Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony who spotted a colourful array of boats in a local harbour.
We had a cool, grey day here today. There had been some overnight drizzle but it didn’t amount to anything. It had left its mark on the flowers in the garden though when I went out for a look.
The pretty iris in the top left hand corner above is called Butter and Cream and it certainly looks good enough to eat, as they say.
The tiny flowers on the snowberry behind the compost bins have come out and the scent from the philadelphus was a treat as I walked past . . .
. . . and the Sweet Williams glittered with their raindrop sparkle, even on a grey morning.
A reader had commented about the lack of markings on some white foxgloves in a recent post. I looked again today and the bee guidance system is now in place. Mrs Tootlepedal’s pelargonium, preserved indoors over the winter, is now back in its rightful place in the old chimney pot . . .
. . . and there is no shortage of varied colours in the garden.
Because it was so chilly, we had coffee with Margaret and Liz in Liz’s very comfortable sitootery, and it was very nice to be warm and comfortable and yet to be able to look out at her excellent garden.
After coffee I went round to the shop for supplies and then filled the bird feeder, but otherwise, I had a very quiet morning.
After lunch, I had a look at the birds.
We had a good selection today, with a greenfinch in place on the feeder . . .
. . . and a welcome chaffinch flying in.
We have several young blackbirds in the garden and one was joined under the feeder by a young dunnock today.
As well as the usual siskins and sparrows, we had a very active charm of goldfinches too.
Leaving the birds to it, I went for a walk to stretch my legs after yesterday’s long time sitting down.
I was just going to take a picture of the Wauchope Water trickling under the Kirk Brig to show how low the water is at present, when I was distracted by movement among the rocks. I found that a grey wagtail was flitting about. It kindly stopped for a moment. I am no expert on grey wagtails but I wondered if this was another young bird.
There is a lot of work going on at the suspension bridge and it is is getting more and more covered up with stuff as the days go by.
I walked on to the Kilgreen and saw more movement. This time it was a family of goosanders swimming over the rocky exit of the Ewes Water and then cruising up the calmer Esk.
There were quite a few visitors in the car park at the Kilngreen, and one or two visiting birds as well.
I followed the main road up to the High Mill Brig and walked round the field to the Baggra In spite of the cool, dry weather, things are growing well and it didn’t take an expert to spot wild flowers on every side.
The walk along the Baggra was rich in interest for me, and I was a source of interest to a local resident.
Because it has been so dry, I wasn’t expecting to see much cladonia lichen on the wall but there a good patch at one point . . .
. . . and there were plenty of fierce looking thistles to be seen as well.
The red campion has done very well this year and is to be seen on all sides, but I was surprised to see a little patch of white campion growing among a large clump of the red flowers.
When I got to the end of the Baggra, I walked along to the North Lodge, intending to come home by the Pheasant Hatchery and the Duchess Bridge. Coming down to the North Lodge, I walked through an impressive avenue of Pyrenean Valerian, some of it as tall as me.
The day seemed to have got a bit warmer as I was walking, and I got overexcited and instead of heading for home, I headed along the Longfauld towards Potholm.
It wasn’t a great day for views . . .
. . . although the river at Potholm Bridge was charming . . .
. . . so it was lucky that there was plenty on a smaller scale to keep the camera clicking as I went along.
The loosestrife was the first that I have seen this year.
On a larger scale, there was a handsome wild rose bush beside the Milnholm road . . .
. . . and a field which left me wondering if the man with the mower had got fed up in the middle of his task.
I didn’t have too much time to hang about as my unexpectedly longer walk meant that I was a bit pushed to get home in time to cook the evening meal. However, some brisk (by my standards) walking got me back with enough time to spare to cook the meal, eat four of Mrs Tootlepedal’s pancakes with raspberry jam, and drink a cup of tea before our regular sibling Zoom meeting.
My walk turned out to be just under seven miles, and I think that I must be fitter now, after doing a a fair amount of regular walking and cycling through the lockdown, than I have been for several years. It doesn’t make me any quicker though.
An evening meal of mince and tatties rounded off a good day which the gloomy weather couldn’t spoil.
The flying bird of the day is one of those charming goldfinches. (There is no flower of the day. There have been quite enough of them already.)