Changeable weather

Today’s guest picture comes from Michael, a long time friend of our son Tony. Just to show that he can take seaside pictures too, he sent me this fine study of a bridge next to the sea near Rockliffe on the Solway coast where he was today.

We had another very chilly night. Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that it was -5°C when she got up early this morning.

Once again a chilly night was followed by a sunny morning, and it was warm enough for Mrs Tootlepedal to start gardening not long after breakfast and for me to invite Sandy down for a cup of coffee in the garden.

We were joined by our neighbour Margaret, and it was pleasant to have an addition to our usual company. In spite of the sunshine, it wasn’t over warm so we didn’t dally for too long after the coffee was drunk. Sandy went off with our old bread maker, which he is hoping to be able to get working again, and Mrs Tootlepedal returned to her gardening. She is in full Attila the Gardener mode and two box balls bit the dust. I did some shredding and some more gravel raking, sifting and spreading on the very last section of the drive.

I found time to look round the garden…

…and have a walk along the dam at the back of the house.

Over lunch, I checked on the birds. The feeder was busy and a chaffinch couldn’t find a seat.

After lunch, I went for a cycle outing to see if my legs had stopped sulking. Fortunately, they were in a much better mood today, but unfortunately, the sun had started to sulk instead and it disappeared behind the clouds as I made my way up the road towards Mosspaul against a gentle breeze.

And then it started to snow.

The snow shower was not heavy and the snow itself was very light, so I kept going and by the time that I got to the head of the valley, it had stopped and the sun had re-appeared.

I had stopped at this point to look at the little waterfall that appears in today’s header picture. It is caused by the river running straight on and cutting a corner. The cut off loop to the left of the waterfall should be forming an ox bow lake but as you can see from the panel below, there is no water in the by-passed section of the river.

I had a look at the fine daffodils at the entrance to a farm…

…and set off up the climb through the narrow valley to Mosspaul.

Half way up, I met a small blizzard.

It began snowing quite hard and the flakes were starting to lie on the road. I did wonder for a moment if it would be wise to turn back. However, the previous shower had not lasted long so I pressed on, and by the time that I had got to the top of the hill, the snow had reduced itself to the occasional flake.

Fortified by half a banana, I decided to go five miles down the other side of the hill. I even felt confident enough to stop and take a tree picture.

I was a bit worried when another sharp snowstorm loomed up ahead of me, but fortunately it drifted past me, half a mile to my left, and I only caught a few flakes. Still, this unreliable weather did make me stop after fifteen miles.

My plan for the trip back was to cycle fast enough to avoid the next snow flurry coming from behind me, and slowly enough to avoid catching up the one that had just gone past me. It was a good plan and it worked out well.

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had walked up to the stables and got another bucket of manure. Her life is an endless round of fun.

I was in excellent time for a cup of tea and a look at the birds before the Grand National took place.

I spotted a redpoll arriving at the feeder in a race with a siskin…

…and a redpoll leaving the feeder chasing a siskin.

For the benefit of readers who do not know about British horse racing, the Grand National is a four mile handicap steeplechase, one of the biggest events of the horse racing year. There were 40 entrants this year and it was a frightening sight to see them all charging at the first fence. History was made as a female rider won the race for the first time, but the female rider that I was backing, was unseated and taken to hospital. I hope that she recovers.

By the time that the race was over, the sunshine was settled again and it was a lovely evening, so I went for a short three bridges walk, starting along the Esk, where I saw handsome birds…

… and beautiful blossom…

…and the first of the Lady’s Smock or Cuckoo Flowers of the season, a very welcome sight.

At the Kilngreen, the shadows were lengthening.,..

…and this gave me the chance to indulge my affection for back lit flowers as I walked on.

The Noble fir at the corner of the Castleholm was looking busy…

…and there were other developments to be seen…

…as I walked along the path to the Jubilee Bridge.

I met a family with two excited children who were searching for a set of numbered and painted stones which kindly people had set out round the town and the Castleholm as a sort of Easter holiday hunt.

I found one.

In spite of the sun, it was cold enough to bring a tear to the eye of a walker by this time, so I hurried home without taking any more pictures.

The pattern of dry and mostly sunny days with cold nights seems set to continue for a few days, but at least the forecasters think that the days will gradually get warmer. I hope that they are right as I would like to get a longer ride in soon and it is not much fun if it is cold all the time.

The flying bird of the day is a determined chaffinch in the morning sunshine.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Changeable weather

  1. Braving the elements again,well done sir.
    Lovely shots at Kilngreen and the path to jubilee bridge.
    Great to see kids having some fun together again..having a 7 year old grandson I think they might not fully understand it but the past year has affected them too.
    Let’s hope for a better 2021.

  2. Glad your “fast enough to beat ’em, slow enough to avoid ’em” strategy (funnily enough the same one I employed at school to dodge “those girls”) worked and you stopped getting snowed on. And I need clarification: the box balls are gone?!😲

  3. Your weather has stayed on the cooler side, like ours, although we have not seen any snow squalls in our area. It does have the advantage of extending the daffodil season a little longer, and keeping the pear tree from blooming too early. Your fine photos show many plants and trees forging head with the increase in daylight in spite of the weather.

    That is a very nice photo of the redpoll from the side, showing his colors. Folksinger Dana Robinson wrote a song many years ago about the redpoll.

  4. I don’t know the Cuckoo Flower. It’s very pretty.
    I love the shot of the backlit willows.
    The yellow flowers just coming out of the buds look like Norway maple.
    A lady on television is riding coastal trains and stopped to visit Bass Rock and I thought of the blog post you did about it a few years back. Your post was far more informative than the show,

  5. The photographs of the backlit flowers are beautiful. So many of your lovely photographs make me wonder when – and if – your camera club / photographic club is going to meet again. You have a fine array of pictures worthy of a showing. It is good to hear that Sandy joined you for coffee. I hope he gets your old bread machine working for him to use.

  6. I was very charmed by the daffodils along that road ! I was also surprised by the painted stone. We know a few Facebook groups (like Doodle Stones) and my girlfriend also paints these stones to be found and to travel further on. I think she spread about 20 -25 stones for the moment which now and then reapear on Facebook.

  7. Very clever dodging all those snow squalls and then taking all those lovely photos. You manage to find an amazing variety of subjects every day for all to enjoy. The backlit photos are great and it’s good to see the pretty blossom and Lady’s Smock haven’t suffered from frost bite! Love the daffodils down the drive another great planting effort by someone.

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