Up for the cup

Today’s guest picture shows a colourful bed in the secret garden in Regents Park. It was taken by my sister Mary, and brings a much needed note of colour into another grey day here.

After a second wet and windy night, we had another windy day but not so wet. This was a relief, and I found that the river had actually gone down when I cycled round to the shop in a dry moment in the morning. Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to be part of a group being interviewed by our local TV station about the community buy out, so I mooched about the house, occasionally looking out of the window to see what the birds were up to.

A flock of goldfinches were busy eating seeds.

This lead to quite a lot of queuing on the fake buddleia.

A siskin preferred the top of the feeder for its vantage point…

…while another got so fed up waiting that it went off to bang its head against the feeder pole.

Under the feeder, the ground crew tidied things up.

When Mrs Tootlepedal returned, I made some lentil soup for lunch and in an exciting change to normal procedures, I used brown lentils instead of red lentils and didn’t put any carrots in. I like to live dangerously.

The forecast claimed that even if the wind was going to keep blowing, at least it wouldn’t rain at all in the afternoon so I went for a walk. The clouds were firmly stuck on the top of the hills and my leg is still not back to full working order, so I chose a sheltered flat route again. In fact, I went round the walk to Broomholmshiels which I had done a few days ago, but this time in the opposite direction.

Because I started along the river, I had the opportunity to spot a wagtail and was forced to take a picture by a blackbird which rushed to the front of a bush and posed furiously.

As I walked along, two bursts of yellow brightened up the grey day.

When I got to Skippers Bridge, there was a fair bit of water running through it, but nothing to write home about. I think that the strong winds have made it feel as though it was raining harder than it actually was.

I saw the first tulip of spring just before the bridge…

…and a fresh looking fungus on a tree as I walked up to the track through the woods after the bridge.

I was wondering if I might have trouble getting across Jenny Noble’s Gill which runs across the track, but when I came to it…

…it was lively but a good step got me across it.

After a last look at the oak wood…

…I came out into the open and passed the fine gorse bush which was looking even better than when I last passed it.

It was so gloomy that I thought that the outbuildings at Broomholmshiels would look better in black and white than in colour.

Instead of heading straight home when I got to the road back to Langholm, I made a small diversion in search of scarlet elf cups. They certainly added a little colour to my stroll….

…even though something seemed to have been nibbling the edges of the cup.

On my way back, the predominate colour was green. There was a mossy wall on one side of the road…

…and plenty of dog’s mercury on the other side.

I hadn’t realised that the leaves were so toothed before.

I took a last shot of a mossy wall exhibiting the full range of available greens…

…and then got home without taking any other pictures worth saving.

I really hope that the wind drops tomorrow as is forecast and that I can go cycling rather than walking because my knees are complaining about the amount of roads to which I have been subjecting them. They would have been complaining much more though if I had taken them up and down the hills.

The day continued with a cup of tea and a family zoom, followed by a bowl of Mrs Tootlepedal’s spag bol for our evening meal. Although the evenings are longer now thanks to the clocks going forward, you wouldn’t have noticed it because of the miserable weather. We are promised some better weather before overnight frosts return at the weekend.

The flying birds of the day are two rooks that were part of a very noisy mob that circled over the garden in the middle of the morning.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Up for the cup

  1. I too am enamored of the rooks! Corvid maniac that I am. I confess I had to look up spag bol but it didn’t take me long to find out as the Internet has everything. Your close up portraits of the feeder birds are so wonderful I think you could start giving individuals names. I hope your weather improves and soon. We are experiencing a lot of excess wind too.

  2. I had to look up Dog’s Mercury. It sounds like an interesting plant but also one that might be good to stay away from if you’re a forager.
    I hope the rocks across Jenny Noble’s Gill weren’t slippery. I always seem to end up on the slippery ones.
    I hope the knees get better, or at least get used to all the walking.

    1. I had my poles with me and planted them securely before attempting to cross. The stones would have been slippery if I had given them the chance. πŸ™‚

  3. The rooks are elegant looking in flight. A grey day there, but brightened by ta fiery tulip and elf cup. That is a particularly nice shot of the rock wall with many different types of mosses, some ferns and lichens. An educational bit of wall for a moss enthusiast!

  4. There we are thinking alike again, I was also going to say how much I enjoyed the birds portraits. I loved the pictures of rushing water too. Being born under Pisces I always enjoy pictures of water.

  5. Sad to no longer be able to see the rookeries that were about when we were all much younger. There are still some remnants of the much larger ones of days gone by. I see one regularly at Abercrave where eight or so nests are still being used by the current generation. Most of the trees disappeared for yet another road, but where did the dislodged rooks go? Nowadays, I only see two or three together foraging the fields. I’m sat here, with my factor 50 suncream on in a sweltering 20 degrees centigrade. The forecast was bang on. But extremely frustrated, my course of physio has been postponed because my GP has decided that I need another scan on my left leg. This time they want to make sure there are no blood clots in there, because of the DVT I had four years ago. I know it’s better to be safe etc. but I have to wait till Thursday afternoon to have it done. That means another two weeks on the sick at least. At this rate I’ll need physio and retraining. I need reports of your tootling more than ever. Cheers.

    1. The warmth must be welcome but I can sympathise with the delay to seeing the physio. That must be very annoying. We have large flocks of rooks nesting in the trees opposite our house. There must have been forty to fifty flying about when I took the picture.

      I got out for a pedal today and was very pleased about that.

  6. Dog’s mercury…that’s what it’s called…thank you! Hate it when I forget! Love that little tulip cheering you up and the two flying rooks- they look like silhouettes!

    1. I used an app on my phone suggested by the New Hampshire Gardener to refresh my memory of what the plant was called. It is called Google Lens and is free to download.

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