Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo in Manitoba. She went for a little toot in her plane today, and as she flew south of Riding Mountain National Park, she saw these patterns from last year’s harvest. She said, “This is the kind of farmland that I think you’d have to be crazy, desperate, or both, to farm. You’d get dizzy driving around the sloughs.”
One day in the lockdown here is very much like another and the discerning and patient reader may have noticed a distinct similarity between one post and another recently. There will be no change in that pattern today.
It was a day with little in the way of distinguishing features. It was cold and windy when we got up and there was even a little annoying drizzle in the air, annoying because it was undoubtedly wet, but also not nearly wet enough to do the garden any good at all.
The run of chilly mornings means that things are very much on hold so there was nothing new to photograph in the garden, with perhaps a slight increase in the number of flowers on the white rhododendron…
…and the merest hint of a flower opening on an aquilegia.
But that was it. (Sadly there were quite a few tulips to dead head.)
We did have the socially distanced street coffee morning where slices of farmhouse sultana cake were consumed without complaint, but it ended early with claims of frozen fingers.
Mrs Tootlepedal dug up a potentilla growing beside the dam behind the house. It was past its best and I turned most of it into useful compost by putting it through the shredder.
It was still cold and both Mrs Tootlepedal and I had tasks to do indoors so the garden was left to fend for itself.
I did find time to look out of the window and was cheered up by the presence of a colourful redpoll doing some semi pro posing in the drizzle.
In fact there was more than one redpoll, the first that I have seen of them for six weeks.
They were flying in all directions.
They are tiny birds, very similar to siskins and not afraid to tell a siskin where to go.
We were visited by rooks too.
After lunch, things brightened up a bit and I went for a cycle ride. The wind from the east was cold and occasionally gusty but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the outing.
Fresh leaves on trees lift spirits…
…and I was impressed to see this considerable growth on a tree that had been blown over.
I was on a well tried route through Canonbie and the relentlessly mowed verges didn’t hold much interest so I stopped at the little wood beside Hollows bridge…
…to see if the inhabitants were still there.
There is quite a little community of them.
Last time I came this way, I took a picture in bright sunlight which showed the leaves of silverweed near the bus stop well but didn’t do justice to the flowers. Today’s light caught the flowers but took all the silver out of the leaves.
The are a lot of bluebells dotted along the roadside and this patch beside the old road is what remains of a magnificent bluebell wood before the building of the new road changed things.
I incorrectly identified some Jack by the Hedge as Pyrenean Valerian recently so I was happy to see some real Pyrenean Valerian getting ready to come out beside the river near the end of the bike path today.
A little further on, I saw this development on a young larch tree. Cones in the making.
When I got back to Langholm, the weather was cheerful enough to encourage me to go another three miles north of the town where I found the Ewes valley once again with a mixture of sunshine and shadow.
I was blown back home by the kindly wind and finished my 26 miles in a better state of mind than I had been in when I had started.
As has become customary, I had a Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters and then I sat down to eat a tasty evening meal prepared by Mrs Tootlepedal.
It wasn’t an a exciting day but it wasn’t wasted as there was cake to eat, I got started on a process of changing one of my email addresses, and I packed up a camera to be sent away for repair.
Also our helpful corner shop included currants in our delivery so I am going to attempt a Garibaldi biscuit in a day or two. Lockdown is increasing my limited repertoire.
The flying bird of the day is a greenfinch in a determined mood.