Today’s scenic guest picture comes from a walk near Nottingham that my brother Andrew undertook today in some very brisk winds.
There was some heavy rain here overnight, and it was wet and windy when we got up. Generally speaking, the day didn’t get any better as it went on.
It was quite warm though and it didn’t rain all the time so I was able to sneak out into the garden to fill the bird feeder and then wait to see if any birds were brave enough to venture out.
A blue tit arrived.
In another dry moment, I went out to see whether the flowers were surviving the unfriendly weather. I am happy to report that the sunflowers with their extra props had come through the night, and as I write this at the end of the day with the wind still blowing, they are still standing.
Whether they will survive another windy night is open to question but wind speeds are set to drop so we live in hope.
The cosmos were looking remarkable chipper.
But the prize for good cheer in the face of meteorological difficulties went to Lillian Austin whose flowers were bonding in a magnificent display of mutual support.
The nasturtiums and clematis by the front door were looking rather more careworn.
During the day, I kept an eye on the feeder, but there was little traffic and the birds that did come were often a bit ruffled.
The prize for tenacity went to a pigeon which was clinging on to a swaying power line in some serious gusts….
…probably trying to impress its girlfriend.
Fortunately, I had a tricky crossword to help me waste some of the morning and some Archive Group work to do for the group’s website in the afternoon so time passed smoothly enough.
When I looked out of the window in the mid afternoon, the skies seemed to have lightened a bit and although the wind was still very boisterous, it wasn’t actually raining. Under the circumstances, a walk looked like a good idea.
I looked at a nasturtium leaf near the front gate…
..and strode bravely out to meet the gale.
Although it has rained frequently lately, and sometimes very heavily, it hasn’t actually rained heavily for long at any one time. The result is that the rivers are lower than one might expect….
…and this gave ducks somewhere to keep their feet dry.
In the gloomy conditions and with more rain threatening, I wasn’t expecting to see much of interest on my walk so a dipper, beside the Esk near the suspension bridge, was a bonus. It gave me plenty of opportunity to capture its best side.
When I got to the Meeting of the Waters at the Kilngreen, there was an army of ducks to be seen. I count about 50 in this picture and I did not get the whole company into the shot.
To get a little colour into the walk, I looked for any wildflowers that I could find…
…and admired spleenwort on a wall.
There were wild creatures to be seen at the start of the Lodge Walks.
The rain held off as I headed up the Lodge Walks so when I got to the Lodge, I kept going and walked round the pheasant hatchery.
I took the low road on my way up…
…and walked down to the river on my way back.
By this time, the rain had started again so I didn’t dilly dally and stopped only to record some fungi…
…and the welcome shelter from the rain offered by the path along the river from the Duchess Bridge.
I had prudently put on my stout rain jacket for the walk and I got home rather over heated but reasonably dry in spite of the rain. As I hadn’t expected to be able to get out for a walk at all, even this short walk was very welcome.
A Zoom with my brother and sisters and a meal of liver with courgette fritters rounded off the day.
As she cooked the courgettes, Mrs Tootlepedal heard a news item on the radio recounting the story of a man who had been badly poisoned by eating courgettes.
Some research on the internet showed us that a batch of courgette seeds sold by a major supplier had been recalled after producing crops which made people ill. Mr Fothergill’s seed company, based in Newmarket in Suffolk, issued a warning against eating the bitter fruits. It said some seeds produced courgettes with “abnormally high levels” of a naturally occurring chemical which caused nausea and diarrhoea.
This was a bit alarming but luckily, it is a very rare occurrence, and our courgettes grown from someone else’s seeds have been unaffected. The courgette fritters were delicious.
No flying bird today so a siskin proudly stands in.