Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Mike. He and his wife Alison are visiting family in New Zealand. He sent me this picture to show the sort of thing his son has to put up with in his garden at this at this time of year.
The weather gods welcomed us home with rain overnight and a dull, grey and blustery day when we got up.
We settled back into home life at a very leisurely pace, and it wasn’t until nearly midday that I felt up to cycling down to the Co-op to do a little shopping.
After making some potato soup for lunch, I ventured out into the garden for a look around. It was damp out there . . .
. . . but the first daffodil of the year had appeared to cheer the grey day up.
And there were welcome signs of life in the rose department too.
Apart from the snowdrops and the reliable winter heather, everything else is waiting for a few sunny days.
There are a lot of crocuses about and there should be a really good display if the if the sun ever does appear.
There were no birds at all visiting the feeder so I didn’t waste much time looking out of the window but went upstairs and got my wet weather cycling gear on. A look at the forecast suggested that if I was lucky, several showers would pass just to the north of us and if I chose a sensible route, I might be able to get round in the dry.
I took my electric bike in case I had to hurry home when the rain came, and chose a sensible route.
I passed some cattle enjoying a late lunch on a damp day. . .
. . . and felt a pang of sorrow for the ever more ruined cottage at Blochburnfoot. Soon there will be no roof left at all.
It turned out to be less windy than I had feared and although it wasn’t a day for views at all . . .
. . . I pedalled along cheerfully enough, noting that the rain had nearly refilled the empty pond at Tarcoon . . .
. . . and felt perky enough to extend my circular tour of Canonbie by going farther south than usual before coming back to the village. As it was still dry as I crossed the Esk at Canonbie, instead of going straight home along the river, I went up the hill to Harelaw and took the scenic route home by way of Claygate and the back roads. At least it would have been the scenic route if the clouds hadn’t limited a potentially 40 mile view across the country to the west to a mere couple of miles. Still, neatly clipped beech hedges and the occasional tree look good in any weather.
I crossed the Archer Beck by this bridge . . .
. . . which is a bigger construction than it looks. Sadly, there are so many trees on the banks here, that this was the best I could to show to show it off.
There should be laws against letting trees grow in front of bridges.
I came across some very wet roads as I got nearer to Langholm so my timing had obviously been good and the clouds were on the hills by this time and not over me.
I pedalled back along the waterside when I got to the town, and was pleased to see a pair of oystercatchers looking both this way and that.
The feeder had gone down by the time that I got home but the birds had gone away again, leaving a lone sparrow in the picture.
Mrs Tootlepedal had spent the time while I was in doing useful work in the garden. There will be some shredding to do tomorrow.
In the absence of birds on the feeder, I had a look round the garden and spotted a blackbird sitting on the greenhouse.
A Langholm exile asked me to put some of my biking route maps into posts so that he could remind himself of exactly where I had been. Here is today’s effort. You can see that the last few miles were pretty up and down and I almost certainly wouldn’t have chosen that route if I had been on my push bike with the light running out and rain in the offing.
As it turned out, I was lucky as it started to rain quite hard not long after I got home.
No flying bird of the day at the feeder today, so the job was taken over by a large flock of noisy gulls circling over my head as I cycled along this afternoon.
37 thoughts on “Chancing my luck”
That was a good catch of the oystercatchers looking this way and that. I very much enjoy the bird portraits and commentary. A grey day, but still good for capturing the mood of the land, including spring bulbs and a few early flowers. Our muscari have finally emerged here, but not bloomed yet. I like that little cottage with the roof falling in. The walls still look fairly sturdy. Perhaps someday someone will rebuild it?
I don’t think so. Although it is in a beautiful spot, connecting it up to services might not be an easy task.
Wonderful header photo.
It was three years ago yesterday that we left for our trip to Australia and NZ and we returned just as the world was locking down. I’d go back to NZ in a heartbeat if, as Susan said, it weren’t such an ‘awful journey’. It’s the only country that has ever tempted me to leave Canada, but for the fact that we’re now so old that the only way they would accept us would be if we had a gazillion dollars to prove we wouldn’t be a burden to them. And we don’t, so here we sit, watching it snow 🙂
Where did you go wrong on the gazillion dollars thing? It can’t be that hard as quite a few people with apparently no brains at all seem to have amassed huge fortunes.
Too true, and that makes it even worse!
Same reason I haven’t moved to Cornwall, land of my ancestors. I don’t have the gazillion dollars to offer.
Another lovely ride. Glad you made it back ok.
It was a much better ride than I had expected both in the weather and the distance covered.
Wonderful and you did need to unwind. I am finally loving my walks again weight loss has made knees feel much better.
I am a touch overweight and my knees are feeling it a bit.
you are very active I think giving up all milk products, white flour and sugar maybe what is making me feel better it is tough, but I am determined.
I just eat too much. I don’t need to give anything up, I hope, just eat a little less of everything.
🙂 I did too it seems now drinking close to 80 ounces of plain water a day which fills me. I fast 16 hours after finishing supper and eat now 2 times a day 🙂
You have more resolution than I have.
lol I paid two thousand US dollars I have to stick to it lol
That is one gorgeously clipped hedge! Like you say, delightful to look at in any weather
I love the beech hedges in winter.
Looks like spring is in the air. Glad you got home ahead of the rain.
It was nice to see a daffodil but even better to see rose leaves.
I hope everything gets some sunshine to help ii look its best.
Some bridges are very hard to get a good shot of and that looks like one of them. I’ve gotten wet trying.
I didn’t even contemplate scrambling down the bank. I might have got down but I would have had great trouble getting back up again.
What a large flock of gulls!
And very noisy too.
The grapes of Mike’s an Alison’s son look very tasty 🙂 Does he also make his own wine as my father did when he still lived ? Nice bike tour and back in time for the rain.
I don’t think that Mike’s son makes wine but they live in a wine growing area. Mike says that the grapes taste delicious when they are ripe.
That blackbird’s beak really draws the eye
It was the only reason that I saw the bird in the first place.
I took the lazy way out and bought a bunch of daffodils from the supermarket. We haven’t seen one yet, despite being much further south than you.
That is one from a bunch of really early daffs. The ‘main crop’ ones won’t be out for quite a bit yet.
This is a relief, as I find modern life hard enough to understand without February daffodils in the Borders.
I can understand that.
We just had a couple of warm days and the daffodils are shooting up. They will, I expect, start to flowser just as the cold weather returns.
We are due for another frosty night but I don’t think that it will set things back seriously. More worrying is the lack of sun. Some flowers may just give up without coming out properly at all unless we get some warmth.
Enjoyed all the signs of spring – and the excellent header picture.
A lovely February cycle ride with typical weather and highlights of bright beech hedges and beaks of oyster catchers and blackbird ! Not sure those gulls know which way they are flying!
Like me they were going round in circles. 🙂