Today’s guest picture is another much needed dose of sunshine, this time from Derby. My brother Andrew saw an inviting bench, but he tells me that as soon as he sat on it, the sun went in.
We had another day of persistent rain here but it stayed reasonable warm and the wind wasn’t as bad as it had been yesterday. All the same, it didn’t make going out very attractive so I put up with another hour on the bike to nowhere in the garage after coffee.
By the time that I got back from nowhere, an engineer had come to service our boiler and parked his van right in front of the bird feeder. Bird pictures were scarce today.
Mostly I shot sitting birds…
…and wandered round the garden in a light drizzle admiring the snowdrops which are not put off by rain..
…and sympathising with the crocuses which are.
In a definite sign of spring, the first frog spawn has appeared in the pond, even though I haven’t actually seen a frog yet.
The engineer left and I saw a chaffinch and a siskin on the feeder at lunch time..
…and then went for another wet walk after lunch.
As it wasn’t as windy as yesterday, I was able to take an umbrella and keep quite dry so I enjoyed the outing.
Approaching the Kirk Brig, I saw the resident dipper on its favourite rock…
…and a kenspeckle figure lurking behind one of the arches.
The river was too high to see any oystercatchers so I walked on past the Kilngreen, over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks.
Mist has hanging on the hills…
…and I had to leap over a big puddle…
…and dodge the many fallen small twigs and branches brought down by the strong winds…
…but the rewards were fine lichens on a tree (which may or may not have appeared on this blog previously as I can’t pass lichen like these with out a shutter click)…
…and a really good display of snowdrops at Holmhead.
I walked up through the snowdrops…
…and took the top path back towards the town.
…passing other keen walkers defying the weather on my way, and some more script lichen.
When I got back to the Lodge Walks, I went home by way of the Castleholm and the Duchess Bridge in the hope of seeing some good hazel catkins and checking to see if any hazel flowers might be looking ready to come out.
There were many catkins and some flowers were out too.
The flowers are tiny (you can just see a spot of red behind and to the right of the catkins if you look very carefully in the left panel) and the light was not good enough to take a decent picture. I took one anyway just to record this welcome sign of spring. Looking at my files, I see that I saw frog spawn and hazel flowers at about this time last year so things are going to plan.
There are a lot of catkins about this year.
It started to rain more heavily as I crossed the Duchess Bridge so I put the camera away and headed for home without delay.
I got another treat when I got back when Mrs Tootlepedal made scones to go with our afternoon tea. I had accidentally bought some cream on my shopping trip so we had a proper cream tea with scones, whipped cream and strawberry jam. The day seemed brighter.
The regular sibling Zoom brought the active part of the day to a close. We are promised better weather tomorrow so perhaps the photographs will be a little less soggy in tomorrow’s post.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch trying to hide behind the feeder.