Social media proves useful

Today’s guest pictures come from Laura, my correspondent from Lake Michigan. She and her mother visited a tulip festival in Holland – the city near Lake Macatawa, not the country in Europe. They found some lovely tulips there in Riverview Park in Downtown Holland.

We had another cool day here, with occasional rain and even more occasional sunshine. It looked as though the best time of the day for a pedal would be sooner rather than later, so I set off well before coffee to go round my usual Canonbie circuit.

My legs are not very fond of early morning exercise and I went round at a gentle pace. It was too grey for views, but I did see some promising growth in the cow parsley department…

…and the first ribwort of the season.

The three sisters of Grainstonehead are getting their summer attire ready…

…and nearby, a fine copper beech stood out among other trees.

It was still dry when I got home, and after a cup of coffee, I had a walk round the garden.

Our rhododendrons are slowly coming out, but slowly is the right word, with only two white flowers fully out…

…and a single red one.

The jackdaws have been at work on the lawns again, but I hadn’t the heart to clear all the moss up today, and I even looked sympathetically at a blackbird who was doing some minor pecking of its own.

In the vegetable garden, beans are beaning and chives are chiving.

Other flowers and a fern were available.

I went back out after lunch but the weather looked unreliable…

…and after failing to make up my mind about what garden task I could fit in before it started to rain, I did none of them. I filled the bird feeder instead, and then went back inside to watch the birds.

There was a better mixture of birds today.

…and as it soon started to rain, I felt that I had made a good decison to come indoors. The birds didn’t have that option.

A poor goldfinch was exercising its neck to ease the pain brought on by the damp weather when it suffered an unprovoked attacked from a siskin that blew it off its perch.

As the rain continued, I felt the call of the biscuit and made a batch of date rolls, using Paul Hollywood’s fig roll recipe. The best thing about the recipe for me is the use of some stem ginger in the filling which makes the rolls very tasty.

I managed to fill in quite a lot of the afternoon doing this, and then squeezed in a visit to our corner shop just before it closed.

The rain stopped as I got back from the shop, so I decided that this was a chance to stretch my legs and went out for a short three bridges walk.

The mallards were swiming in the dam again as I left the house. It would be good to see ducklings there too.

Unusually, I saw a great tit on the road and a bue tit on a bush before I had even got down to the suspension bridge.

An oystercatcher was standing close to the Kirk Brig and stared back at me as I took its picture.

Having been able to photograph five birds so early on my walk was a good omen for the rest of the stroll. Indeed, I might have been able to take quite a few more bird pictures if the battery on my camera had not run out just after I saw the oystercatcher. I had my phone with me, but although phone cameras are good, they are not suited to zooming in on flighty birds (or at least not in my hands they aren’t).

Luckily the day brightened up and I could point it at some river views instead. In spite of the recent rain, our rivers are still very low.

I looked both ways from the Town Bridge, up…

….and down.

The clouds had lifted from the hills very quickly after the rain.

Since I didn’t have a working camera with me, I thought that I would be bound to see any amount of interesting birds but I didn’t see any at all, and just enjoyed strolling in the calm of the early evening.

I did see a red campion on the edge of the Scholars’ Field…

…and the new broom in the minister’s garden was beyond compare.

I got back in time for a cup of tea before the regular sibling zoom and Mrs Tootlepdal was overjoyed when our builder turned up to complete a job that had been waiting for several months.

While doing some tidying up related to the arrival of my computer, I had found four large books of photography which I had read and then tucked away. I thought that they might be of interest to others so I put a note about them on a local Facebook page, saying that they were free to a good home. This evening, I was able to hand them on to a couple who had seen the note, asked if they could have them, and arranged a time to collect them. Facebook comes in for some well justified criticism but this was an example of it working just as it should.

The flying birds of the day are two goldfinches indulging in an aerial battle.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Social media proves useful

  1. I like the river views, and the dark clouds behind the sunny garden were dramatic.
    That’s a good shot of the Solomon’s seal flowers. I always have trouble with those.
    I hope the mallards will have ducklings. It would be fun to watch them grow.

  2. Such lovely tulips! Riverview Park in Downtown Holland must not have voles. 🙂 I enjoyed your tales from the feeder photos. You have a lively bunch. I hope you are also able to see some mallard ducklings later on.

    Glad to hear Facebook did something good.

    We could use your rain now. It got a bit dark today and thought about raining, but the clouds left us still very dry.

  3. Our local Facebook groups prove very useful especially when we have floods and snow; we can find out which roads are passable. The oystercatcher photo is very good and the photo looking up from the town bridge has excellent reflections.

  4. Why are beech tree leaves red? Why does nothing grow under beech trees? I don’t know if you know, but I just got to wondering. Some fine pictures of the river up and down. Did you have total knee replacements when you had your knees done? How long did it take you to recuperate, to walk and climb stairs etc ? Sorry for the interrogation. Cheers.

    1. Nothing grows under beech trees because their canopy is so dense that light doesn;t get through.

      I have had one knee done and it was a total replacement. Recovery was slow but steady, increasing my daily walk by a little bit each day. They wouldn’t let me out of hospital until I could climb stairs!
      I can’t remember how long it took to get me back on my bike but the same thing applied once I was back on it. Very slow but steady progress, a little more on each outing.

      It was a very good thing to have done as it became apparent that I was limping much more badly than I thought before the operation and I would soon have wrecked my whole body.

      1. Thanks for that, I’m hoping to be able to return to work 8-10 weeks after op, is that viable? I know everyone is different.

      2. That might well be possible. Two months sounds OK as long as you take care. It depends on how well you recover. I know people who have rushed their recovery and have had to go back for repair work.

      3. My would ne knee doctor told me I couldn’t garden at all for three months….so because gardening is my living, I have put off any replacement till I am 70 and can more fully retire. I am definitely limping but not in much pain.

  5. Great photos of all the interesting things you saw near and far away from home. It is remarkable how many wonderful things you see every day! Love the oyster catcher, the beech tree and the houses reflected in the river photos and praise to for the guest photo of those colourful tulips. Best of all though …for me…was the new broom photo …just perfect image. The old saying crossed my mind when I read your commentary: ‘A new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners!’

  6. Love those “three sister” trees 🙂 🙂 Such a great photo. And of course I always enjoy your bird pics, the last one especially. There’s a tulip festival in Iowa I’m hoping to make it to next year, now that we live closer! 🙂

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