A damp squib

Today’s guest picture comes from my Manitoba correspondent Mary Jo. Wide awake readers looking at the picture will probably realise that she is not currently in Manitoba. She is house sitting on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii and this was her breakfast view. She tells me that it’s a tough job but that someone has to do it.

Our view here today was severely restricted by very low clouds and sheets of rain being blown across the garden by a brisk wind. At least it was a bit warmer than it has been. I was happy stay snugly indoors in the morning, though I did have to pop out and fill the bird feeder when a chaffinch complained that it was empty.

Dropscone came round for coffee, bringing some excellent scones with him, and we managed to mostly ignore the weather while we sipped, chewed and chatted. When he left, I looked to see if the refilled feeder had attracted any birds.

Traffic was quite brisk, and I noticed that more siskins had turned up today after their recent temporary absence.

When I looked at the picture on my computer, I saw that the siskin in the final frame has been ringed.

Then I went off to do some shopping at the Co-op. I very cleverly remembered to take my shopping list with me today, but failed to be organised enough to buy everything that was on it. You can’t win them all.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal scattered some breadcrumbs from our breadboard onto the lawn and there was an almost instant response from the jackdaws . . .

. . . though I think that that last jackdaw may be a crow.

It stopped raining for a while, so I put on some waterproof trousers, a pair of stout boots and my new rain jacket and went for a walk round Potholm. It was still very windy and the Potholm walk is sheltered in places.

The ducks were visiting us again and as I left the house, they scuttled out of the garden and plunged into the dam

It was definitely a damp day. The rivers were fairly well up after the recent rain and the bridges were using all their arches. Little streams were running off the hill and oystercatchers had to look hard to find a rock to stand on.

The clouds remained firmly clamped down on us throughout the day, so as views were unavailable, I focussed on the foreground . . .

When I got to Potholm Bridge, I could see that the hills had their heads in the clouds and the trees had their feet in the water.

My new coat got a thorough testing as I walked along the road after crossing the bridge. The brisk wind was blowing some heavy rain straight at me. Sadly, my new coat wasn’t up to the task of keeping me entirely dry. Although I didn’t get soaked through, I was undeniably damp when I got home. I think the answer to this is not to buy rain jackets at bargain prices, but Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that the lesson to be learned is not to go for walks in lashing wind and rain. There may be some truth in both points of view.

My walk was through soggy scenery.

I could see streams running off the hill when I looked back across the river . . .

. . . and the world was leaking when I got to the road back to Langholm

I didn’t get any protection from the rain as I came back to the town since the once tree shaded road is now completely open to the elements . . .

. . . though to be fair, the rain had stopped by the time that I had got this far, so it didn’t matter.

Just to get a little colour into today’s post, I visited the hellebores when I got back to the garden.

When he was having coffee with us on Tuesday, my olive oil supplier David suggested that I might like to try a phone app called ‘Merlin’ from Cornell University which identifies birds by their calls. I tested it out on my walk today in not very favourable conditions and it worked a treat. I look forward to using it again when I am out walking as I am very poor at recognising bird song.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch being ruffled by the wind.

Late flash: Mrs Tootlepedal has just come back from her Operatic Society anniversary concert practice and reported that frogs are purring loudly in our little pond. Maybe spring has arrived at last.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A damp squib

  1. To reinforce your theory that spring may have arrived, I was thrilled and very surprised to see a willow warbler in my garden today, allegedly a summer visitor, according to my bird book. I’ve never seen one here before, at any time of year.

  2. I think most raincoats will give way to too much rain for too long. And frogs purring? We have at least another month to go before we hear their lovely spring song.

  3. That is good news about the frogs, a sure sign of spring. You found many interesting things to see in spite of the weather. The river looks quite high. I hope you are not in danger of flooding.

    It was sunny and in the lower 60s here today after a 26 degrees morning. I managed to put up some bare root strawberry plants I got on sale, repot an ancient ailing Christmas cactus and take care of small things today.

  4. Looking at all the water in your photos, if we were in drought, as we are often are at this time of the year, I would suggest you sell your water to us!

    1. In spite of the recent rain, I think that we are in danger of a drought again here this year as it has been a generally dry winter in spite of many grey days.

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