Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal while on her cycle ride this afternoon. She passed the moorland wild goats grazing among the long grass .
We didn’t have any more frost last night, and we enjoyed a reasonably warm, reasonably calm day today. It was warm enough for coffee outside, and I was very happy to welcome Dropscone to the garden. As it was Friday, he brought a batch of the traditional Friday treacle scones with him, and it was just like old times. In return, he went away with a good supply of rhubarb, enough for a crumble or two.
He had been playing golf in a seniors tournament up the borders yesterday, and was quite pleased with his efforts. I am meaning to try a game or two of golf myself again this year, but I need to get my knee into better condition first.
I spent a fair bit of time today getting necessary stuff loaded on to my new computer and didn’t get a camera out until after lunch when I had a look at the feeder. There was a siskin looking for a fight there.
I went out into the garden and found a blackbird up above and another persistent pecker on the lawn.
While I was out, I looked at the flowers and found that nothing new had arrived. A tulip looked a bit sad…
…but the lady’s smock is well. It should be attracting butteflies but they are in very short supply at the moment.
Mrs Tootlepdal had to wait in for a telphone call and when it had finally come, we leapt into action. She combined shopping with an adventurous nine mile cycle ride round the back of Whita Hill, involving some steep hills, rough tracks and a ford, while I went for a tame outing round my familar Canonbie 20 miles crcuit.
It was a pleasant day for a ride, with occasional sunshine picking out parts of the country as I looked back down Wauchopedale.
I saw and heard curlews and lapwings as I cycled over the hill past the Bloch Farm but they were too quick for me and my camera.
I had to make do with a tree that was lying down for a rest. In spite of its very tenuous contact with the ground, it is still very much alive and has just come into leaf again.
When I got to the open country, I was impressed by the big sky on offer.
And I photographed a tree which has appeared in recent posts twice before. It was just about at its peak today.
The beech hedge has still got some way to go before it is fully out.
In the verges near the tree, I spotted a large number of geums…
…and a mystery plant. It looks very healthy, whatever it is.
When I came to the final hill down to the the main road, I looked across the river to the English side and noticed that there are still a lot of trees there waiting to produce their leaves.
Nearby, what looks at first sight to be a small lake is actually a sea of plastic used in growing maize.
I was enjoying myself in the better conditions, and was much more inclined to stop to look around than I have been on recent rides when I have been battling cold winds and trying to avoid rain.
There were blue and whitebells beside the river Esk at Canonbie…
…and I noticed that Hollows Tower is open to visitors again.
As I got nearer to home, there were black clouds over Whita…
…and I worried about Mrs Tootlepdal who was somewhere on the other side of the hill.
I did not need to have worried as the weather stayed dry and she arrived home shortly after I got back.
While I was waiting for her, I checked on the bluest flower in the garden…
…and a nearby clump of cowslips.
I went in to put the kettle on and look at the bird feede. A redpoll was in residence…
…and then I went out again to sit on the old bench with my camera in the hope that interesting birds would fly past me. In the absence of interesting birds, I took pictures of the trillum and berberis beside the bench.
I did see a blackbird with a worm…
…and a rook flew in, posed and flew out again.
The day ended with a sibling zoom and a dish of sausage stew. Any day that has treacle scones, a bicycle ride and sausage stew in it must be counted as a good day,
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.