Note: This is my first effort at using the new WordPress Block Editor so I apologise if things don’t look quite right. WordPress are trying to force everyone to use the new editor by next month because they don’t have enough to do at their HQ without finding things to annoy their customers.
Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who spotted a tiny creature by the side of a track while on a walk. Closer inspection showed that it was a weasel. Well spotted.
We had a rather grey morning with a touch of rain but it blew away before street coffee time and although Liz, one of our members was off on a walk, we had plenty to talk about with Margaret and the sun came out to warm us up as we chatted.
After coffee, we went into the garden to put the roof on our two small fruit cages. The gooseberry and blackcurrant bushes seem to have survived the frost but the jury is still out on the raspberries.
After the cages were netted, I had a wander about.
I am of the opinion that even a very tattered anemone is better than no anemone…
…so I have put it in.
I was pleased to see a bee on an allium…
…and Mrs Tootlepedal was happy to see the first flowers on her beans and peas (well protected from the sparrows).
Serenaded by a very vocal thrush on an overhead wire…
…I mowed the middle lawn.
The fertiliser and moss eating mixture is doing its job and the lawn looks very green considering how dry it has been. The moss is on the run as long as you don’t look too hard.
After mowing the lawn it was time for lunch and I made some soup which we ate with a selection of cheese and some locally grown tomatoes.
I have had an order delivered from a specialist cheese chop in England and we have several more good looking bits of cheese waiting in the fridge.
After lunch, we enjoyed a digital chat with our granddaughter Matilda and her parents Al and Clare. I was happy to hear that they are taking life seriously and had just finished some lawn care of their own before coming on line.
Matilda was in very good form and read us an entire Dr Seuss book with great verve and confidence. This brought back happy memories of our own children.
After we had said goodbye, we went out for a walk in gloriously sunny weather, although it was still a little windy.
We went round Gaskell’s Walk and we were very amazed to see how much damage the recent frost has done to whole trees. This is an ash…
…on which every leaf had been blackened.
A view down the path which had previously been all green is now tinged with brown…
We don’t think we have seen a comparable effect on trees from a May frost before and we can only surmise that the two months of no rain before the frost is what has contributed to the damage.
Still, I wouldn’t like to suggest that it was not a very pleasant walk in the sunshine, and there was plenty to look at.
Such as butterflies doing what butterflies do in the spring….
…and wild flowers brightening up the path…
…which has been transformed from the time when it was a sombre conifer plantation.
When we came up onto the Stubholm, I could see the path up Castle Hill which I had followed on a recent walk…
…and more excitingly, Mrs Tootlepedal could see the stable where she is currently getting her horse muck for the garden.
She had prudently brought a small bucket and a trowel with her on our walk so I left her to the joys of guddling about in the muck heap, and walked on, coming down to join the path back to the town along the river bank.
I passed a very old tree stump…
…and enjoyed the blanket of wild garlic along the bank beside me as I got near to the park….
…where I found that the wild flowers had made the monster there look very much less threatening than usual.
It looked positively domestic, I thought.
Our friend Nancy sent me a message a day or two ago to say that trees round the church were being felled. I hadn’t had time to go and look for myself so it came as quite a shock when I saw the extent of the dendroslaughter today.
A complete set of rather gloomy cypresses surrounding the building has been removed, making the church look more welcoming in my view. The large stumps have been left but I hope that they are going to be dug out in time.
I got home before Mrs Tootlepedal and was mowing the front lawn when she got back with her bucket of muck. The front lawn is not yet in very condition but I haven’t given up hope that it will look presentable in two or three week’s time. If you don’t see a picture of it in June, you will know that I have failed.
To give myself a break during the mowing, I sat on our new bench with Mrs Tootlepedal and saw that the dicentras have gone to seed in a big way this year.
We don’t think that this is usual and wonder if this is another symptom of the odd weather we have had this spring.
I had time for another look round the garden before I went in for a cup of tea and the now traditional sibling Zoom meeting.
In the late afternoon sunshine, the geums looked good…
…the chives were thriving…
…and our first rose had come out to join a pair of alliums (just good friends), some unwelcome but pretty vetch which will have to go, and one of the indestructible tulips.
I hadn’t watched the birds all day but a pair of siskins appeared at just the right moment when I had finished my cup of tea…
…and one of them provided me with the flying bird of the day.
Just as I was about to publish the blog our friend Bruce rang up to suggest that I should look out of the window at the Monument. Then our neoghbour Hector came round to suggest that I should look at the monument. Then our neighbour Liz rang up to suggest that I should look at the monument.
I looked at the monument.
Some enterprising people were projecting NHS colours on to it.
Footnote: The new block editor is simple to use but actually makes things a little slower for me as it does not let me put all the pictures in at once and then add the text. Just because I could, I have increased the text size for this post and would be interested to hear if this is helpful to readers or not.