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.
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.