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).