Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who had a choice of views from his place of work yesterday.
We had another frosty night here, followed by an even chillier day than of late with that persistent north easterly wind still blowing.
There were some light showers in the morning, heavy enough to be annoying and stop Sandy coming down for coffee in the garden, but not enough to register in the rain gauge. When the rain stopped, we did get out into the garden to do some work. I did some daffodil dead heading and compost sieving while Mrs Tootlepedal planted a ceanothus which she had purchased on one of our recent garden centre trips.
By way of variation to my usual tasks, I planted some potatoes in the patch that I had prepared a few days ago. The potato bed is pretty rough but potatoes are hardy plants so we are hoping for the best.
I took a picture or two while I was out.
The drumstick primulas, which came out early, were badly affected by the frosts and the flowers keeled over and died. Happily new ones are making a go of it now.
I noticed a pack of daffodils which looked as though they were yearning to escape from imprisonment.
Some of the morning’s raindrops had been captured by a euphorbia…
…and some had collected on a nascent lupin.
There were moments when I felt that I was being watched.
I had a very potato heavy lunch, with leek and potato soup being followed by a large baked potato. As I like potatoes a lot, this was no hardship. After lunch, I looked at the birds for a moment or two.
A siskin and a goldfinch were exchanging words….
..but it wasn’t long before two goldfinches got into a confrontation.
It looked as though the incoming bird had had second thoughts and was firmly applying the brakes.
Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it was too cold for cycling, so stuck to gardening. I had a target in mind, so I put on a lot of cycling clothes and my ski visor, and went out for the last pedal of the month.
As I went down to Canonbie, there was a definite possibility of rain…
…whichever way I looked…
…but I was very lucky and got round dry. On several occasions, I found myself cycling on freshly wet roads, so my timing was just about perfect for once.
The roads soon became dry again though. Even if I had met a shower, I don’t think that it would have lasted long.
On my way down to the bottom of the bypass, I saw the first cow parsley of the year in a verge…
…and I noticed that a tree which had featured in a gloomy picture last time I was on this road was looking a lot more cheerful, and it was definitely green today.
There was more green to be seen from the road into Canonbie.
When I had gone through the village, the river Esk, seen from Hollows Bridge, showed just how useless the recent rain has been. I had to peer hard to see any water at all…
…though it made for a very peaceful scene looking from the other side of the bridge.
Further up the road, I found some Jack by the Hedge (aka: Hedge Garlic, Garlic Mustard, Poor Man’s Mustard, Penny Hedge) in bloom.
I didn’t add any little extra miles on to my ride today as I had hit the target that I was aiming for by the time that I got back to Langholm. After a slow start to the year, I was very pleased to have pedalled 500 miles in April. It has been a cold month, but it has also been exceptionally dry which let me get out for a lot of short rides. I hope that some warmer weather next month will allow me to do some longer rides.
As has been universally the case since the lockdowns began a year ago, we had a quiet night in.
The flying bird of the day is not a chaffinch!