Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who found himself looking up at the first Forth road bridge. It looks rather insubstantial from below.
We had a grey day here, with occasional drizzle, no sun and some strong winds. Our friend Venetia paid us a flying visit for a walk round the garden before heading north for her wildlife holiday in Grantown in Spey. It is a long drive so she was wise to leave early.
I had a quiet morning in, watching an early bird trying to persuade its father to give it a worm.
In fact the blackbird was offering its young some mealworms which I had put out.
They were very popular with the sparrows too.
The mealworms are new departure for me on the bird feeding front and we are waiting to see if they attract any new visitors to the garden. I am hoping that the sparrows will be so grateful for the mealworms that they will stop attacking Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetables. Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t have much faith in that idea.
A siskin overshot the seed feeder and looked back to see what he had missed.
While a collared dove perched on the fake tree and looked carefully to see what was ahead.
I found things to do indoors either side of having coffee in the kitchen with Margaret, and then made some lentil soup for lunch. In spite of the depredations of the sparrows, the vegetable garden is now providing salad leaves for lunchtime sandwiches. I had a delicious pate, tomato and lettuce sandwich with my soup.
I had a wander round the garden after lunch and noted raindrops, though not on roses. . .
. . . and then went for a gentle and flat walk. Mrs Tootlepedal, flushed with the success of the drive slab project, levelled off some smaller slabs round the greenhouse while I was out.
I tried not to take too many pictures today and this first one comes from the Baggra when I had already been going well over a mile.
As you can see, there has been a lot of growth and the wild flowers are in full swing. Red Campion is everywhere.
I enjoyed a fine clump of crosswort….
. . . and was pleased to see that the little bit of rain that we have had has refreshed the lichen on the wall beside the track.
When I got to the end of the Baggra, I continued my walk up the track through an avenue of Pyrenean valerian.
. . . and then through the tunnel of trees when I got to the top of the little hill.
I was grateful for the protection that the trees gave me against the strong wind.
Beside the track, a Jacob sheep contemplated life.
I walked along the track as far as the North Lodge and looked up the valley.
I did think for a moment of walking further up the track to Potholm and then coming back by the other side of the river, but it was only for a moment. I would have had to walk back into the brisk wind and the thought of that was enough to direct my footsteps homeward.
I did look over the felled area beside the track before I started home.
It hasn’t taken nature long to cover up the devastation left by the foresters when they cut the conifer plantation down. They don’t seem to be going to replant this area.
I strolled down to the river as I went round the pheasant hatchery. The Esk will need quite a lot more rain before it has a decent amount of water in it. It is till exceptionally low for the time of year.
There were no views to be had in the gloomy conditions and not much photographic excitement either, but it was warm enough out of the wind and it stayed dry so I enjoyed my walk.
The ribwort has enjoyed the weather a lot and there is a large spread of it beside the path round the Scholars’ Field.
It was a humid afternoon and because I had dressed for rain, I found myself a bit overheated by the end of the walk. I must have looked tired, because when I stopped to chat to our friends Mike and Alison as I passed their house, Alison asked if I was all right. I said that I was, but I was obviously a bit unconvincing and she gave me a newly baked rock bun to take home to have with my cup of tea to build up my strength.
It was very good. She gave me one for Mrs Tootlepedal too, but I ate most of it.
I had another check on the birds and as the sparrows had eaten all the mealworms, they were coming for the seed now.
Then we let the day drift quietly to a close without bothering it any more.
The flying bird of the day is another sparrow.
The flower of the day is sweet smelling honeysuckle in our hedge beside the road.