Down but about

Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie in London. She tried to get the bus driver to take her to the pot of gold but he insisted on sticking to his route.

There was no chance of a pot of gold here today. We had more than enough rain for a rainbow, but not a single glimpse of the sun.

It started to rain in the mid morning and then kept going. To my great relief, the jackdaws had stopped pecking the lawns so there was no lawn care to do, and I managed a litle dead heading and weed killing before the rain began.

On a grey day, the trilliums were once again a shining delight…

…and a lone Welsh poppy had come out beside the drive.

If all goes well tomorrow, our granddaughter Matilda is bringing her parents Clare and Alistair to stay with us for the weekend. There was quite a bit of preparation to do for our first visitors for several months. I helped with some of it.

I also had a look at the birds and found a goldfinch and a siskin looking hopefully into the distance to see if some better weather might be on its way.

It wasn’t.

I always like to see a metaphor brought to life, so I was happy to note a siskin getting a toehold on the feeder.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal made a start on repairing a torn window blind in the visitor’s bathroom, and as I had no skills to offer in this matter, I went for a walk.

It was raining heavily but thanks to a stout coat, waterproof trousers, good boots and an umbrella, I was able to laugh in the face of the downpour as I went ’round Potholm’.

I started by going down to the river to see how the works on the suspension bridge were progressing. Grit blasting is needed and one end of the bridge has been well wrapped up as a result.

The disturbance had driven a nearby oystercatcher to drink.

In terms of looking about from under my brolly as I went along, in general there was only one colour available, green, but it had many shades….

…and there were glimpses of other colours too…

…and some beautiful bluebells in the woods along the way.

Even under the trees as I walked along the Longfauld, the rain danced on the top of my umbrella so it was no surprise that views were not on offer when I got to an open section.

It was a bit of a struggle to get the camera out and still keep the umbrella in place, so I noted but did not photograph more bluebells, primroses, geums, crosswort, and wild garlic, but I thought that a good show of ajugas was novel enough to risk getting the camera wet.

The wall beside the road at Potholm had a lot going on and I picked out three of the plants it supports in the cracks between its stones.

As I crossed the river and started to walk along the Milnholm road, the wind became so gusty that I had to put down my umbrella for fear of it or me being blown away. Luckily the road had stout hedges to protect me from the worst of the blast…

…and when I got to the open section, the rain eased off to a drizzle so I could happily keep the brolly furled. I could even enjoy a view or two in a limited way.

Looking ahead…

…and looking behind.

Fifty shades of green.

I looked at a hawthorn beside the road. Unlike North Cumbria on my bike ride, the flowers are not out here yet, but it does seem that it should be a good year for may blossom.

Because I didn’t have my walking poles with me and the track along the bank above the river would be wet and possibly slippery, I didn’t go down the path to the Duchess Bridge, but boringly took the road home.

More shades of green waved at me as I passed.

After five and half miles in the rain, I got home as dry as I had started, thanks to my well chosen clothing. I had timed it well and arrived spot on for afternoon tea, and at a perfect time to join Mrs Tootlepedal in watching the last few kilometres of the Giro d’Italia stage on catchup.

Some standing and holding was required for the final stage of mending the bathroom blind and that is just the sort of thing that I am good at, so I stood and held while Mrs Tootlepedal finished off a remarkably neat repair.

I also had time for another look at the birds who were very busy reducing the seed level again after I had refilled the feeder…

…so it was lucky that two new bags of seed were delivered this afternoon.

It had been a wet day for birds as well as for me.

Before I had gone into the house on my return from my walk, I checked on a special plant which is looking very intriguing. Regular readers may remember that the BBC brought Gardeners’ Question Time to Langholm last year. As a result of an answer to a question then, Mrs Tootlepdal kindly sowed this plant just for me.

Very much to my chagrin, just when I thought that we were going to have a peck free day, the gang of grass wreckers returned in the evening.

I like jackdaws but this is straining my patience.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin, chanelling Jurgen Klinsmann and taking a dive.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “Down but about

  1. Of course it was a remarkable neat repair.

    I wish we had a bit of your rain. It’s truly scarily dry here, and our “rainy” days result in about 1mm of rain. The farmers who are mid-seeding are indeed optimists.

  2. The Jurgen Klinsmann diving siskin made me smile; it has such a long-suffering expression on its face. The Welsh poppy is so bright and cheerful and the trilliums are beautiful. I look forward to seeing the mystery plant again.
    Have fun with your visitors!

  3. I think those jackdaws would strain most people’s patience.
    What wonderful news that Matilda and family are coming for a visit! I bet you will see a change in her. At her age, a year can make a big difference.

  4. We’re just back from a visit to the grandkids. Just in time to see your beautiful bluebells and trilliums. Not overlooking all the lovely shades of green! Wishing you a joy filled visit with Matilda & company!

  5. You have outdone yourself with metaphors and allusions: a rainbow with its pot of gold; a siskin getting a toehold; you laughing in the face of a downpour; fifty shades of green; and the jackdaws straining your patience. The best of all is news of your family visit – what a wonderful reunion for you all!

  6. With the right gear, a walk in the rain can be fun too. It’s an experience that’s so completly different. You make some realy nice shots on your way.

  7. That is a beautiful showing of white trilliums. Your wet grey weather looks much like ours did yesterday. We are back in the cold and wet, at least for now.

    Seems the jackdaws have found a few more tasty grubs in the lawn.

      1. I remember trilliums more from back east, and seem to remember seeing more of them in the mountainous areas of northern New England. I think they do like it cooler and wetter.

  8. It’s so refreshing to see the rain – even if it’s something I only dream about lately. Love the siskins and the ajugas, which are very new to me. Then you got me humming Peter Mayer’s song, “The Rainbow” which of course features a pot of gold in it. The rainbow photograph itself is amazing. I am sorry the Jackdaws enjoyment of your lawn offerings causes you so much trouble. Whatever it is must be keeping their blue eyes going.

  9. You’ve got the pot of gold with your family visiting for the weekend. I’m sure it will be all wonderful to catch up on news and maybe have some new dancing steps to admire too. Love the photo of the blue bell wood and the beech (?) tree. Noticed the hedges are cut well with the angle perfect to run the water off. Good to see your Welsh poppy is bringing brightness on a rather soggy day. Have a great weekend.

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