Puddle jumping

Today’s guest post comes from Mary Jo in snowy, slushy Manitoba. In the midst of chilly weather, it brings back happy memories for her and recalls a sunny day on holiday last year in New Zealand, showing the ocean view from her table at Fleur’s in Moeraki, NZ. She tells me that the view was good but the lime caper sauce with the fish was even better.

After another night of rain and strong winds, we had another calmer and sometimes drier morning so I went down to look at the river after breakfast. Once again, it had coped very well with the rain and was low enough to provide two rocks for our pair of black backed gulls to stand on.

It didn’t take long for it to start to rain again but this did not discourage the birds at the feeder.

It was a day for shooting sitting birds rather than taking action shots so I was pleased to see the robin trying various poses. (One of the robin shots is a chaffinch, as the robin got fed after a while and went off before I could get a fourth pose.)

Other sitting birds were available.

It didn’t rain all the time by any means, and I went out for a look round the garden. New flowers were not in evidence but I was pleased to see signs of life on both the blackcurrant and the gooseberry bushes.

After an early lunch, I went off for a walk. I had thought about a hilly effort, but the possibility of rain and a remarkably cold and brisk wind persuaded me to stick close to woods and rivers.

This view of the church from the park sums up the day pretty well: “sunshine and showers”.

There has been some good maintenance done recently on the riverside path…

…and I was able to look around as I walked along.

I stopped taking pictures of hazel catkins today and used my camera and my phone to take picture of alder catkins on the Murtholm instead.

I wasn’t intending to take yet another picture of Skippers Bridge when I got there, but I needed to sit down on a handy riverside bench to take a stone out of my boot, and it seemed rude to ignore the bridge while I was there…

…so I have combined it with the bench, the road beside the river and another bit of colourful lichen on the wall beside the road up to Broomholm.

As you can guess, I took far too many pictures on my walk so I have had to resort to panels to get them all in.

I walked up the hill out of the Esk valley and then down into the Tarras valley. I kept an eye out for scarlet elf cups as this is the right time of year for them, and the side of the road on the way down to the Tarras water is a favourite spot for them. I was not disappointed.

I would have taken a picture of the bridge over the Tarras water when I got there but a sharp shower of sleet and hail made me keep my head down and my camera in my pocket. It was quite a shower and I was beginning to wonder about the wisdom of prolonging my walk through the riverside woods when it stopped as suddenly as it had started, just as I got to “coal corner”.

A moment later the sun came out…

…and I enjoyed a delightful walk through the woods…

…beside the chattering river.

I came to a bridge which my neighbour Liz told me that she had boldly crossed on a recent walk…

…but I was bound for the next bridge along and kept going.

The path was extremely wet and boggy in places and I had to look lively to avoid sinking my boots ankle deep at times. The most exciting moment arrived when I came to a busy side stream that was too wide to stretch or jump across…

…and I thought that I was going to have to get very wet feet until I found a little island upstream with trees that I could cling on to as I staggered across in an undignified way.

I got to my bridge safely and crossed the river….

…and was quite pleased to find myself on firm dry tarmac as I walked up the road to the bird hide (in another short rain shower).

It has been shut since the pandemic started…

…but as they had had to fell the trees round it because of larch disease, it was not such a loss as it might have been.

If I had spent less time looking for frogs in the pond beside the hide and staring at willow buds as well, I might have noticed this double rainbow when it was more prominent than it was by the time I took a picture of it.

It couldn’t make up its mind whether it was raining or sunny and the skies were a fine sight.

I took the path through the woods from Broomholmshiels on my way back to town and as it started raining quite heavily, I was pleased to be in the shelter of the trees and took no more pictures.

In keeping with the rest of the day, the rain had stopped by the time that I got back to the town.

My phone app was recording the walk and I was just a little disappointed to find that I had covered 7.96 miles by the time that I got home. 8.0 miles would have been infinitely more satisfactory.

As it was, I got home in good time for a cup of tea and a slice of date loaf so I was pretty happy.

I wasn’t the only one who went for a walk today. Mrs Tootlepedal took a walk round our block as far as the postbox to send a mother’s day card to her 104 year old mother. This was a notable step in her recovery.

The changeable weather seems to be set to continue for a few days, but my knees are sending up a quiet prayer for some less windy moments so that I can get out on my bicycle. Walking is enjoyable and better for taking photographs than cycling, but it is harder on the knees.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch in the rain.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Puddle jumping

  1. It’s nice to see the alder catkins showing pollen, and you got both the male and female catkins in the same show, which isn’t easy. The female flowers should be showing any day now.
    Coal corner is interesting. I’d love to explore it.
    The landscape and water photos were beautiful as always.

    1. When the Byre Burn disappeared into a hole in the ground above the Fairy Loup recently, many thought that that was a result of old coal workings.

  2. The birds put on a good show even in the rain. You ha a beautiful day of both storm light and sun, and I enjoyed your many finds along the way, especially in the Lilliputian realm of mosses and lichens.

    The riverbank striated with coal seams is impressive. It reminds me of passing through certain rural areas of Ohio and Kentucky many years ago, and seeing coal seams where the hills were cut through for the road.

    1. This was a coal mining area in years past and there were plans to open a new open cast pit recently but happily, that scheme seems to have died the death.

  3. “Coal Corner” has clearly caught the attention of your readers; I too find the patterns of coal seams very interesting.

  4. As always I enjoyed your pictures. Nice to hear about the small walk of Mrs Tootlepedal, not to forget the 104th birthday of her mother !! Congrats to her 🙂

  5. Well, you certainly made the best of the very uncertain weather you encountered with lots of interesting signs of Spring. Glad you managed to get over the stream without getting your feet wet. It helps to have long limbs i expect.

  6. I was just saying to her indoors here that I’d love to be out pedalling my bike in the rain, it is raining quite heavily as I type. But puddle jumping sounds altogether much more exciting, but not much fun if one has a stone in one’s boot, how do they get into a boot? Pleased to hear Mrs tootlepedal is getting about and getting some air, my carer in chief here has told me to have a meander around our garden to get some. These last couple of nights we have had to put up with some very strong winds, thunder, lightning, hail, and rain, so I am sure our waterfall country is looking fantastic, just wish I was out there pedalling and seeing it. Well, excuse me now while I get my knee brace on and get ready to go out and risk a shower as I do a circuit of the outside of the house. I won’t be puddle jumping though lol. Thanks for sharing your day’s adventures, keep tootling. Cheers.

  7. The weather seems to be the same as us on the western side of the UK! Your walk through the wood in that period of sunshine looked lovely and glad you didn’t get your feet wet when jumping around! Robins are real shape shifters and look quite different in a matter of seconds…the chaffinch did well to keep up. Enjoyed the view through Skippers Bridge and the photos of the racing river .

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