Today’s guest picture is a puzzle. Is it the south of France? Is is a tropical Isle? No, it is sunny Wemyss turning up trumps yet again for the lens of our son Tony.
We had a touch of frost in the very early morning but by the time that I got up the sky was as blue as the lithodora….
…and it stayed that way all day.
In spite of coming from the south west, the wind had a distinct nip in it as I walked round the garden after breakfast.
As long as I was in the sunshine though, it was a pleasure to be out enjoying Mrs Tootlepedal’s flowers.
The tulips look delightful when they are backlit by the morning sun.
And the sun must surely encourage the advent of the age of the azalea and alliums which is reluctant to to dawn while the mornings are so cold.
To be fair to them, I looked back at previous years and found it is really a bit early to expect full blown alliums and the azaleas are often later too..
The very first honeysuckle flower is trying to creep out unobserved…
…while the clematis round the garage doors is secretly adding a flower or two every day.
The street socially distanced coffee morning convened at the usual time and as well as our Garibaldi biscuits, Liz provided a very tasty mixed fruit cake and the general consensus was that there wouldn’t be much call for a big lunch later on.
Because of the continuing lack of rain, there was a lot of watering to be done in the garden. While the water was spraying, I dead headed tulips and tore up a cardboard box to add to the compost in Bin A.
While I was there, I was very happy to note that professional pollinators were on the job in the espalier apple trees.
The sun had encouraged an Icelandic poppy to give us a smile.
I was encouraged to go indoors for an early lunch in order to make use of the fine day by going for a good cycle ride. I foolishly glanced at the crossword and wasted time before I finally managed to get organised enough to actually go out on my bike. (It was an enjoyable crossword.)
The cold wind of the morning had eased off a bit, but it was still noticeably chilly for such a lovely day. This had the good effect of keeping me cool under a cloudless sky and the breeze wasn’t strong enough to make much of a difference to my speed. I averaged 14 mph down to the coast over the only substantial uphill section of the ride and then I managed 14 mph on the much gentler return journey. The joy of cycling when there isn’t a strong wind is indescribably great, if only because it is so rare.
It would have been hard to find a better day for a ride. There is still very little traffic on the road. I met a few but not many other cyclists and they were all going in the opposite direction to me so there was no call to try to keep up with people passing me or to get depressed when they shoot off into the distance.
The verges are perking up and I saw quite a lot of crosswort today. By dint of putting my shadow over one example, I even got a half decent picture.
I never cease to be amazed by the design work that goes into building flowers.
We are not quite in full leaf yet as this study of clothed and naked trees staring at each other across the Kirkpatrick Fleming road shows.
I was aiming to do 50 miles so I stopped every twelve and a half miles to rest my legs, drink some water and eat some guava jelly and a date. At my first stop, I leaned my bike against a road sign and had a close look at the reflective surface.
The signs are so bright these days that they constitute a dazzling hazard themselves for elderly night drivers.
The cow parsley is thriving and I just had to be careful not to take my eye of any potholes while I was admiring the flowers.
Sometimes, both verges joined in the fun.
When it came to trees, these four near Eastriggs were my favourites of the day…
…but they were run close by this attractive newly planted avenue near Rockcliffe in Cumbria…
…and this specimen with an added gorse hedge at its foot near Whamtown.
I realised that I was going to miss the regular family Zoom meeting, so I stopped on the road below Canonbie School to check in for a moment and apologise.
When I looked around I could see some striking red campion beside the road….
…with a shady wild flower mixture nearby…
…and a Pyrenean Valerian in flower on the opposite side of the road.
So that turned out to be a good place to pause.
After that, I headed home for a much needed sit down, having covered 54 miles, my (just) longest ride of the year so far.
I sat out in the garden for a moment with Mrs Tootlepedal while our evening meal was cooking and we enjoyed the evening sun lighting up the tulips.
I was getting ready to sit down and write this post, regretting that I hadn’t got a flying bird of the day to finish it, when I noticed a very nearly full ‘flower’ moon out of a window. It may not be a flying bird, but at least it is up in the sky.