Settling down

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline in Southsea. It goes to show that we don’t have a monopoly on elegant tulips here.

Today was all about settling back into routine life at home after the excitements of visiting family in the south.

We managed pretty well. After breakfast, the newspapers, and the crossword, I went out into the garden to fill the bird feeder and deadhead daffodils. After a few days away there were plenty of daffodils to dead head.

During the morning and afternoon, I had a look round to see if there were flowers to photograph and found quite a few.

Trillium and berberis under the walnut tree.

Flowers on all three of our espalier apples.

Euphorbia, ajuga, euphorbia again in the top row, and aubretia along with a nice colour combination of tulip, berberis and philadelphus in a border (and a blackbird) in the bottom row.

And lots of tulips, both in clumps . . .

. . . and standing alone.

Margaret came for coffee, I cycled round to the shop for supplies, pulled some rhubarb, and sieved some compost. It was just like old times.

During coffee, I spotted two redpolls in the plum tree. They didn’t look like a normal adult and I wondered if they are young birds. An old male perched nearby to add contrast.

Instead of the usual starling, a dunnock perched on the top of the holly tree today.

I went out to the dam to photograph some striking marsh marigolds and took a picture of our resident duck pair instead.

Mrs Tootlepedal made some curried parsnip soup for lunch, and I had a check on the birds. I got distracted by some tulips seen through the window at first.

Then I looked at the feeder. Siskins and goldfinches, and the very occasional chaffinch, competed for seats at the table.

As you can see from the picture of the goldfinch in the centre of the bottom row, it rained occasionally. I hadn’t noticed this and only found out when I went out after lunch to see what the temperature was like for cycling and found that it was rather damp. We rushed out to get the washing in. By the time that we were back inside, the rain had stopped. How the weather gods laughed.

Still, it looked OK for a bike ride, even if it was a bit cool and windy, so I got my road bike out and went round my familiar 20 mile Canonbie circuit.

What with one thing and another, it had been nine days since my last outing on the road bike, so it was good to get back to some steady unassisted pedalling. I wasn’t in a hurry and I was happy to stop and look around as I went along.

I looked at cows and views . . .

. . . and at growing things too.

I got home to find Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden, but she downed tools and came in for a cup of tea. Then I had time to get a sausage stew on the go before the regular Zoom with my brother and sisters.

After the Zoom, Mrs Tootlepedal and I got our new electric bikes out, and braved the chilly evening wind as we travelled the six and a half miles up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back, passing a field full of little lambs on our way.

I can’t stop for many photos when I am out with Mrs Tootlepedal because while I fiddle about with the camera, she disappears up the road at great speed . . .

. . . and I have to put on full power to catch up with her again.

By the time that we got home, we had worked up a good appetite for our evening meal and some rhubarb and custard went down very well for afters.

Gardeners are never happy, and although we are grateful for the current spell of dry weather, there is no doubt that we could do with some proper rain (preferably overnight) and quite a lot more warmth. It was decidedly chilly today.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch (in a brief moment of very light rain).

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Settling down

  1. Jack by the hedge has left the hedge and is just about everywhere you go here, considered one of the most invasive plants. We call it garlic mustard.
    The bluebells were beautiful and the larch cones very interesting. I’ve never seen them do that.
    That’s a very cute lamb.

  2. I enjoyed the flowers, birds and views. The lamb is indeed very cute. It seems spring is in full swing in your area, though it is still wet and cool, very much what we are experiencing here at the moment.

  3. It is a good feeling to settle down to one’s routine after time spent away … rather like the comfortable sound of a clock chiming out that all is well.

  4. The flowers in your garden are making it a small paradise. The great amount of birds in your garden makes me a bit jealous… ha ha ha. Two bike rides in one day, a real sportsman you are.

    1. We have been busy with birds lately. It makes a change to the winter time when birds were very scarce. The electric bike helped with the second ride.

  5. Not only marigolds and ducks but as a bonus we could see a frog (or toad) in the picture of the dam.

  6. Good to see you swiftly got back into your routines of being extremely busy all day! Lovely selection of tulips in all their shapes and sizes and good to see all the birds on your feeders and the redpolls in your trees.

  7. ​Striving to catch up here… but I had to stop to mention that I really liked the tulips in this post! If I have to choose a favorite it might be the quartet after the ducks.
    Your Esk at the Hollows looks a bit like our creek, except for lacking some more really tall conifers.
    I envy that mass of bluebells you encountered. ​

  8. Quite an active “Settling Down”. Always good to keep moving and doing things. I am rather frustrated at present, activity tends to make my new knee swell. This means what bending capability I have is lessened. But I have got my single speed converted to it’s Swytch Bike persona. I have even ridden it part way to work, though due to my error on setting the battery settings I failed to get the pedal assist that I expected. Then when I got home I corrected the error, but noticed the pedal sensor was hitting the pedal, so I adjusted it. The bike was on my workstand so I checked that the motor wheel was working(without riding it). So set off confidently the next day to do my part commute. Only to find the motor wheel was cutting in then out as the pedal passed the sensor once every revolution. It was out of alignment! Boy did that make it a very hard slog to work and back. I had to get off and push the bike up hills. The weight of the battery and motor wheel weighs a ton. The battery is 2kg alone. The next day I resolved to sort it out, and, surprisingly for this very unable mechanic, did so. Now the SwytchBike is purring, but I have been unable to ride it because of my swollen knee. I am hoping to start my part commute when I am on nights from Wednesday this week. So fingers crossed 🤞 🚵‍♀️🚵

    1. You haven’t had an easy ride, that is for sure. The down side of electric bikes is the weight. Our folders are relatively light and they have gears so it is possible to pedal them but not up steep hills. I am glad that you have got your SwytchBike going smoothly and I hope that it takes the pressure off your knee.

      1. My fingers are crossed that my lack of bicycle know how won’t backfire. The bad news is they’ve forecast rain from Wednesday on. Back a couple of years ago rain failed to stop me pedalling the same as early morning starts (at the latest 04.00). Now I’m just lazy and fond of my comforts I’ve got to get back into it. Cheers.

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