Twenty seconds of sunshine

Today’s guest picture is another from our friend Gavin’s tour of the outer isles. It shows a lapwing and a chick.

It was Friday 13th today so we were braced for bad luck. In the end, it was only the weather that gave us a bad time. It was gloomy, windy and occasionally wet. I was happy to stay indoors. In fact I was so happy to stay indoors that I forgot a health centre appointment. They were very kind though, and gave me another appointment later in the day which I did not forget.

I entertained Dropscone to coffee, and in return for his excellent scones, I presented him with some rhubarb which he took away with him.

Before I went off to my re-arranged appointment, I filled the feeder and watched the birds. There was a slightly better attendance today, with siskins on the feeder . . .

. . . and collared doves on the ground below.

It was very windy again and birds found it hard to get a grip on the willow twigs which waved about furiously behind the feeder.

Less welcome visitors were in evidence too. You would think that they would have eaten all the grubs by now but they don’t let up at all.

I settled down and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, and looked at the hymns for next Sunday. At lunchtime, Mrs Tootlepedal got back from taking the minutes at yet another meeting of the Langholm Initiative. They are very busy people.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her regular stitching group, and I did some masterful idling, mixing a look at a redpoll . . .

. . . putting in another week of the newspaper index, and watching the end of today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia.

After Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and we had had a cup of tea, I went for a short and gloomy walk. It had got a bit warmer at 55°F (13°°C) and the wind had dropped, so in spite of the clouds, it wasn’t a bad day for a walk by this time. I took the track to the Becks burn.

I enjoyed the cheerful bed as the track passes Holmwood. A keen gardener plants this bed for the pleasure of passers by.

I noted a delightful patch of mixed wild flowers . . .

. . . looked down over the shades of green in the valley to my left . . .

. . . saw plenty of blossom on the crab apple trees . . .

. . . smelled the wild garlic . . .

. . . appreciated the delicate violets . . .

. . . couldn’t miss the marsh marigolds . . .

. . . and crossed the Becks Burn bridge.

On the way down the road on the other side of the burn, I came across this striking burst of new growth in the hedgerow.

For a heady moment, there was some sunshine on Meikleholm Hill . . .

. . . but as it only lasted twenty seconds, I didn’t get carried away.

I passed some geums growing on a bank beside the road, high enough up for me to look up at them

I crossed the Auld Stane Brig and climbed up the hill to join the track down to the Stubholm and the park. The weather had got very gloomy again . . .

. . . so I didn’t hang about, but pressed on home. I had time for a look round the garden before going in for the regular Zoom with my siblings. Another azalea is almost fully out . . .

. . . and there was a good amount of colour to brighten up the day.

In the evening, we heard the sounds that herald the start of the preparations for our Common Riding. After two lean years, a cornet has been elected tonight, and he will carry the flag on Common Riding day on the last Friday in July. Our two bands marched round the town to remind townspeople to go and vote. First the pipe band came . . .

. . . and then the Town Band.

This was definitely a sign that life is returning to normal. We keep our fingers crossed that there will not be a relapse into restrictions again.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Twenty seconds of sunshine

  1. We’ve had similar weather to yours here. Not great for mid may but it must warm up soon?
    The wild flowers are doing well nonetheless.
    Your very lucky to have two such fine looking bands in your small town and well captured too.

    1. I didn’t have to go far to find the bands as one went down our street and the other down the next street along. We had a warmer day today and just hope that we don’t get a late frost this year.

  2. The twenty seconds of sunshine made for a great photo. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time.
    It’s nice of the keen gardener to plant those flowers for the pleasure of passers by. I used to do the same when I had time. Maybe now that I have nothing but time I’ll start in again.
    That was a lot of beauty packed into a short and gloomy walk. The geums are unlike any I’ve seen.

  3. It is wonderful to have two bands in your town along with annual rituals throughout the year. As the mother of a piper, I admit to a leaning towards the sound of the pipe band 🙂

  4. I find it remarkable that a town with less than 2000 residents is able to support two bands. That’s a goodly number of musicians per capita. Besides the bands, there’s the noted recorder ensemble, church choir, community choir, and who knows what else.

  5. Nature will be blessed with the rain… we had almost no rain since march ! Everything is so dry now…. the water levels in the pools are getting very low. Even in the Ardennen, there is not enough water in the rivers for cajacking. Some rivers are even completely closed for all water activities.

  6. I don’t remember ever having a bad Friday 13th… perhaps (maybe?) because I’ve always thought of it as a ‘lucky’ day? 😉 Thanks for introducing me to geums. They’re beautiful. So is the pipe band.

  7. I’m with Derrick on “masterful idling” – a fine description of a deceptively complicated concept. There seem to have been plenty of highlights, despite your initially downbeat assessment of the day.

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