Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She found this splendid knobbly tree when she visited Milton Lodge Gardens, near Wells.
We had another day here where the enjoyment of some welcome sunshine was tempered by very brisk winds.
We got out into the garden though, and spent quite a bit of time clearing up both lawns after more ravages by the jackdaws. I used the mower to clear up the front lawn and it looked semi respectable for a while . . .
. . . but it was not to last.
Mrs Tootlepedal earthed up the maincrop potatoes . . .
. . . and I wandered about taking photographs.
Other flowers were available.
It is an exciting time of year.
There were a few more visitors to the feeder today but not many more . . .
. . . but I did see a dunnock busy collecting seed under the feeder, and as I don’t see one in the open very often, I took several pictures of it and added a redpoll who was nearby to fill out the panel.
Just after lunch, I finally got the call from the bike shop to say that my bike was ready to collect. I went down in the car with Mrs Tootlepedal, and when I had collected the bike, she drove on to Gretna to do a bit of shopping at the shopping village there, and I cycled home, hoping to find the very brisk wind in a helpful mood.
It turned out that my old saddle had broken, so I was not only trying out my new handlebars but a new saddle too, and I set out feeling quite nervous. In the event, the wind was helpful, the handlebars were just what I had hoped for, and the saddle wasn’t too bad for a first outing. It always takes time for a saddle and you to get properly acquainted. I enjoyed the sixteen mile ride home on back roads, and stopped for a couple of pictures on my way. The hawthorn hedges are coming out . . .
. . . and my favourite oak tree has acquired a lot more leaves.
I took pictures of my refurbished bike when I got home.
Strong cross winds at times on the journey helped to prove my theory that the wider handlebars would make me more stable, and a very brisk wind pushing me along the flat at 25 mph at times gave me a chance to try the new brakes too. First impressions are very good.
I looked round the garden to find that hard working blackbirds were in evidence . . .
. . . but rather annoyingly, so were hard working jackdaws.
At least I got a chance to see what it was that they find so attratcive.
Mrs Tootlepedal got back minutes after me, and we sat down for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit or two.
I had another look at the feeder and saw a goldfinch and a greenfinch clinging on to twigs waving about in the wind.
In the evening, my friend Susan arrived and drove us down to Carlisle to play with our recorder quartet. We had a good play, beginning with two Bach fugues arranged for recorders which got us off to an excellent start.
It was raining heavily when we drove back to Langholm, and it looks from the forecast as though it may well still be raining tomorrow morning. The rain will fill up our reservoir a bit so it is welcome, though it was not not much fun for the driver.
The flying bird of the day is that greenfinch which finally left the twig.