Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon who found a fine flower for me to enjoy.
The forecasters had predicted rain overnight and all through the day, and unfortunately they got it quite right. I had a very unsettled night with the rain beating down and my legs complaining about the miles on the shopping bike but I wasn’t as unsettled as Mrs Tootlepdal was when she got up early in the morning.
She looked out of the window and saw our dam beginning to rise up. Regular readers may remember that we got flooded by the dam last year so Mrs Tootlepedal was worried enough to make and fit some covers for the ventilators in our wall beside the dam just in case history repeated itself.
When I gt up, I went to check on the state of affairs at Pool Corner. A faulty sluice gate there had led to our last flood. Although the Wauchope was high….
…the new sluice gate and the retaining wall were doing their job.
As it continued to rain all day and it is due to rain all night and a lot of tomorrow, we can just hope that they keep this up.
I went to look at the Wauchope as it flows into the Esk and found that it had dropped a bit from its overnight height which was comforting. You can see a tide mark on the right hand bank.
You can also see, if you look carefully as I did, a small heap of something on the bank. On close inspection, this turned out to be a great pile of young goosanders with mother standing guard.
As I was watching them, another gang of goosanders swam along to join them.
This was not what was wanted….
…and the heap stood up and got ready to go.
There was some debate among the newcomers…
…while the heap got ready for action.
In the end, the newcomers paddled a bit further upstream and both groups settled down happily, well socially distanced, while I went to see how high the Esk was.
Oddly, it was not very high….
…and there seemed to be more water flowing from its tributary than down the main stream.
When I got home, I was able to report that we were not in immediate danger and Mrs Tootlepedal was greatly relieved.
It was a day for staying indoors because as well as more or less continuous rain, there was a strong wind blowing. This made trying to take flower pictures a waste of time, as they were either being blown this way or that.
You might even think that it had been snowing.
Luckily there were indoor diversions to keep us from getting too bored and we enjoyed a Zoom meeting with Matilda, her parents, two aunts, a cousin and her other grandfather in three different countries. When I tell you that there was colour bingo, twin rabbits (stuffed), princesses, a unicorn and several good stories involved in the meeting, you can see that we were royally entertained.
In the afternoon, I stared out of the window at the rain. Sometimes, I was interrupted by birds.
…who weren’t discouraged from their usual habits by the weather at all.
The goldfinch was unmoved by the boot in the back.
The seed went down at a rapid rate.
Sometimes I was distracted by thought of taking flower pictures or going for a wet walk…
…but I never got further than looking at the garden through the window.
I did look at a flower on my computer for a while as I practised using the wonderfully named ‘magnetic lasso’ on the photo editor. I experimented with layers too to get this result.
But mostly I watched birds or the telly.
A lot of the birds looked fairly soggy as the afternoon went on…
…but this redpoll won the prize for the sorriest looking sight.
Mrs Tootlepedal had scheduled the evening sibling meeting and we were pleased when the technology worked and everyone turned up. My two older sisters had successfully caught a train to go the three stops down to the River Thames in the morning and it had been as good as a tonic for them to get out and about. The trains were very empty so they thought that it had been a safe outing.
Thanks to the relaxation in the lockdown rules, my youngest sister had had a visit from two of her grandchildren and their parents so it had been a busy day all round.
After our evening meal, I put on a full set of waterproofs and went to see how the River Esk was doing. It had risen a bit but there were still plenty of rocks available for an oyster catcher to stand on.
Although it had rained steadily and the strong wind had made conditions very unpleasant, it hadn’t rained very heavily so the river was lower than I expected. I hope that tonight’s forecast rain doesn’t get too heavy.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.
Footnote: Although we have not been out for a thorough inspection, apart from the shower of rose petals, the only damage from the wind and the rain that we have seen was to a Sweet William on the drive. This was snapped clean off, a victim perhaps of its own success in having a terrific head of flowers. The flowers are now inside and they feature in today’s header picture.
Footnote two: I forgot to mention that during the afternoon, a kind friend turned up and gave me a bag of coffee beans and a bar of dark chocolate. This is the sort of friend that brightens up a day.