Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who found some flying birds indoors. She met these bronze choughs while having coffee at Kings Place in London.
We had another cool day here, with occasional sunshine and occasional rain, very much in the style that we have become accustomed to recently.
In response to a flood of requests (from our daughter), I start this post with a picture of our new recycling bins…
…which are very large and colourful.
They accommodate paper, metal and plastic but not glass. As a result, I started my day by taking our glass for recycling down to the Co-op, which has two glass recycling bins. Our new bins are going to be emptied once a month so perhaps they need to be quite big. We certainly generate a lot of paper waste as we read two newspapers every day from Monday to Saturday.
Sandy came down for coffee and he remarked that the bright lids of the new bins are brightening up the streets of the town. They are going to be a problem though for people who don’t have space to store the bins and who don’t have access to the street except through their front door.
They will be a boon for us as we had nowhere to recycle plastic before, and the paper bins at the Co-op were always filled to overflowing before we got there.
After coffee with Sandy (who left with some rhubarb, the gift that keeps on giving), I had a wander round the garden.
The last tulip to flower is one of those crinkly ones…
…which look a bit poorly even when they are very well.
I enjoyed the fern fronds which are uncoiling inside the fern fronds which are uncoiling.
The first astrantia has appeared…
…and it will doubtless soon be attracting bees if it gets warm enough to tempt the bees out.
There was more euphorbia madness on view, this one having ended in tiers.
I was not the only one to be interested in the meconopsis…
…and there were other poppies to look at too.
When I looked at the birds, I noticed that a great tit was prepared to get well stuck into the jar of peanut butter.
Although the day was looking a bit changeable, with dark clouds around even when the sun was out…
…I decided to go for a short bicycle ride down to Canonbie in the afternoon, as I hadn’t been out on my bike for several days.
When I started to go up the hill at the Bloch, I was able to see a grand selection of threatening clouds; behind me on one side over Langholm…
…and behind me on the other side over Cleuchfoot.
The view ahead looked worse…
…but as the wind was behind me, I hoped that it would blow those clouds away before I got to them.
It was windy, and as I stopped to record the leaves on my favourite tree…
I noticed a lamb very sensibly sheltering as best it could,
There were showers down over the Solway but it stayed dry where I was. This was a relief because there was some very odd weather about.
The line of black cloud under the cumulus was very striking. It looks like an editing error in the photo but it was just like that in real life. I was very pleased that it was downwind of me. The local weather forecast on the evening news spoke of heavy rain in the region and I was not surprised.
In view of the weather, I pressed on with the help of the following wind and didn’t stop again until I I was distracted by a butterfly. I actually got off my bike and walked back to see if it would settle for me and was pleasantly surprised when it did. As I walked back to my bike, I saw that the dandelions were doing a brisk business.
When I got to Canonbie, I took a picture of the church tucked in among green leaves (and with more grey sky behind it.)
When I looked down after taking the church picture, I saw that I was standing beside the first vetch that I have seen this year.
I was pedalling into the wind now and those black clouds were ahead of me so I expected to get wet before I finished the ride. I still stopped for a picture of the Esk at the Hollows…
…and two striking flowers in the verges near Irvine House. I think that the first one might be Sweet Cicely and I know that the second one is Pyrenean Valerian, which is spreading along the verges more and more each year.
It did start to rain when I was three miles from home, but fortunately it wasn’t more than a light sprinkle in spite of the dark clouds, and I got home feeling very lucky.
I looked at the bird feeder when I got back and found that it was busy.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been hard at work in the garden while I was out pedalling and I will need to sieve a little more compost soon.
We had fun during the day putting things into our new recycling bins.
It finally looks as though we are going to get some warmer weather during the week ahead. I don’t know who will be more pleased, us or the flowers.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch leaving the feeder in anticipation of an attack from a siskin.