The end of an era

Today’s guest picture comes from my Sheffield correspondent Edward Winter.  He has a fine six inch wide tree peony flower in his garden which he thought that I might appreciate.  I do.

TreePeony2020

It was another grey, blustery and chilly day today here so once again there was no urgency in the getting up department.

Indeed, I got up so late that there was no time for a wander round the garden before our street coffee meeting, and it was only afterwards that I got to check to see if our peonies are out yet.

They are still trying.

peony trying

A quick check on the frost damage revealed that the Japanese azalea may have have enough surviving flowers to make a bit of a show at least.

japanese azalea

And to make up for the lack of azaleas, the first iris has put in a welcome appearance.

first iris

Tulips and poppies make sure that we still have some colour….

tulips and poppy

And thriving Limnanthes and Aquilegia will soon be joined by…

flowers old and new

…other promising flowers.

We are quite blue at the moment….

four blue things in garden

…in a delicate sort of way.

I mowed the front lawn in the hope that we will get some rain and warmer weather to make the grass grow again.  Mrs Tootlepedal got to work improving the soil in one of the beds along the lawn so I sieved the last of the compost from Bin C to give to her to add to the bed.

I didn’t watch the birds on the feeder in the morning as we were busying about but there were birds in the garden who weren’t bothered by us.  The blackbird and the thrush are both feeding young so they are often to be seen about.

blackbird an thrush panel

I did a little shredding of disused box bushes and then went in for lunch.

We had a Carlisle Choir Zoom meeting scheduled for mid afternoon at what would have been our regular choir practice time, so I sneaked out for a short walk after lunch.  It was grey and almost drizzly so I walked on at a brisk pace, hoping to get home before any rain started.

I was pleased to see that the big rhododendrons in the park seemed to have escaped frost damage, but the bluebells are fading away and going over…

rhododendron,bluebells and garlic

…leaving the wild garlic to cover the ground.

I walked along the Murtholm track towards Skippers Bridge, passing quantities of ribwort, lambs and spring things on leaves…

three things at murtholm

…and crosswort…

crosswort full

…at which I took a closer look.

crosswort close

I paused on Skippers Bridge to record just how low the river is.

low water in esk from skippers bridge

It will be interesting to see if we get enough rain to raise the water level noticeably as the ground is so dry that it will surely soak up anything less than a downpour.

I took a picture of this view a few days ago but it is still so beautiful to my mind, that I took it again today.

skippers bridge from north

As I walked along the river bank back to the town, there was plenty to admire.

six things beside the river

I saw two contrasting birds as I got up the suspension bridge, a very noisy thrush singing fit to bust on a rooftop on one side of the river and a very quiet oyster catcher sitting on her nest on the other side.

thrush and oyster catcher

When  I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal had just about finished her work on the flower bed.

bed improvement

I like the big red poppy at the back of the house so I went for a look at it…

big red poppy panel

…before getting ready for the Zoom choir meeting.

While I was waiting for the meeting to start, I made a mixture for some chocolate biscuits and put it in the fridge to cool.

When the appointed time came, lots of choir members attempted to join the meeting but unfortunately, there was a glitch in the Zoom technology (not our fault) and the meeting had to be cancelled.  We are going to try again next week,

The fault, which also affected a government briefing later in the day, must have been partial as I had a one to one meeting on Archive website business with my younger son and a family meeting with my siblings later on with no problems at all.

After the failed choir meeting, I baked the biscuits and while they were cooling, our neighbour Liz rang up to say that a starling was feeding its young in her garden if I was interested.

I was interested and went out and leant over her wall to see the group in action.

liz's starlings

I took the biscuits out of the oven and left them to cool and then I had time to watch a blue tit coming to the feeder…

blue tit in garden

…before chatting to my brother and sisters with Mrs Tootlepedal.

We tried the biscuits after our evening meal.  There was an initial shock when they did not taste as we expected them to, but we enjoyed them enough to have another each.

The rain, which finally started shortly after I came home from my walk, has persisted in a mild and desultory way all evening.  There is some more in the forecast over the next two days but as it is only a few millimeters, whether it will be enough to do some good is still a moot point.

All the same, any rain, after two dry months when at times it seemed as though it might never rain again here,  is to be welcomed.

The flying bird of a day is a bee.

flying bee

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “The end of an era

  1. The iris is one of my favourite plants with its lush green leaves contrasting well with the blue/purple flower. A lovely close up there.
    Hope you managed to catch the 10yrs of the RHS Chelsea on Tv tonight.

  2. You still have plenty of color and variety in the garden, despite the recent frost. Your peony appears to be several days ahead of ours. The panels are a visually pleasing way of seeing the flowers and scenes as groupings.

    Your Flying Bee of the Day is a good catch of her in serious action, landing gear deployed. 🙂

  3. Your river certainly looks a bit low. Our little creek on the other hand is doing a good imitation of a respectable river running out to sea. We are quite happy to be getting this unexpected bit of rain.

      1. Interesting observation: around here one would colloquially say “We have gotten some rain”… which just sounds awful to my ear. I’ve been working on eliminating that use of “gotten”, but it’s taking a bit of effort. 😉

  4. Technology. so brilliant when it works, but oh so frustrating when it doesn’t. We all rely on it so much nowadays, sad to say most will be in dire straits if it all failed tomorrow. I include myself in that, I’ve tried rubbing two sticks together, and failed miserably to produce a spark. I have to say I admire your confidant use of time. Going out for a walk before an appointed Zoom meeting? I’m afraid I’m one of those “what if” people. What if I am delayed? More to the point, nowadays, what if I have a puncture? So much so that too often I sit tight, and avoid doing something else beforehand. Crazy I know. Shows some sort of insecurity on my part. Better not get the psychologists involved, they would have a field day with me as their subject. Lol, cheers.

    1. I thought that your puncture days were over, Keiron. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had missed that meeting all that much so I wasn’t unduly worried.

  5. The tulips are lovely for their colour and prolonged flowering . Beautiful guest photo – a very pretty peony. Must look out for a crosswort and ‘spring things on leaves’! Best though is the flying bird photo.

  6. At last I can catch up, and I managed to find the right spot so I can read forward instead of backward. I wonder if that tulip is Akebono, the one with the delicate red edge? It’s ever so pretty.

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