Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found some good weather today to visit the Lenton Firs summerhouse with its 200 year old rockery. It is in the grounds of Nottingham University.
We had another fine, dry day here with light winds. It had been cold overnight and once again the day took its time to get warmed up and we were happy to wear coats as we sipped coffee in the garden with Margaret. But by the time that we had finished our coffee, it was a lovely warm day and I went to get my pocket camera before wandering round the garden.
I pointed it out of the window at the birds as I walked though the house…
…and then I pointed it at things that were poking though the soil and bees that were visiting the hellebores.
We spent some time planting out the new blackberry bush that had arrived yesterday. It came in an enormous pot so we dug a deep hole for it, but when we took it out of the pot, it had a rather small root system so we had to fill the hole back up again. Mrs Tootlepedal was a bit disappointed as she could have purchased a bare rooted plant a lot more cheaply. But the plant looks healthy enough so we will wait and see.
After lunch, I had another look at the birds while I was upstairs. There was coming and going.
Then I went for a short cycle ride down to Canonbie. The temperature had hit 60°F (15°C) by the time that I set off and conditions were very pleasant. All the same, a view over the countryside behind me as I climbed up the hill from Wauchope Schoolhouse…
…showed that spring has still a long way to go before our hills turn green again.
The felling of the Kerr Wood has gone on apace, and a vast space has opened up…
…but it has given me a new view of the Lake District hills which wasn’t there before. (The view is new. The hills have been there for several years.)
Daffodils are coming out in Canonbie…
…and it felt like a very good day to be out on a bike.
It didn’t do my back as much good as I hoped and I eased things off with a quick look round the garden when I got home. The pale crocuses on the sunny side of the hedge are over and done with. On the shady side though, they are flourishing.
And the rhubarb is developing in a scaly sort of way.
It won’t be long until crumble time now.
There was plenty to look at…
…though to be fair, the lovely white rise is in a vase in the kitchen. Our neighbour Margaret gave a bouquet of them to Mrs Tootlepedal as a gift when she came home from hospital, and they have lasted remarkably well.
I am keeping an eye on the frogspawn but there is not a lot of excitement there yet.
Above my head, two starlings shimmered in the sunshine.
As the cycling hadn’t done my back much good, I wondered if a short walk might help, and Mrs Tootlepedal came with me round a brief three bridges outing.
We didn’t see a dipper or a wagtail but we did see the first blossom on the trees beside the river…
…and the oystercatcher pair were at home.
The sun was dropping in the sky and my camera made the view from the Langholm Bridge look rather muted…
…but it took a totally different view of the day when I extended the zoom and pointed it at Castle Hill.
They are doing works at the Kilngreen, and it looks as though they are in the process of installing electric car charging points there. I hope that they get well used as they should be a selling point for the town from the point of view of attracting eco minded tourists to visit and stop here.
We cut across the Castleholm instead of going right round the path and came to gate beside the row of pine trees..
…and crossed the Jubilee Bridge, noting the willows shining like little lights in the gathering gloom.
We paused to chat to Mike Tinker who was working in his garden as we passed. He has fine catkins on his contorted hazel.
I have tried walking, cycling and sitting as well as exercises for my back without making it any better, so I am a bit at a loss as to what to do for the best. A day of rest might be a good idea but sitting down definitely makes it worse. I think that I’ll just have to be patient and wait while it sorts itself out without any help from me.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.