fresh green colours it brought made her happy.

mary's park walk

The gloomy weather from the second half of yesterday’s walk carried over into this morning and it was cold and grey when we got up.

The day was serially brightened up though by two unexpected arrivals.  First our friend Marjorie, who had obviously been reading the blog, arrived with a gift of dates.  This is the sort of friend a man with no dates needs.

And then, as if that wasn’t good enough, the doorbell rang and a delivery man left a mysterious parcel on our doorstep.

This turned out to be a present from our daughter Annie, who had obviously been reading the blog, and contained a wonderful assortment of fine cheeses.  This is the sort of daughter that a man with a lack of fine cheese needs.

How thoughful people can be.

There was enough chill in the wind to discourage the street coffee drinkers from meeting but a forecast of “rain later” got me into some winter biking gear and out for a ride on the shopping bike.

I didn’t stray far from home as I wasn’t anxious to battle the wind for long or get caught out if the rain came early.   Basically I cycled up and down the same roads twice.

The blackthorn was looking lovely near the Glencorf Burn.  This is a favourite spot for sloe gin drinkers when the fruits come.

blackthorn cleuchfoot road

Spring proceeds slowly with a green tree on one side of the little valley and bare branches on the other.

hawthorn and alders

I cycled over the Sawmill Bridge on a little diversion to add some distance to my ride and thought that I would take a picture, before any rain comes, of the Ewes Water just to show how dry it has been .

very low ewes water

I managed to rack up 20 miles and enjoyed my ride more than I expected.

When I got home, I watched a collared dove battle with the feeder..

collared dove panel

…while chaffinches had to wait until it was finished.

I had a wander round the garden but it was too cold to do anything useful so I admired the ‘wild flowers’ in the back border….

honesty and cow parsley

…and greeted both the winner in the first rhododendron stakes…

first rhododendron

…and the first azalea stakes too.

first azalea

The grape hyacinths are going over but there are white bluebells…

white bluebells and fading garpe hyacinths

…tiny lily of the valley…

first lily of the valley

…a second flower on the garage clematis…

early clematis flowers

…and a geometrical Solomon’s Seal…

solomons seal

….to look at instead.

It wasn’t much fun outside so I went back in a watched the birds.

Goldfinches managed to share perches but greenfinches were not so caring.

greenfinches and goldfinches

Alarmed by the greenfinches, goldfinches took off to eat their seeds in peace.

goldfinches coming and going

We added the gravy from last night’s chicken stew to the remains of my brown lentil soup and it made a delicious dish to be enjoyed at lunchtime.  It went down particularly well with some bread and first rate cheese.

After lunch, I poked my head out into the garden again.  The lack of sunshine made it possible to take some pictures of flowers that are overwhelmed by bright light.

primrose and lady's smock

Even the bright red fancy tulip looked better to the camera with no glare.

three tulips

I went back in and spent some frustrating time working on a music program which unkindly crashed before I had saved my work. I have got so used to programs which silently back up my work as I go along that I had forgotten to take that basic precaution.

I went and had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, and a ginger biscuit calmed me down.

Light rain began to fall in the afternoon but it didn’t come to much and more is needed of the garden is to get the drink that it requires.  But the rain did encourage birds to come to the feeder and it was busy.

A blackbird dived down to get some fallen seed….

diving blackbird

…while a sparrow contemplated life in the rain…

sparrow in the rain

…and a starling got tucked into the feeder.

starling on feeder

The gloomy day reinforced how lucky we have been with our good weather during the lockdown.  If it had been like this every day, we might have got very gloomy ourselves by now.

There is a choice of flying birds today, both chaffinches.

head banger chaffinchflying chaffinch

Footnote: Moaning on the blog has been so productive that I am wondering if I should mention that I am seriously short of gold nuggets.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A shower or two

  1. I’ve always thought flower colors looked richer when photographed on an overcast day. Yours certainly do.
    I like the way the blackthorn seems to light up the landscape.
    The white clematis is going to be full of blossoms. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

  2. I’d say you already have at least two gold nuggets: their names are Marjorie and Annie! Lovely photo of the Solomon’s Seal against the wood. Adding leftovers to soup is a common practice in our house, and usually produces tasty results.

  3. What a good daughter to send cheese!

    Our rhododendrons are still at fat bud stage, and not ready to open yet. The Solomon’s Seal brings back good memories of eastern woodlands. I have not seen any here in my area. True Solomon’s Seal is not native here, although two species of false Solomn’s Seal (genus maianthemum) are.

    Lily of the Valley is a precious flower. My mother loved them too.

  4. I, too, am looking for the end of the rainbow, as soon as I find it your gold nuggets will be en route by express delivery. I’ve been searching for some time now, so you shouldn’t have much longer to wait. Heavy rain here today, wimped out of cycling to work, but enjoyed how green my valley was as I drove to work. Cheers.

  5. It is good to know that someone reads your blog 🙂 You make a good point about strong light on some flowers. I always like your captions – this is a particularly amusing set.

    1. It will make me a bit more careful about what I say now that I know that someone actually reads it and doesn’t just skip through the pictures. 🙂

  6. Good to know that you have thoughtful friends and family providing all your basics for life. Gold nuggets may have to wait a bit! The expression on the face of the chaffinch says it all about the collared dove…what a dork!

  7. It is good to know that moans are heeded and that friends and daughters are worth their weight in gold nuggets.
    I like the photo of the damp sparrow on top of the feeder.
    During lock-down in April we managed a couple of spells of rain, unlike you and many other people so we weren’t too badly off for water. It has been raining quite nicely on and off for three days now and the weeds are springing up all over the place! I hope the Ewes Water has more water in it by now.

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