Turning over an old leaf

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s recent holiday in Malta. He visited St Agatha’s Tower, one of the Lascaris Towers (Maltese: Torrijiet ta’ Lascaris) which are a series of mostly small coastal watchtowers built in Malta by the Order of Saint John between 1637 and 1652. This one has been extensively restored.

As well as sending me his picture, Dropscone himself appeared in person today for a cup of coffee and the story of surviving a savage rainstorm which flooded his hotel while he was in Malta. He enjoyed his holiday though.

When he left . . .

. . . I went out to check on the crocuses. They were enjoying a morning of occasional sunshine and temperatures of seven degrees Celsius

Opinion is divided as to whether there are enough flowers in this clump to constitute a host of golden daffodils.

The first of the hellebores are out though they are not at their best yet.

The tidying up that Mrs Tootlepedal has been doing in the garden left me with some shredding to do, and when I had done that, I looked at Compost Bin A and decided that it was quite full enough. I turned the contents of Bin A into Compost Bin B. The stackable bins make this quite an easy task and it was relatively soon done. The compost will in time travel to Bins C and D, and I sieved some of the excellent compost that has been sitting in Bin D for some time, and Mrs Tootlepedal put the results on her dahlia beds.

By this time, we were ready for lunch.

After lunch, I went out to have another look at the crocuses. It takes a bit of time for the ones in the shady part of the garden to open. I took a picture of a daffodil too.

For reasons which are not clear to me, the goldfinches and the siskins didn’t visit the garden at all today, and only a few chaffinches turned up to take advantage of their absence. Often there were no birds on the feeder at all, occasionally just one . . .

. . .and very rarely, two or three could be seen.

A dove in the plum tree was looking rather ruffled by the brisk north wind.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her regular stitching group in the afternoon and I decided that the electric bike might make cycling uphill into that brisk north wind quite fun. I dressed warmly and set off up the main road out of the town heading north.

The Ewes Valley was looking at its best . . .

. . , and the sheep grazing in the fields beside the road made for a very pastoral scene.

The 15 mph wind in my face made me grateful for the assistance that I was getting. By pedalling as hard as I could and with liberal use of the power button, I cycled the ten mile and a half miles to the top of the hill at Mosspaul at 12 mph, a speed quite impossible on my push bike.

At this time of the year the low sun casts big shadows all day . . .

. . . but the road was mostly quite quiet and the sun made the cold wind feel not so bad.

As a result, when I got to the top of the hill, instead of coming straight home, I continued on down the other side for four miles, passing a favourite tree . . .

. . . and ending up enjoying the snowdrops beside the graveyard . . .

. . . at Teviothead Church.

With the wind behind me, and with a lot of gentle downhill involved from Mosspaul onwards, the run home was so much fun that I didn’t stop at all to take any more pictures.

Mrs Tootlepedal had finished stitching and had gone off to do more tree hugging when I got home. She told me that the early evening sunshine made being out among the oak trees an unadulterated pleasure.

We finished the day with a Zoom meeting with my brother and sister. The three of them had met together in person in London earlier today and had taken in an art gallery. They were very cheerful.

Flying birds were in short supply today and a pigeon hovering above the walnut tree was the best that I could do.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Turning over an old leaf

  1. That the poor dove – definitely a bad hair day! Your paving slabs along the drive, however, are a work of art. They’ve weathered the winter well and define the space in a very pleasing way.

  2. Your composting arrangements make Monty Dons look amateurish.
    It’s nice to see the crocuses providing some colour and the promise of spring to come.
    Views of Ewes valley never fail to please,and always seem to be bathed in sunshine.
    Good day for a bike ride,I did briefly consider it myself,but my car was in desperate need of a clean so took precedence.πŸ˜ƒ

    1. I must own up to never having made cleaning the car a preference over any other activity. Ours does need a clean though so perhaps I ought to do it.

  3. Such a beautiful post Do you save the Saffron (from the Crocus) and use in rice? I think it is where it comes from. I think I read 1 acre of crocus would yield 1 million US dollars.

    1. Sadly a look at the forecast seems to point to another series of grey days. Perhaps the flowers will need to start taking vitamin D pills. πŸ™‚

  4. What a beautiful day there for a ride! I very much enjoyed the views, flowers and what birds came to visit. I like that stackable bin system.

    It has been a clear day here with a high of about 47 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind is a bit chilly. The morning low for Saturday is forecast to be around 21 degrees, with rain and snow in the evening. I think the weather gods know every time I am thinking about outside projects these days.

      1. It was down to 18 degrees this morning, but we tend to run a little cooler than the forecast as we are in a geologic bowl at 800 feet, which ponds cold air. It is crazily over 50 now, clear as a bell and sunny. I will get my cardiowalk in while I can. The forecast still says rain tonight, but those clouds can move very quickly when they are inclined to do so.

      2. I just did. I can see high ice clouds forming in the west and southwest now, and it is possible we will get a spectacular sunset here in a little over 2 hrs from now.

  5. Lovely to see the blue skies, and the colourful crocuses and daffodils. We are getting ready to plant ours… such are our seasons!
    Just as you have said, it is very interesting when some birds do not come to the garden, we have the same puzzle, what makes them stay away on some days?

    1. Hawks lurking, better food in another garden, too much wind to make the travel worthwhile in energy terms, boredom? There may be many more possibilities too.

  6. At this time, your garden is a real paradise for spring lowers. They all look magnificant. Also your compost productions works great and that will benefit all these flowers !

  7. A wonderful display of the colourful crocuses and a very fine daffodil. It was a lovely day for your cycle ride with the blue skies, beautiful views and pretty church.

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