Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He is pleased that this handsome bridge in Derby, which he uses a lot, has won an award for good design.
We had another generally sunny day here, but the brisk wind made it feel a little chillier than it should have been. Mrs Tootlepedal was busy writing up minutes of meeting, so after coffee, I occupied myself by making a batch of ginger biscuits and wandering around the garden taking pictures.
There are usually new things to find at this time of year, and today I noticed the first flowers on two azaleas, a tiny lily of the valley, a bold hosta and a selection of Welsh poppies.
The tulips are basically over.
For some unknown reason, perhaps the strong winds of recent days, there were hardly any siskins about today, and the feeder was still nearly full when this one appeared just after lunch. . .
. . . and the seed went down quite slowly as only occasional birds arrived at the feeder. The feeder was still half full when these redpolls arrived after four in the afternoon.
I went for a twenty six mile ride on my electric bike in the afternoon, and I was very pleased to have the extra assistance. Once again I found myself cycling into a strong wind. I only hope that I don’t get too big a shock when I get back on my push bike. To be fair, I might well not have gone out at all on such a windy day if I had had only my part worn legs to rely on for power.
As it was, I thoroughly enjoyed the sunny ride and took a few pictures as I went round.
I was particularly interested in see how the willow plantation, which looked like this in March last year . . .
. . . would look after some good growing weather a year and a bit later. It is doing wonderfully well.
Willow growing as a renewable bio fuel was going to be a big thing a few years ago, and there were quite a few plantations in our area, but this is the only one that I know of which seems to have lasted.
My route took me past the Korean pines in the churchyard at Half Morton, so I popped in for a look. The cones are at various stages of development.
My final picture was of a Pyrenean Valerian. They will be out in force in a couple of weeks.
By the time that I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had gone out to a meeting of the Woodland Trust in the Buccleuch Centre to talk about the moor buyout. I had a solo cup of tea and one or two ginger biscuits, and another wander round the garden.
There may not have been many siskins about, but we have plenty of blackbirds feeding young at the moment . . .
. . . and a male was perched on the greenhouse serenading all and sundry with gusto.
Jackdaws flew above my head . . .
. . . waiting for their chance to descend and do more damage to our lawns.
When I went in and looked out to see if there were any siskins about, a collared dove gave me a most old fashioned look.
Mrs Tootlepedal came back from her meeting in time to join the regular Zoom meeting with my siblings and then we enjoyed some ham rissoles for our evening meal.
I hope to get my road bike back tomorrow but hope springs eternal.
The flying bird of the day is that collared dove making off.
Footnote: Dropscone points out that it wasn’t an avocado, it was an aubergine.