Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He went for a walk yesterday with his son, and they found that their way was blocked by an overflowing River Derwent.
We had a rainy night here, and it morphed into a rainy day. The church choir is not active at the moment, and as a result I was able to while away most of the morning indoors without doing anything very meaningful or exciting.
It was too gloomy to spend much time watching the birds . . .
. . . and though a collared dove looked remarkably cheerful in a slightly brighter moment. . .
. . . even when the rain slackened off a bit, the birds on the feeder still looked unhappy.
It wasn’t an entirely idle morning as Mrs Tootlepedal improved the shining hour by adding some more artistic darning to a well worn bedsock . . .
. . . and I went shopping and made a batch of ginger biscuits before lunch.
My Carlisle choir rehearsal was cancelled because of worries about asking our conductor to travel down from Glasgow in bad weather conditions, so Sunday was totally songless for once.
In the afternoon, it looked as though there might be a break in the rain, and we both went out for a walk. I was hoping for something unreasonably energetic, so Mrs Tootlepedal did a restrained three bridges walk, while I strode off down the river to Skippers Bridge.
Although nothing was open in the garden, we are getting more excited about the first daffodil of the year every day.
The rivers were having to work hard to drain the rain away.
As I walked down the riverside path, I could see that the river was well within its banks, but bushes were getting wet feet . . .
. . . and Skippers Bridge was holding up the flow of water..
At the side of the bridge, the little stream that comes through the square drain under the old railway line was dashing down the hill with great force.
The river was too high for me to get safely down to the edge of the water to take a full picture of the bridge, but you can see that all three arches were in use today, quite a rare occasion.
I took a close up of the nearest arch to show the power of the water swirling through it.
It wasn’t raining but it was quite windy, so I modified my ambitions for an adventurous walk, and took the flat track back along the other side of the river instead of leaping up a hill or wandering through a wood.
The track along the Mutholm is lined with hazels dripping with catkins, so I kept my eye out for any flowers. Once again I found them very hard to spot. I did see one or two.
As I walked along, grateful for the dry spell on a rainy day, there was even a hint of sunshine on the hills ahead . . .
. . . and it even came down to ground level for a few minutes . . .
. . . but there was no doubt that in general, it was great weather for ducks as they say.
They were enjoying paddling about in big puddles in a field.
They didn’t like me looking at them though, and flew off in a huff. The sun went in too.
As the path along the riverside through the wood to the park is still blocked by fallen trees, I had to follow the road from the Hungry Burn . . .
. . . up the hill to the Stubholm.
It was at this stage, that I felt really pleased that I hadn’t gone for a longer walk. It turned out that I wasn’t feeling at my peak in the cold, moist conditions, and it took all my energy just to walk up the gentle slope to the Stubholm, and then walk back down the other side to the park.
I was glad to get home, not long after Mrs Tootlepedal, and join her in enjoying a cup of tea and a freshly baked ginger biscuit. We had timed our walks well as it started to rain soon after we sat down to tea and biscuits.
Some very unseasonal imported raspberries had fallen into my shopping bag by accident in the morning, so I turned them into three jars of very expensive raspberry jam in the evening. The raspberries were in excellent condition, and the jam might be expensive but it tastes far fresher and better than any shop bought jam could ever do . . . as long as it is eaten quite soon after it is made. That will not be a problem.
There seems to be another named storm arriving over Britain tonight, but once again, if the forecast is to be trusted, we should escape the worst here. There may be some snow and rain with brisk (50 mph) winds overnight, but if all goes well, tomorrow should be a reasonably calm and sunny day by coffee time..
The flying bird of the day is a fuzzy goldfinch in the morning gloom.