Several signs of spring

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. While the rest of the country reels from the impact of serial storms, East Wemyss sails benignly on, bathed in eternal sunshine. This shot was taken yesterday.

When I woke up here this morning, the wind was blowing so vigorously and the rain was hammering down with such ferocity, that I quickly shut my eyes again, pulled the bedclothes over my head and went back to sleep. Things had calmed down by the time we finally got up and had breakfast. In the end, it turned out to be not a bad day at all, though the wind kept blowing.

In spite of the overnight weather, the day provided several encouraging signs of spring, notably the definitive arrival of the first daffodil of the year in the garden.

And then there was not only the first frogspawn in the pond . . .

. . . but the first frog too.

And to cap it all off, there was the first song of the hover mower to be heard as I trimmed the paths in the vegetable garden.

As far as birds went, Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a flock of jackdaws picking up food which someone had put out beside the dam. I looked at them through the back window. We have a selection of plain and speckled jackdaws in Langholm.

At the feeder, a greenfinch appeared to join the usual goldfinches, chaffinches and siskins.

And where you have siskins, you have arguments.

I dug up a leek from the garden to make leek and potato soup for lunch, and while I was there, I looked at the flowers too. The crocuses took a long time to open today.

It took me quite a bit of time after lunch to make up my mind about my daily exercise, but in the end, in spite of some sunny weather, I felt that the wind was just too strong to make cycling fun, so I went for another walk.

The river had dropped enough to leave a little gravel bank for the oystercatchers at the suspension bridge . . .

. . . but there was plenty of water in the river as I walked down from the suspension bridge to Skippers Bridge . . .

. . . and more than enough wind to make life hard for walkers going in the opposite direction. I met my friend Gavin, and he could quite understand why I was not cycling.

From Skippers, I took the track up to Skipperscleuch, enjoying the sunshine, and appreciating the little dam under a bridge which a poultry enthusiast had provided . . .

. . . to give his flock somewhere serene to swim.

The day was fine as I passed an oak tree and took the road up the hill, but the sun went in as I followed the track through the wood and out onto the lower slopes of Warbla.

The wind was very keen as I walked over the rough ground, and it started to rain as I looked across the valley towards my route home below the fields on the other side.

I was dressed for the weather though, so I took no hurt, and the sun came back out by the time that I had crossed the Auld Stane brig and walked up the hill to Hallcrofts.

All the same, I was glad that I wasn’t on the top of the hill . . .

. . . where I would have had difficulty standing up.

I was happy to be down in the valley.

After I had crossed the Becks Burn by the bridge illustrated in today’s header picture, I took a small diversion upstream to enjoy the little cascade there.

As I went back along the track to the town, I spotted a dunnock and a robin in trackside bushes.

I got home after four varied miles in time to have a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal and our friend Mike Tinker who dropped in to catch up on the news.

When Mike left, I sat at the computer and catalogued another box of recorder music for our recorder group, bringing the total of pieces in our collection to 349. I have a final box to do so we will have enough music for every day of the year. Since we only meet once or twice a month, it may take us some time to get through the complete collection.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been to the butcher’s in the morning which meant that I had a very tasty steak pie for my evening meal.

After two days when the weather has been better than expected, it does look as though tomorrow will be quite wet and windy, so perhaps I may get some of the work which is currently waiting in the in-tray into the out-tray. It’s an ill wind …

The flying bird of the day is a combative siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Several signs of spring

  1. It looks beautiful there in the sun, and cold, despite the flowers. That wind probably made it seem colder. I am happy to see the frog spawn and frog today. I hope you do not get a freeze.

    The weather reports here are changing daily, sometimes several times a day. Our low for tonight has improved to 16 degrees F, up from the dire 10 degrees F a few days ago. That is still far colder than I would like to see at this time of year. We have had an icy east wind blowing all day, which made for a chilly walk.

  2. It does look spring like there. It was nice to see the daffodil, and the frog.
    The primula was a surprise. It seems early but I don’t see many so I don’t know, really.
    I hope you won’t get rained out tomorrow. It’s pouring down buckets here right now.

    1. This is about the earliest that we would expect to see a primula but it has not been a cold start to the year. We didn’t get buckets of rain but we got enough to be going on with in the afternoon and evening.

  3. These signs of spring appear to be speeding up and becoming more varied – they are all lovely to see, especially as we have no clearly defined seasons in South Africa.

  4. The daffodil and the frog make a welcome spring-like introduction to your day.
    You certainly have a fine collection of recorder music.

  5. You certainly seem to have better weather than they forecast on the TV. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place! Good to see the frog, the spawn and the opened up crocuses. Unusual to see those speckled jackdaws too. Great oyster catcher photos.

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