Barking mad

Today’s guest picture shows that it must have been raining quite a bit in Derbyshire. This is the Markeaton Stream in spate, captured by my brother Andrew today.

It did rain here too today, but only very gently and only now and again. Mostly it was just moist, dull and chilly. We cycled to church to sing in the choir and were surprised to find both organist and organ in place. The organ was supposed to have been under repair, but the repairers, like a lot of other people, had been detained by Covid. Repairs may start next week instead.

We had coffee when we got home, and then we were visited by a friend who is a tree surgeon. He weighed up the job of making our walnut tree less of a threat to a neighbour’s house. It has got so big that it would do serious damage if even one of its branches fell off. The recent gale showed that this is not just a distant possibility.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went out and did some gardening. I did some assisting under supervision, and the result was the first stirrings in the making of this year’s potato bed.

Mrs Tootlepedal was conscious of the need not to overdo the digging on the first gardening outing of the year, so we have plenty left still to do.

My legs are still feeling rather stiff after that slippery walk in the snow a few days ago, so I gave them a break today, and only went out for a short and gentle three bridges walk after the gardening.

It was very gloomy, there were no views, and I saw no birds of interest, so I stuck to taking pictures of the bark on the trees beside the path.

I was going to put them all in individually just to pad out the post, but I thought that that would be taxing readers’ patience too far, so here they are in a gallery (in the order that I met them).

As I was walking round the Scholars’ Field, I did spot something of note.

I did a double take, but it really looked as though this was a wild flower in bloom in January.

There was nothing in bloom in the garden apart from the winter jasmine, but there are still a few berries left on the cotoneaster horizontalis.

There are plenty of blackbirds in the garden so they should go before too long.

Mind you, I didn’t see any blackbirds in the garden today. Indeed I only saw one bird of any sort. As it was a sparrowhawk, perhaps that explained the complete absence of visitors to the feeder. Mrs Tootlepedal spotted the hawk, but it flew off long before I could get to a camera. It was perching on Mrs Tootlepedal’s improved fake tree.

I continued to rest my legs when I got home, and did nothing more purposeful than adding another week of the newspaper index to the Langholm Archive Group’s database.

I am keen to get my legs back in good order as the weather forecast for next week looks quite promising as far as cycling goes. It would be a pity to miss a good cycling day through carelessness at this time of year.

As there is no flying bird of the day today, I end this post with another two tone tree trunk taken on today’s walk. Those who read the comments at the end of yesterday’s post will know what causes the two tones (if they didn’t know already of course).

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Barking mad

  1. How nice to be able to dig in January. We won’t be digging here for a while without heavy equipment.
    The wildflower resembles giant hogweed. Strange time for it to bloom, whatever it is.
    I hope the legs feel better soon.

  2. I enjoyed all these winter day photos. That is good dark soil there in that garden bed, a testament to years of compost and good tending.

    The blooming wildflower was a nice find in January. The bark photos were very artistic.

  3. It is indeed surprising to see that plant already in bloom…. normally it only blooms in the spring. Enjoy the beautiful weather that is expected and enjoy your bike rides or hikes.

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