Left high and dry

The guest picture of the day is another from Dropscone’s recent walk.  He passed this fine tree on his way.  It seems to be involved in an intricate ballet step.

dennis's tree

We woke to a chilly morning, so chilly in fact that the street coffee morning meeting needed coats and was adjourned early on account of freezing fingers.

In spite of that, it was a fine enough day and when the sun got high enough to warm things up, it was another good day to be out in the garden.

This was lucky because in the lockdown, after coffee we go out into the garden.

I wandered around.

Mrs Tootlepedal has some very nice tulips with subdued but rich colours and they are being joined by very slender, brighter newcomers.

four tulips april 30

There were delicate and tiny flowers…

four garden flowers

…and more robust ones too…

…but the top joy of the day for me was this espalier apple going the whole hog.

apple in blossom

I was so enthused about life after seeing the apple, that I sieved some more compost.

In view of the enormous international interest, (largely unexpressed, it is true), in compost sieving,  I thought that I ought to take a picture of the high tech kit required for the process.

compost sievinh kit

The bucket beneath the barrow is for the rough bits that don’t go through the sieve.  Mrs Tootlepedal takes them away and does mysterious things with them.   The success of the compost making is measured by the proportion that ends in the wheelbarrow compared with the amount left in the bucket.  This spring the compost has been very rewarding.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the vegetable garden and I helped by tying up the runner bean poles, one of the few jobs in the garden for which I am suited by nature.

Mrs Tootlepedal planted some onions and told me that she hopes to take seed from the turnip that is flowering and get more turnips from them for this year.

turnip and onions

We were in the front garden when our friend Gavin loomed up over the hedge and we enjoyed a chat.

gavin over the hedge

Then it was time to go in and make potato soup for lunch.  While it was cooking, I watched the birds.

sparrow goldfinch chaffinch

The soup went down well with some freshly made bread and a fine selection of the cheeses which our daughter Annie had kindly sent us.

cheese board

I should have mentioned that I was very impressed that the cheese parcel came with refrigerated wrapping.

The forecast for the day was unreliable to say the least.  It promised rain at various times and finally settled on an 80% chance of heavy rain at 3 o’clock in the afternoon for an hour or so, followed by better weather.  Bearing this in mind, I settled for baking some date rolls after lunch, intending to go for a walk after the rain in the hope of catching refreshed bluebells in subdued light.

As I don’t like rubbing butter into flour, I got Mrs Tootlepedal to show me how to use the food processor to do the job.  This turned out to be a really good idea and made making the pastry a piece of cake.

I didn’t get my arithmetic quite right when it came to assembling the rolls and ended up with half the batch heavy on pastry and light on filling and the other half vice versa.  However, as the pastry turned out to be as easy to eat as it was to prepare, there will  be no difficulty in finding a home for the finished rolls.

This was satisfactory but the weather was less so.  Far from bringing any much needed rain, the afternoon was as sunny as the morning and I was forced to go out in search of unrefreshed bluebells.

They weren’t hard to find as the wood along the river was carpeted with them.

eastons walk bluebells

I wasn’t the only one out enjoying the spring colours.

beechy plains

I walked up the little path through the bluebells at the end of the wood and took far too many pictures as I went.

bluebells Apr 30 5

You can perhaps see why…

bluebells Apr 30 4

…it is so difficult to stop clicking.

bluebells Apr 30 3

At the top of the hill, I met our friend Nancy going in the opposite direction.  After some conversation, we went our separate ways but I noticed that Nancy had taken the trouble to dress in sympathetic colours for her bluebell walk.

bluebells Apr 30 2

I took a final bluebell picture in the little clearing next to the Stubholm track….

bluebells Apr 30 1

…and walked on.

There were other delights besides the bluebells and if we hadn’t needed rain so badly, this little view would have been pure pleasure.

stubholm track

At the junction at the end of the track, I decided that a larger view would be a good idea and headed up the Warbla road.

bare tree late april

Once on the open hill, I turned down the track back towards the Auld Stane Brig and  passed below my old friend Tom.

He was sitting on a handy bench, recouping his strength before the final assault on the lofty summit of Warbla.  You can see the communications mast on the top of the hill in the background to the picture.

Tom on a bench

I enjoyed the view that I had come to see…

view from Warbla

…and dropped back down into the Wauchope valley.  I crossed the Auld Stane Brig and headed up the road towards Becks Farm.

I saw some wild geums in the hedgerow and didn’t think that they were out until I saw a bee proving me wrong.

bee on wild geum

I crossed the Becks Burn and took the track back to the town.  I have been along here quite a few times recently so I won’t add to the pictures that have already appeared on the blog.  (I am over my limit for the day already.)

When I got home, I had a cup of tea and several date rolls.

After the daily Zoom chat with my siblings, I made cauliflower cheese for tea and while it was cooking, I had a final walk round the garden to enjoy the tulips again.

azalea tulips evening

It may or may not rain tomorrow.  The forecast is not committing itself definitely.  After that it says it is not going to rain for another ten days.  We will be seriously parched if this turns out to be true.  Rather annoyingly, it seems to be raining almost everywhere else.

Still, the sunny weather is making the lockdown more tolerable than wet weather would make it so I should look on the bright side.  There is no other side to look on as far as the weather goes.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch looking for a free perch.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Left high and dry

  1. The bluebells are wonderful and the more pictures the merrier. I can’t get to any bluebell woods this year so your photos are much appreciated. I am sorry to say we have had lots of rain today.

    1. It is most unfair. Share the rian out please and don’t hog it. I am glad that you enjoyed the bluebells. I am sorry that you can’t visit yours.

  2. I love the dark colored tulips and that apple tree. I like the pruning as much as the flowers, I think.
    The bluebells are beautiful again this year and I’m glad you were able to see them.
    We had rain here today and they say more for tomorrow. I’d share with you if I could because it’s getting tiresome. But so would a drought, and I hope you won’t have one.

    1. I was talking to a friend (on the phone) today and she remarked that if it hadn’t been for the virus, the prolonged dry spell here would have been the centre of attention. I agree. It is quite unusual although we have been getting more dry spells in spring over recent years in my opinion.

  3. Like your avenue of trees with the lone figure in the distance adding to the scene.
    A fine looking espalier in blossom 👍

  4. I like the thought of pastry as a piece of cake. The bluebell pics certainly benefit from the occasional sunshine shadows. Those chaffinch claws look vicious.

  5. Bluebell woods with tree shadows crossing the windy track…perfect! The beech tree in the sunshine..perfect! The espalier in bloom , the cheese, the views…..it’s all perfect!

  6. Dropscone found a nice tree with character.

    You have some very inviting trails there, especially with the bluebells and new spring leaves. Were these trails part of the Lodge Walks?

    1. No, they are just well used paths round and about our town. Some are old tracks, some are farm roads and some are just paths worn by generations of townspeople using them. We are blessed with very good public access laws in Scotland.

  7. I’m currently having trouble getting you a picture of our bluebells in this part of the world, I’ve no doubt at all that there are many to see, but the woods are very thick, and in the past I have been able to spot clearings in the woods from the road or cycle path. It seems I will have to venture into the woods. And swallows, none at all to be seen, maybe they overshot Wales with the aid of those generous tailwinds. I’ll keep looking for both. Lovely ride in and back from work today, I love these short shifts. Found a new swan’s nest on the canal, that’s three I’ve recorded so far, just wonderful. Lots of young birds flying back and forth the old road, sadly, I know I have hit and killed two while driving my Yaris, so I’ve slowed right down. I try to do no more than 40 mph now. I had a shock today, I sensed, the presence of something, until I looked down and saw a grey squirrel running alongside my Pioneer as I rode down the canal towpath. It was trapped between the canal and my heading, so I stopped to let him run into the trees to my right. I’ll send you a picture of the swan’s nest. Thanks for your post, cheers.

    1. The swan’s nest picture was lovely, thank you. It won’t be long before you see a swallow, I would think. I commend your slow driving. More people should practise that art.

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