Taking it easy

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin. His phone reminded him that he had taken this picture of two cheerful walkers resting on a bench by the river seven years ago. We were much younger then.

New Grandparents

The caption on Gavin’s picture reminds us that our granddaughter Matilda has now just turned seven and that we haven’t seen her for over a year. We are not so cheerful about that.

After yet another frosty night, we had yet another sunny day. Although we definitely need rain, it is going to come as a shock to the system when it finally arrives after such a fine spell of sunshine..

Since I have had some energetic days lately, I had a quiet day today, doing very little in the morning except drinking coffee with our neighbours Margaret and Liz, and wandering around the garden doing nothing useful at all.

I did take a picture or two as I wandered.

Flowers that have been keeping their heads down are now looking up a bit more each day.

Tulips are the featured item in the garden at the moment as the daffodils are fading away.

The magnolia at the front gate…

…has come through the frosts much better than looked likely at one time, and it has some fine flowers.

I had a look at the birds when I went for lunch and saw a chaffinch keeping a wary eye out.

The small birds need to keep an eye out as the sparrowhawk has been visiting a lot. No doubt it has a family to bring up too. Later in the day Mrs Tootlepedal saw a pigeon use a very nifty sidestep to avoid being snatched up.

After lunch, I pottered about again and spotted a butterfly and a bee.

Then I went to have a look at some noises in the dam. Sparrows were playing about while a starling watched and tried not to get splashed.

The starling thought long and hard about having a dip itself. and shifted from foot to foot before diving in, coming up for air and then having another go.

Mrs Tootlepedal was too busy gardening to come for a bicycle ride today, so I went for a gentle walk by myself.

I chose an extended three bridges and took pictures of them all.

The view of the Town Bridge shows just how low the water in the rivers is at the moment.

On my way up to the High Mill Brig, my next bridge, I passed blackthorn beside the main road, lichen on a concrete fencepost, sunbathing mallards on the Kilngreen, and a nice patch of wood anemones beside the Ewes Water.

For some inexplicable reason, the High Mill Brig was in black and white when I got to it today.

As I walked round the field towards the Baggra, I could see larches adding fresh green colour to the wood on the other side of the river.

At the far end of the Baggra, there was an outstanding display of blackthorn blossom.

I was doing two thirds of a walk which I did on a wet and windy day a few weeks ago. It was very different walk today with the track up Castle Hill being as dry as a bone…

…and peacock butterflies warming their wings on convenient stones along the track.

There must have been something in today’s weather to trigger their appearance as I saw at least a dozen as I walked along.

It was hot enough today to make me grateful to get a bit of shade when the path went into the wood along the side of Castle Hill, but equally I enjoyed the view when I came to a clearing.

Going down through the clearing to the Langfauld track, I could definitely see some hints of early greening among the young trees…

…and this is welcome even if it is a bit late.

I enjoyed a selection of wild flowers on my walk including violets, a vinca, an early patch of bluebells and some primroses hanging on well.

There was a more than a hint of colour on some trees…

…but all the colour was still on the ground in the shape of celandines round this one on the Castleholm.

I scrambled down the river bank to take a picture of my final bridge…

…and happily, I managed to scramble back up again (with some difficulty).

In keeping with the gentle theme of the day, my five mile walk took me over two hours and it was so warm that I had to take my jumper off as I went round.

In fact, it might have finally got warm enough for there not to be another frost tonight. We shall see.

I got home in time for a cup of tea and the regular sibling Zoom before adding a gentle evening to the gentle morning and gentle afternoon.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Taking it easy

  1. We’re about the same as far as flowers go but I haven’t seen a butterfly yet.
    Our trees look to be at about the same stage as well. It seems odd; I think you’re usually about 2 weeks ahead of us.
    That’s a nice shot of the sunbathing mallards.
    Your lens in Gavin’s photo isn’t as big as I imagined, but it does a great job.
    I hope you’ll be able to visit grandchildren again soon, and I hope people here will as well.

  2. That is such a sweet portrait of the two of you. I’m so glad you shared it. I have only “known” you for a few years so this bit of history warms my heart.

  3. Not being able to see our grandchildren leaves an ache in our hearts for that is not life as we envisaged it. Still. it was pleasing to accompany you on your walk and to admire the bridges along the way.

  4. Like you we are yearning for rain. the ground is bone dry and the trees in our garden show little desire to unfold their leaves. Really nice to see the two of you in person even if 7 years later.

      1. We had a good look at the moorland project yesterday as it featured first in a TV-piece about other nature projects in Scotland.

      2. That is good to hear. Things are a bit at a standstill for the time being as they hare getting the people needed to run the project in place and have had to re-advertise for an estate manager.

  5. That is a fine photo of you and Mrs. T. Has it been seven years already sine Matilda was born? I enjoyed all the photos from your day, especially the sparrow and starling enjoying a good cleanup.

    Some light sprinkles this morning and a heavy sky. We are hopeful for some rain. I weeded at work yesterday. The ground was like a brick. It was slow going.

  6. Lovely photo of you two. Let’s hope we can all see our grandchildren soon- it’s been the hardest part of lockdown for so many. Your walk was another delight with grand views to enjoy plus a fine selection of bridges too. Starling bathtime was a such fun..great photos.

  7. I very much liked the photo of the smiling Mr & Mrs Tootlepedal! Our April has been utterly dry until we managed over an inch of rain yesterday. Every little bit helps.

    1. I think that she might have decided that she doesn’t want more pictures of herself in public posts but we will see when we meet in the not too distant future (we hope).

      1. I hope it is soon. Not seeing your grandchildren must be the hardest thing. Oh, and I can see you have a very impressive camera! Too heavy to carry on all occasions, I’d imagine.

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