Testing time

Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile Tom in South Africa. He found a lovely day to go cycling with two visitors who had come all the way from Langholm.

We couldn’t quite match the weather or the scenery in South Africa, but considering how gloomy the forecast had been for this week, we had another surprisingly good day today, dry, relatively warm, and windy but not fiercely so.

I hung out the new feeder which I had purchased on yesterday’s expedition, and the birds gave it their approval.

Siskins and greenfinches arrived to give it a try. . .

. . . and having tried it, posed beautifully for an inaugural portrait.

A chaffinch joined in, and a even a sparrow was attracted by the novelty . . .

. . . though a greenfinch did not think much of this intrusion.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s cold will not go away so we thought it wise to have a check on her Covid state. I went up to the chemist to get some lateral flow tests, and Mrs Tootlepedal used one of them. The result was negative which was a relief for us both, but it did nothing to improve Mrs Tootlepedal’s state of health, and she had a very quiet day in. Cases are rising again in Scotland, and it seems that old people whose booster immunity is fading are the chief drivers of the increase. We will continue to be careful.

After a cup of coffee, I took a walk round the garden. There were several frogs in the pond which was encouraging, but they were mostly looking my way, and ducked under the water when I approached. Only one was not paying attention.

In another sign of the coming spring, magnolia buds are bursting out all over.

After lunch, I went out for a cycle ride. It was windy, with gusts over 20 mph, but the temperature was up to 12°°C, and cycling in a warm breeze is much more attractive than cycling in a biting wind, which I have been doing a lot this year.

I went round my 20 mile Canonbie run in the opposite direction to my normal practice. This was intended to let me cycle downhill into the wind in the shelter of the Esk valley, and then get the wind behind me when I came back over the open hill. The plan worked very well, and I had a most enjoyable outing.

The clouds were high over my head, but I was lucky. The view back over the Solway showed a lot of cloud to the south . . .

. . . and the view to the west wasn’t much better.

I took a picture of a blasted tree which summed up our recent spell of very windy weather quite well, I thought.

When I got home, I had another walk round the garden, and once again the frogs dived for cover when they saw me coming. I had to settle for pictures of more static signs of spring.

There are a lot of blackbirds around in the garden at the moment . . .

. . . and they are doing a lot of chasing about and loud singing to claim territorial rights, but the loudest singer today by far was this thrush in the walnut tree.

The new feeder had proved very popular and was completely empty. I refilled it and I hope that it does good business again tomorrow.

I had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal when I went in, but that was the high spot of a late afternoon and evening devoted to rest and recovery for her, and just rest for me.

I glanced out of the window when I was upstairs changing out of my cycling clothes, and found a splendid view of Whita under its own cloud over the roofs of Henry Street.

In all the excitement of the new feeder, I forgot to take a flying bird of the day, so a fuzzy siskin under pressure from a rude friend is the best that I have.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Testing time

  1. Your new feeder seems very successful, the users should be grateful! Lovely views on your cycle ride. Do hope Mrs T’s cold is on the mend quickly but glad it wasn’t Covid.

  2. I also had to replace a bird feeder recently. The birds, like yours, didn’t seem to have read the instructuins, that it might take them a few days to get used to it.
    Excellent and unusual photo of the song thrush.

  3. Hope Mrs T gets better soon and that you don’t catch it .
    I didn’t know covid cases were rising, it never gets a mention in the media these days,but there are far more worrying issues at present.
    Particularly liked your shot of the cloud over Henry St. quite unusual.

      1. Even here in the Pacific NW, I read that cases were on the rise in Scotland. Well, I must admit it was from reading BBC news, but even CNN had news of it, because the theory is we will have a rise now that all precautions in public places have been abandoned by most people. The UK was ahead of us on loosening restrictions.

  4. I add my Get Well wishes to the list. Yay for it not being Covid but, as you say, that does nowt to make her better. Covid is well and truly here now, too, but so far the Homestead remains free of it.

  5. Your magnolia buds seem much furrier than ours. I’m not sure what the red leaves are but I like them. Spirea, maybe?
    I love that cloud pointing like a finger. I’ve never seen one like it.
    I hope Mrs. T. will feel much better tomorrow. I’m sorry to hear that the virus is still spreading. I haven’t heard anything here about needing a second booster yet but it will probably come to that.

  6. A prolonged cold is miserable and so I add my get well wishes to those already made – at least Mrs T knows we are all rooting for her improved health! It was fun seeing a South African scene in your post today 🙂

  7. Those long colds are miserable, and I hope Mrs. Tootlepedal recovers soon. Another thing that can happen is a bacterial sinus infection that settles in on top of the cold. That happened to me 2 years ago.

    I enjoyed your early spring photo selection, and was particularly happy to see the frog.

  8. Spring is around and you’ve captured a few early sights of it. Love the unusual photo of the thrush…great angle. Relief the LFT was negative hope recovery comes soon.

  9. I do hope Mrs. Tootlepedal is feeling better. Colds are bad enough without having to worry about Covid. Your birds certainly showed their appreciation for the new feeder. I really like the Thrush shot too.

  10. Sorry to hear Mrs T is suffering with a cold, hope recovery is near. Bit unfair wrt that ‘blasted tree’ 😆

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