Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo, and shows her own rain gauge in Manitoba. It is all the more impressive because the five inches it recorded all fell in an hour and a half. Then they got another two inches overnight making seven inches in eight hours. That’s what I call real rain.
The rain gauge that she gave us only showed four and a half inches in our garden this morning and that had taken three days to accumulate…
…but all the same we were very pleased to find that it had stopped raining when we woke up this morning.
And all things considered, in spite of the rain and the wind, there wasn’t too much damage in the garden. Some things, the Delphiniums and Sweet Williams had suffered…
…but the phirst phlox of the season had appeared…
…the front door clematis was thriving
I was able to shift a lot of the compost out of Bin B into Bin C before we had morning coffee on the lawn with our neighbours. The brisk wind had dried the garden up and actively whisked some threatening clouds away, so we were able to enjoy our coffee and conversation in pleasant conditions, surrounded by blackbirds both young…
…and after we had finished coffee, I had time for a walk round to enjoy roses and clematis that were flourishing after the rain.
Perhaps the oddest thing was how dry everything seemed. The strong wind and occasional sunshine helped the drying and the storm now seemed long ago and not just a day away.
Over lunch, I watched the birds…
…and they were so active that I brought out the second feeder and soon every perch was occupied.
Mrs Tootlepedal was busy catching up with community buy out administration so I went for a walk by myself.
It was grey and windy, but it was warmer than yesterday and it didn’t rain on me, so I had an opportunity for a brisk walk without worrying too much about getting some good views.
As I went along the Kilngreen, I saw a posing wagtail and an old friend lurking in the long grass…
…and further along I came across a young bird on a bench. I think it must be a young wagtail. Nearby a duck was quacking loudly as its young got swept away across the river. It soon caught up with them and settled down again.
I walked up past the estate offices and out of the town along the track known as the Baggra. I feared that it might be rather wet but the going was reasonably good, although there was always the sound of running water as I went along.
There were plenty of wild flowers too…
…but I kept a special eye out for colourful lichen.
I came down to the High Mill Brig….
…which had a good flow of water running underneath it. I crossed the bridge and walked back towards the town, but when I got to Whitshiels I took the road up the hill and extended my walk a little.
I was rewarded for the extra effort by banks of foxgloves…
…and picturesque horses grazing in a meadow.
I left the road and walked onto the open hillside, following a newly made vehicle track which led me up the the pylons. I was hoping to see the work to replace the actual power lines some time soon so I stopped to chat to a power company worker who was sitting in his vehicle under one of the pylons.
I asked him when the cables were going to be replaced. “We’ve done the far side already,” he said, “and we are doing the near side now.” The cables are pulled through the wheels that you can see by powerful winches but the process had paused for a moment to let a connecting joint be unconnected. This left me a bit short of exciting power cable replacement pictures and the engineer admitted that it was not a spectacular process. If it had been sunny, he said, I would have been able to admire the shiny new cable, but it wasn’t so I couldn’t.
In fact when I looked down the line of pylons….
….. it was so far from being sunny, that I set off down the hill to the town as fast as I could go. The engineer had been very chatty. As he had told me that he had been sitting in his vehicle for some time simply to ensure that no walkers passed under the lines while they were being winched along, he was probably quite glad to have someone to talk to. He also told me that renewing power cables was a remarkably easy thing to do if you knew what you were doing.
I got home in good time for a cup of tea and a sibling Zoom meeting convened by Mrs Tootlepedal.
It had only been a four mile walk, but after three months of alternating walking and cycling more or less every day during the lockdown, my legs are beginning to get the hang of taking exercise and I felt remarkably cheerful for a walk on a grey and windy day.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin, juggling with some flying seed.