A bit much

Today’s guest picture comes from Sandy. It shows the impressive hotel where he and two friends stayed while on their recent holiday in Yorkshire.

We didn’t have an impressive day here today at all. It was cool and grey in the morning, and cool and wet in the afternoon.

In the morning, Mrs Tootlepedal e-cycled off to the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve to do some volunteering, while my day was brightened by the arrival of Sandy for coffee. He had had a restful and enjoyable stay in Yorkshire, and was in a cheerful mood. He has got an electric bicycle too, and he is hoping to get it out and give it a go soon.

We had a walk round the garden before he left, and I took a picture of an old old iris and a new clematis as we strolled along.

After he left, I took a close up of the tiny flowers on a spirea . . .

. . . and then put on a waterproof coat and wellies, and pedalled off on my e-bike to join Mrs Tootlepedal at the volunteering.

I got to the meeting point and squelched through a bog filled with extravagant horsetail . . .

. . . charming wild irises . . .

. . .and a good number of spotted orchids too.

Once through the bog, I scrambled up a steep and soggy banking, and battled across some rough ground to find the group of volunteers who were removing old pheasant enclosures. I arrived just as they were taking a break for lunch.

I slid back down the steep banking and splashed back through the bog.

We were joined this week by volunteers from the Borders Forest Trust who had brought packed lunches with them.

After an hour and a half of fence removal. Mrs Tootlepedal had done enough, and she cycled off to investigate the area where the Reserve managers are going to establish a tree nursery. After the break, I went back through the bog and up the banking, and helped take down the last of the fencing. Removing the wire netting and rolling it up is only half the task, as then it has to be taken down the banking and through the bog to the collection area. This is very hard work, so although we had cleared all the fencing, we didn’t have the time or strength to bring it all back down the hill. To tell the truth, I was so tired after the heaving and pulling, and carrying three loads of netting through the bog, that I couldn’t have gone step further. It was lucky that I had the e-bike handy to carry me home.

The fact that it had started to rain quite heavily was not helping.

Mrs Tootlepedal had done some useful clearing work at the tree nursery site, but she got home before me.

I took two more flower pictures in the rain. . .

. . . added a flourishing philadelphus . . .

. . . and went inside to collapse in a heap for the rest of the day.

I did rouse myself from time to time to look at the birds. They nearly all flew away when I first looked, leaving just two siskins behind.

. . . but they soon returned in numbers . . .

. . . and a goldfinch had to wait its turn . . .

. . . while siskins and sparrows competed for a place at the table.

Later on, two greenfinches arrived . . .

. . . and kept very calm while siskins . . .

. . . buzzed around them like angry bees.

When the greenfinches left, goldfinches, sparrows and siskins took their places, and did their best to fend off any attempts to make a comeback.

It got very busy for a while.

Mrs Tootlepedal sewed and watched Wimbledon while I did some professional resting for the rest of the afternoon. I was revived by a splendid evening meal of steak, onions and mushrooms, served with new potatoes and spinach from the garden, and cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal.

Early to bed tonight, I think. Volunteering is hard work.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin pondering on the wisdom of kicking a goldfinch..

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “A bit much

  1. Native Spireas have just started blooming here so yours is right on time. And beautifully colored.
    When you have wire fencing that grass has grown through for years pulling it up can be very hard work indeed. I’m not surprised you were worn out.
    The wild iris was beautiful, and so was the tame one.

  2. New potatoes – a fitting reward for your wrestling with ingrown wire fencing – a horrible job at the best of time, let alone in the rain.

    I see that the volunteers brought along a black lab who was busy doing what labs do best – trying to mooch some lunch!

  3. Fencing removal, even small stretches, can be exhausting work. You did encounter some beautiful examples of plant life in the bog.

    Your spirea looks like a fireworks display. Such an explosion of blooms!

    The feeders still look quite busy. We are down to a a few sparrows, bluejays, cowbirds and band-tailed pigeons.

  4. I was much surprised that you had gray and rainy weather, we had a sunny day with temperetares around 25°C, today even 28°C. Twoo days ideal for cycling what I did yesterday and what I will do today too 🙂
    I like the pictures of the flowers with the raindrops.

  5. I’m tired just reading about all you achieved today! Well done you and all the other workers. I think you all deserve a night or two in that Yorkshire hotel! The flying siskin does look as though he has his eye on that perch! Interesting spirea photo.

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