Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Gavin. He came across this classic situation on his way to have a walk in the country a day or two ago. It was good enough to make an appearance on the BBC Scotland website.
We had another chilly morning after another frosty night, so I was in no rush to get out and about before coffee. I did just find time for a quick cycle round to the corner shop. Luckily our neighbour Liz was back from her walk in time to invite Margaret, Mrs Tootlepedal and me to have coffee in her garden which is good deal more sheltered than ours. As a bonus the sun came out, so we were very happy as we sipped and chatted.
After coffee, we went back into our garden and Mrs Tootlepedal continued watering while I sieved some compost, dead headed some daffodils (and the first of the tulips), mowed the greenhouse grass and took a few pictures.
There is not a lot going on but the grape hyacinths are looking better than ever, we have literally had a drop of rain, a single poached egg flower is out, two of the apples have got one blossom out each, and the silver pear is going well.
Thank goodness for the tulips which are keeping up the colour quota.
Ambient music was provided by a blackbird.
In a probably hopeless effort to improve my brainpower I had oily fish for lunch in the shape of sardines in a tasteful yoghurt and lemon juice pâté.
After lunch, I made some goats cheese and while the milk was slowly heating, I watched the birds.
It was busy again and I spotted a redpoll definitely shouting in the wrong direction….
…but I was wanting something more peaceful today so I took a look at those who were standing and waiting. I found representatives of three of our most frequent visitors.
I made the cheese and put a press on it to help it drain. My original plan was to follow the cheese making with some ginger biscuit baking, but the day had warmed up a bit and it seemed a crime to spend time inside when I could be out walking, so I went for a walk.
Ever since I twisted my knee during the great drive project, I have been having some discomfort in my right leg. I have trying to find the best form of exercise to get it going properly again and for once, cycling doesn’t seem to make things better. Walking up and down hill is definitely not helping, so I went for a gentle, flat stroll up the Wauchope road today to see if that was beneficial.
There was very little wind, and I was soon able to take my jacket off and tie it round my waist. Even though it is now May 1st, there was not the riot of greenery that there should be. There was some…
…and there were new catkins dangling…
…and there are lambs in every field…
…but it just does not feel like spring yet. There isn’t that overwhelming feeling of newness, of freshness, of a new start. There is still a lot of winter about.
I walked through the little wood beside the road and noticed a large number of cones on the path…
…and looked around to see if I could see a squirrel. I have seen one in this wood before, but there was no sight or sound of one today.
Not every bridge round Langholm is built of stone, and not every bridge passes the test of time, and this one has definitely seen better days.
Although, the long dry spell has dried up a lot of the moss and lichens on our walls, some lichens are enjoying the weather.
I got to Wauchope Schoolhouse and walked a little way up the road towards Cleuchfoot. It had blackthorns to provide a gateway for it…
…which is why this is a popular spot for sloe gin drinkers in autumn.
I took pictures of the three burns which meet near Wauchope Schoolhouse, Bigholms Burn, Logan Water and Gencorf Burn…
When they have joined together, they from the mighty Wauchope Water which winds through a tree lined valley for all of three and a half miles before it joins the Esk.
Today, it had an added oyster catcher.
Walking back to Langholm, going generally gently downhill, was a treat and I even got a little more of the day’s sporadic sunshine as I got nearer to the town.
I like the way this tree is trying to bend its shape to the slope that it is on.
The only disappointing things abut the walk was the lack of new wild flowers, but the sun did its best to cheer me up and picked up the three familiar flowers that had been on show today.
A horse looked down on me…
…and just to prove that the weather gods have not lost their sense of humour, it started to rain just as the sun was warming things up nicely. I thought that I was going to get wet in the last half mile of my walk, but the weather gods soon had had enough of their joke and the rain stopped as i got to Pool Corner.
A movement by the caul caught my eye and when I looked again, I saw an unusual bird. It didn’t help by hiding its head and turning its back on me…
…but when it moved off among the rocks, I got a better view. I am pretty sure that it is a common sandpiper.
When I got home, I was able to add a fourth posing portrait to today’s bird collection.
When I looked at the feeder, the redpolls were busy there too.
I had taken my time over my seven mile walk so there was no time left to cook biscuits when I got home. That was unfinished business. The forecast for Monday is for strong winds and rain so that may be a good day for biscuit making.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch.