Today’s guest picture is a very painterly photograph of a nesting swan on a canal taken by my Welsh correspondent Keiron on his way to work today.
There was a theoretical chance of rain today but once again we had a sunny morning and the street socially distanced coffee group (fortified by date rolls) was able to chat away while sitting in warm sunshine, caressed by light winds.
All through the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal busied herself with watering in the garden. The soil is very dry.
I did a little compost sieving and aimless wandering. Well, actually it wasn’t entirely aimless as I pointed my camera at a lot of things as I went by.
There is no shortage of tulips to look at, although I have been dead heading quite a lot for a few days now.
I was particularly pleased to see that we have got three perennial wallflowers showing life. These tend to go on flowering for months and provide a photographer with a subject when all else has faded.
Sometimes anticipation is as good as realisation…
…with plants bursting with potential…
…and just waiting for another warm day.
However, there is not much to beat Mrs Tootlepdal’s geums when they are actually out.
The collared dove arrived back on the seed feeder and let me get very close before it flew off
When I went in to make lunch (soup and bread and cheese again) a rook posed on the plum tree for me.
A greenfinch paused for a moment on Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree before lunch…
…and another one made an awkward landing on the feeder after lunch, surprising a siskin.
Once again, the forecast was rather shifty about when and if it would rain and my afternoon planning was made more difficult by the arrival overhead of some seriously thick and ominous black clouds.
However, beyond the clouds, the skies were lighter so in the end, I got my shopping bike out and went for a bike ride.
I was hoping to leave the dark clouds behind me…
…and even to see a little sun as I went round my usual Canonbie circuit.
In the event, the blackest clouds kept away but sun was hard to find as I went round and from time to time a few tentative drops of rain made me nervous but came to nothing.
Curious cows checked on my progress…
…and garlic mustard and cow parsley brightened up the verges.
I didn’t stop a lot because being on the slow bike makes the journey long enough as it is but the view from Hollows Bridge was worth a minute or two on the journey time…
…and the sight of some very cheerful silverweed flowers near the Hollows village stopped me again a hundred yards further on.
I liked this lonely grass nearby.
The rain threatened on and off for almost the whole ride but only once was there enough to get the road even mildly wet so I was perfectly dry when I got back to Langholm. Just to annoy me, the sun came out as I crossed the River Esk.
I got back in time for my daily Zoom conference with my brother and sisters. I did take a picture of the four of them as they appeared on the screen of my phone but I will have to try again when they are not all making faces.
While I was waiting for our evening meal, there was a lot of activity at the feeder to keep me occupied. You may think that it was raining when I took this picture of a chaffinch and a goldfinch discussing Brexit but it is just seed flying in every direction.
Mrs Tootlepedal cooked mince and tatties for our tea and that brought to an end a day that was remarkably like the 40 or so that have preceded it since our ‘lockdown’ started.
We have settled into a comfortable routine in the past month and are enjoying the sense of time on our hands. We have excellent neighbours, no food shortages, easy communication with our children on a daily basis, a lovely garden in which to while away the time and quiet roads and paths round the town for cycling and walking. We know that we are blessed and we are properly grateful for this.
An additional blessing was the arrival through the post today of a big box of Palestinian Medjoul dates, another surprise from our ever thoughtful daughter Annie. As I now have the addresses of reliable providers of both fine cheeses and good dates, I am in a happy place as they say. Some of Marjorie’s dates were very tasty in the date rolls.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.
Footnote: If all goes well, I will pick up my road bike from the bike shop tomorrow.