Turning over an old leaf

Today’s guest picture comes from our younger son Alistair. He only has a small garden but it was full of blossom last week.

I would like to start today’s post with a picture of the amazing flowers which our son Tony sent to Mrs Tootlepedal to celebrate Mothering Sunday.

They are real flowers, though Mrs Tootlepedal suspects that they may have stood in dye before they were cunningly compressed so that they could be delivered though our letterbox. Most ingenious.

We came to the end of our sunny spell today, and there was even a spot or two of rain to remind us of reality. It remained reasonably warm for the time of year though, and after coffee and conversation with our neighbour Margaret, we spent some useful time in the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal worked on preparing the vegetable beds for the growing season, and I turned the compost from Bin A into Bin B. Bin A was full to the brim and I was quite ready to split the task of turning its contents into Bin B into two or even three separate efforts. However, the compost was easy to turn and I managed the whole lot in a single go. This was very satisfactory.

It was also pleasing to find a great many worms hard at work in the compost. I intended to take a ‘before and after’ set of pictures of this activity, and the worms, but I thought it might be too much for readers of an excitable nature . . . or perhaps I may just have forgotten.

I did take some pictures of flowers. The pulmonaria is spreading its wings . . .

. . . a new fritillary has appeared . . .

. . . and a white drumstick primula has started to develop a head to go along with the more colourful ones already doing well.

The garden is filling up with daffodils, and I tried to capture a flavour of this.

During the morning, I kept an eye on the birds and spotted a patient chaffinch on a twig . . .

. . . and a couple of redpolls showing how they got their name.

Later on, a goldfinch seemed to recoil from some light rain . . .

. . . and a chaffinch definitely recoiled from a goldfinch.

After lunch, I waited for some light rain to disappear and then went for a cycle ride. Those with knowledge of the sense of humour enjoyed by the weather gods will not be surprised to hear that it started to rain again soon after I had set out. I had a rain jacket with me though, and impressed by my foresight, the weather gods soon turned the rain off, and let me get about my ride in dry and warm weather. As the wind was very light too, it was a good day for a pedal, even if the light was a bit dull.

I chose a different route to get down to Canonbie today, leaving Eskdale, crossing the Tarras and taking quiet beech hedge lined roads over to Liddesdale.

In spite of being a good day for a pedal, it was still hazy and not a good day for views with no hills to be seen in the distance.

I looked a little lambs instead.

Although there are no big hills on the way down to Canonbie by this route, there are a lot of little hills as you leave the Esk and then cross the Tarras Water, the Byre Burn, and the Archer Beck twice . . .

. . .so it was a relief when I finally rolled down the daffodil lined road from Rowanburn into Canonbie. . .

. . . and a bigger relief when, after passing my three favourite trees at Grainstonehead on my way to the bottom of the bypass, . . .

. . . I found that the light wind was on hand to give me a gentle shove up the long hill back towards Langholm.

The monument on top of Whita is a conspicuous sight on the way home, although the way to it is not always straightforward.

This is the monument from six miles away but with nine miles of cycling still to go . . .

. . . and here it is four miles away, with six miles still to go . . .

. . . and finally, here it is two miles away but with only a mile to go, as it is on the far side of the town.

I got home in time for a cup of tea and an oatmeal and raisin biscuit before hosting the regular Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters. My brother told us that he has averaged nine miles of walking every day last week. My knees salute him.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch exchanging views with a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Turning over an old leaf

  1. Those are, indeed, remarkable flowers. It’s taken me a long time, but I finally noticed the birds on the tiles behind the cooker – a nice touch!

  2. It may be a grey day there, but those sunny daffodils brighten it up a lot, as do the birds and lambs.

    9 miles a day is a good walk! I salute your brother, too.

  3. Love your son’s photo of the blue sky and pink blossom and t’other son’s remarkable choice of colourful flowers. The lambs look sad that the warm weather has gone missing. The farmer made an excellent job cutting that long beech hedge and you did well on your cycle ride with all those ups and downs!

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