Ten minutes of rain

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She mowed her lawn today but tells me not to look too closely at it.  It looks good to me.

mary's garden

We had another lovely morning and as a result, Mrs Tootlepedal had to spend a good deal of the day watering the garden.  Even after a good soak, things stayed very dry and more watering is on the cards for the coming days.

I went out into the garden after breakfast and poked my nose into tulips.

tulip closeup 4

They come in all shapes…

tulip closeup 3

…and colours…

tulip closeup 2

…and styles.

tulip closeup 1

I was pleased to see a Welsh poppy developing…

welsh poppy

…and an azalea too, although there are still only a few flowers opened so far.

azalea blossom

Willows are a source of endless fascination for me.

willow cloe up

Instead of having coffee, I drove down to Longtown to pick up my bike from the bike shop.

The drive was fine as there is still hardly any traffic on the roads but I had to wait for quite a long time before I could pick up my bike, standing physically distanced from other bike enthusiasts, while the reduced bike store staff dealt with a queue of customers.

However, it was my turn in the end, and I packed the bike into the car and drove home.

I didn’t have to pay anything as this was the final after-sales free service for the bike. I have had it for two years so that seemed very generous to me.  I had to pay for a new back tyre though.  Looking at my records, I see that it has covered 6800 miles since I bought it, so the old tyre served me well.

When I got back, I put the Zoe on charge for the first time for ages and then joined Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden.  She has been using compost steadily as she plants things out, so I sieved another barrow load.

Then I wasted time by running the mower over the front lawn.  There was nothing to cut as the grass has simply not been growing through a combination of cold mornings and lack of moisture. The lawn had to wait its turn to get watered but I am hoping to see a little growth soon.

After lunch, I did some high quality procrastinating by wandering around the garden as if I was going to do something useful without actually doing anything.  Then I leapt into action (rather slowly).

It should have been a walking day but as Mrs Tootlepedal is considering a walk tomorrow, I got my newly serviced bike out and went for  a pedal instead.

I wasn’t in the mood for an adventurous ride, feeling rather creaky and a bit tired, so I headed straight up the main road north out of the town for twelve and a half miles and then turned and headed straight back home again.

It started to rain at the very moment that I got my bike out of the garage but I wasn’t alarmed as I thought that it wouldn’t come to anything.  I was quite right, the drizzle stopped half a mile later, and I was treated to some lovely sunshine and shadow as I cycled up the Ewes valley.

hill view ewes valley 3

A lot of the land here has recently been sold to a timber company and I could see that work on new forestry has already begun.

preparing for planting ewes

There is a drive for new trees and land has become more valuable for timber than sheep.

I wasn’t always in sunshine myself but there always seemed to be sunlit uplands ahead.

hill view ewes valley 2

But always some little distance ahead.

road up to mosspaul

All the same, it was warm enough and the wind was light so I did my twelve and a half mostly uphill miles north at twelve miles an hour.

I turned at a quarry beside the road.

quarry over mosspaul

The ride out had been so pleasant that I was afraid that I might find the wind blowing in my face on the way back  but it turned out to a cross wind and more behind and in front so I had an easy ride home too.

I stopped for a drink and a cube of guava jelly at Mosspaul on my way back, and once again admired the ability of this tree to grow straight up from a steeply angled bank…

tree at mosspaul

…and enjoyed a the warmth of the sun.  The old Mosspaul Hotel is no longer open to offer refreshment to passing cyclists so I headed back home to get my cup of tea and date roll.

mosspaul hotel

I had more sunshine on the way back than I had had on the way out…

hill view ewes valley

…and had a thoroughly refreshing and invigorating ride, finishing  it feeling a lot perkier than when I started out.  That Dr Velo knows a thing or two.

I got home in time for my daily Zoom meeting with my siblings.  Mrs Tootlepedal joined in for a while and was a useful source of gardening information.

I had a moment after the call and before tea to look out of the window.  Jackdaws have been pecking at my lawn again, and we name one of the guilty parties.

jackdaw pecking lawn

The feeder was unusually busy and a goldfinch and chaffinch gave a sparrow  a hard stare as he tried to move them on.

sparrow in waiting

He had to sit at the side until the goldfinches were finished.

busy feeder May

Yesterday’s mince and tatties turned into an excellent spaghetti bol today and as I have enjoyed first rate cheese and delicious dates as well, it has been a good eating day.

After tea, it actually rained properly for ten minutes while I was talking to Dropscone on the phone….and then it stopped!  The weather gods do this sort of thing just to annoy.

The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch talking politics with a friend.

flying greenfinch quarrel

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Ten minutes of rain

  1. Talking of lawns, while most of my garden is managed for wildlife, and is pretty wild (the two do not necessaily have to go together), until a few weeks ago I had a patch of grass – it never merited the name ‘lawn’ – which I kept pretty short. But now, at my invitation, nrighbours who reluctantly gave up an allotment last year, have taken it over and turned it into a vegetable plot. Today they’ve dug the final strip. I can’t wait for a share of the produce!

  2. Seems like you had an enjoyable ride on your newly serviced bike.
    It might only be psychological,but bikes always seem a bit quicker after a service 😊
    Lovely shot of the hills above the long and winding road.
    Cue for some Beatles music I think.

    1. It had more wear in it but as I hope not to have to take the bike back to the bike shop for a while, I thought that I would get it changed while it was there. My old hands find these hard wearing tyres very tough to change these days.

  3. I like to see the cloud shadows on the hills. It looks like you had another beautiful day but I hope you’ll see some beneficial rain soon.
    The tulip colors are beautiful as well.
    The quarry looks very old. I’d love to explore it.

  4. Greenfinches talking politics look much like humans talking politics. 🙂 Your sunny day and sun dappled hills look like what is supposed to be our weather for Sunday here. We have had a good soaking rain for the past 2 days, and it is clearing this evening. I got some photos of tonight’s rainbow in the east as the clearing started before sundown.

    Your foresters’ method of planting new trees looks different than what I have seen here. Here, they seem to just dig a hole for each tree, no trenching.

  5. Much to her indoors dissatisfaction, I am not a fan of gardening, but you have portrayed my best skill in that sphere of activity. I am an excellent procrastinator in the garden, who purposefully walks around viewing this and that, but actually does nothing. Great post to start my day, well I’ve been at my signalbox since 08.55, but, thankfully it’s a short shift. Bit of damp drizzle on the way in, but seems quite dry again now, should be home early. I wonder will her indoor want me in procrastinator gardening mode when I get back? Cheers.

    1. “her indoors” :-D. Sometimes I wish Allan was more into gardening but then I realize I do get a lot of satisfaction and less argy bargy planning it out myself.

  6. not being boastful but my Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres have almost 8000 miles and still good for more. Also my Koga has free servicing for life!! just have to pay for parts. I expect the life of most bikes isnt so long but think they may regret that in the end – hopefully they will remain in business.

    1. My tyre could have gone further. It was in no danger of bursting but it had gone rather flat on the top surface and the bike shop thought that I might have a better ride on a new one. As I haven’t been spending any money during the lockdown, I thought that I would treat myself.

  7. Love the threesome tulips colour, shape and style. Hope they don’t cover all the beautiful hills in rows and rows of fir trees. Maybe the greenfinches were debating whether it was going to rain or not…hope you get a good splash as watering the garden is a real nuisance and time taker!

    1. They are going to cover a good few as that is where the government support is. There should be some amenity planting as well so I hope for the best.

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