An adventure

Today’s guest picture comes from one of my brother Andrew’s walks in the countryside round Derby. He doesn’t have to go far from home to find some pleasantly spacious views.

We had one of those days that figure in the old joke: if you don’t like the weather round here, wait for half an hour and some different weather will come along. When it wasn’t raining, the sun was shining and when the sun wasn’t shining, it was raining. And it was pretty windy almost all the time.

As a result, it was an unsettling day for our lockdown routine. I had time for a walk round the garden in benign conditions before coffee. Mrs Tootlepedal is growing chillis in the greenhouse as part of the general Langholm interest in chilli growing…

…and she has plants with flowers and plants with peppers.

A pretty lupin is sending up new spikes.

Then we had just got the morning coffee group set up in the garden, cups in hand and news ready to be distributed, it started to rain lightly. “That won’t put us hardy souls off,” we said to each other. “But that will,” we said a moment later as it it started to pour with rain.

I went inside and drank my coffee (it was a fathers’ day gift from our son Tony) and then went to look at the birds. They were once again keeping an eye out for danger.

The perches were full and this goldfinch chose to pass by with the air of one saying that he didn’t really want a perch anyway. So there.

Our blackbird rose above any petty squabbles.

I was looking from an upstairs window and I let my eye stray to some roses beyond the feeder.

They are a lovely colour.

The rain stopped and I went out into the garden to cut some salad leaves for lunch. I did a little dead heading and flower watching while I was out there.

I had a close look at a melancholy thistle…

…and took a moment to sit on our new bench and contemplate life…

…from where I could see the tropaeolum, threatening to completely cover the yew bush…

…and a new plump iris getting ready to show all.

On my way back indoors, I passed the first day lilies of the year.

Time was hanging heavily on my hands so I went back to bird watching. I saw a siskin checking on perch availability…

…and a very determined goldfinch who was on its way to get one.

Our neighbour Kenny was clearing some weed out of the dam at lunchtime and he told us that he had taken some recycling stuff down to Longtown on Friday and found that the recycling centre there was in operation.

We have piled up so much recycling over the past weeks that we have had to throw some of it in the bin because we ran out of space to store it in the garage. A trip to Longtown looked to be a very good idea. We packed paper, cans and plastic into the Zoe and set off in pouring rain.

Mrs Tootlepedal was very excited as she had not been more than a few miles out of Langholm for months. The weather gods smiled on us and the rain had stopped when we got to Longtown and disposed of the recycling. Then, as an added excitement, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that we should go to a nearby garden centre and buy some plants. The centre had elaborate precautions in place which were hardly needed as Mrs Tootlepedal was one of very few customers. On our way back, we had further excitement ,when we went int our local Co-operative store to get some necessities. Once again an elaborate security routine was hardly needed as there were few customers there too.

When we got home, I joined in our Carlisle choir’s weekly Zoom meeting and enjoyed a gentle sing. They are planning to have one of those virtual performances where we will have to record ourselves singing at home and get all the recordings mashed together. I look forward to trying this.

I might have gone for a walk after the choir but it had started raining again, so I mooched around until the regular sibling Zoom. Then as the sun had come out again, I did go for a short walk. It was hard to plan your day today.

I saw a wagtail…

…and our local family of goosanders cruising down the river.

There were too many of them to get them all into the frame.

It was very nice walking along in the lush greenery…

…but while Warbla was silhouetted against a blue sky…

…dark clouds looked threatening over Whita….

….so I didn’t dilly dally on my way.

The sun was still out when I got home though and I was very pleased to see that the walnut tree has now got enough leaves on it to cast a good shadow on the lawn.

Mrs Tootlepedal had made a very nourishing chick pea soup for our evening meal and we followed that up with some strawberries and cream.

On the whole then, in spite of the unreliable weather, not a bad day.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “An adventure

  1. The birds put on a good performance for your camera again today, and the commentary spot on. You and Mrs. T have carved out a bit of Scottish paradise there complete with flowers, trees and shrubs. I could think of far worse places to be during lockdown! I am glad to hear your walnut tree is recovering from the earlier frost and is throwing some shade.

    We harvested some of the first onions today, a variety called “Walla Walla Sweet”

  2. Sorry about your weather but glad you got rid of all that recycling. Your garden is just awash with colour I do enjoy looking round it through the lens of your camera.

    1. I am quite happy with the lawn but my lawn standards have dropped since I stopped using weedkiller. I no longer have the energy to crawl about on all fours digging out weeds. The organic moss control seems to work well though.

  3. Kudos to the recovery of your walnut tree. Ours here has had not so severe frost, but is now shedding unripe nuts it cannot keep because of the drought. In all July we had less than 5 inches of rain. And that after a mostly dry May.

    1. We never got as far as any walnut flowers let alone nuts this year. We have had two and a half inches of rain in June after a dry April and May. This has just about been enough to save us from severe drought.

  4. Good to see your garden centre diversifying into clothing. For the next morning coffee meeting no doubt. I’m sure WP slip these in just for fun. I like the new bench view, too – and you have a plethora of flying bird candidates.

  5. The garden views are the best! Good to read that your journey out into the wider world went well. The garden centre was the first place I visited too! After all the fuss of getting a face mask I left it on the kitchen table!!

    1. I bought a box full and I immediately broke the elastic of the first one I tried on at home. That would have been embarrassing if I had been in a shop or on a bus.

  6. WE used to grow chillis in the poly tunnel on the farm. We dried them, made infused oil, cooked with them, made chilli jam and jelly and gave them away. Giving them away was the best bit.

    Have you ever grown Cape Gooseberries? They do well under cover and if you grow some every year you can replace them on a rolling basis (they crop well for about three years. Depends how you feel about small seeds…

    1. I am not expecting quite such industrial quantities as that. I have never eaten a Cape Gooseberry so I don’t have an opinion on them bit as a man with portable teeth, small seeds are not ideal.

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