Taking it gently

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. She liked this gate at The Newt when she walked through the gardens there recently.

After the modest collapse of the rider and the complete failure of the electric bicycle yesterday, I took things very easily today. In fact, I was still in my dressing gown when we had a visit from our plumber to discuss the installation of a new boiler at some as yet unspecified date later this year. We had a cup of coffee and discussed many things as well as plumbing.

When Robert left, I had a look at the feeder and found a steady stream of birds visiting, although the traffic was nothing like as heavy as it had been yesterday. I had time to make a little portrait gallery of visitors at peace, including a rook in the walnut tree.

There was a little action including a chaffinch landing . . .

. . . and a blackbird trying to creep out of shot.

It rained gently from time to time but it was mostly dry and quite warm, so I went for a stroll round the garden to check on frogs in the pond . . .

. . . and signs of spring.

Generally, spring is still on hold as we wait for a full show of daffodils. A starlings was perching quietly on the power line over head.

After an early lunch, I took my life in my hands and watched a full game of rugby involving Scotland, something I usually forgo for the good of my mental health. Although they were not at their best, they managed to sneak a win, and I stayed remarkably calm as they looked as though they were going to throw away a good lead.

As it was forecast to stay dry and the temperature was at a reasonable 12°C (54°F). I thought that I would see if the electric bike had dried out and was working properly. I was pleased to have an excuse to take the electric bike, as it was quite windy and I wasn’t sure how I would feel once I got going.

Happily, both the bike and the rider worked well, though I took it very easily to make sure that I got round the 20 mile trip past the Solwaybank wind farm. It did stay dry for the outing even though the clouds were sitting firmly down on the hills . . .

. . . and the nearest turbines were but shadowy ghosts as I cycled by.

As well as the barn roofs in today’s header picture, there were a couple of cheerful bursts of colour along the way . . .

. . . and there were more extensive views available when I looked away from the hills . . .

They have been giving the section of the road, which has one my of my favourite leafy tree tunnels, a brutal haircut . . .

. . . and I fear that for a while at least, cycling along here when the leaves come out will not be the treat that it has been in the past.

I did think of extending my ride a little but the clouds seemed to be getting ever lower as I got near home . . .

. . . so I didn’t risk it. In fact it stayed dry as I passed this elegantly posed couple at rest . . .

. . . and I made it home safely.

A walk round the garden before I went in showed a possible flower bud on a new camellia. Mrs Tootlepedal is quite excited by this but fears that it may turn out to be just more leaves.

I sank into the sofa with a cup of tea provided by Mrs Tootlepedal and we watched the England vs Ireland rugby match. There was a great deal of tactical kicking, and an unfortunate lapse of concentration by an England player on the stroke of half time, leaving them a man short for the second half, meant that the match didn’t have as much interest to the neutral viewer as it might have had.

I wasted four hours watching the rugby on the telly today but it has left me feeling a lot less tired than I was last night, so perhaps it was no bad thing.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch concentrating hard.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

18 thoughts on “Taking it gently

  1. That’s a shocking hedge haircut. Why, oh why? Let us at least go extinct from unsustainable greed not misplaced tidiness.

    1. It seemed to be a bit more violent than was needed but perhaps they take the view that it will cut costs by not needing another haircut for an extra year or two.

  2. That seems to be quite a drastic solution to whatever they thought the problem with the roadside trees was.
    Spring acts like it’s having a hard time getting started everywhere this year but at least you have frogs. I haven’t heard any here yet.

  3. Glad you got a pedal in and that your bike behaved. I wonder if your leafy tunnel was a victim of public rumblings such as the type our windbreaks get subjected to. In winter folk rage about the ice they protect on the roads then, if action is taken, folk rage about dangerous sunstrike -low sun shining in drivers eyes – or side winds nearly blowing them off the road. Leave them alone, I say.

    1. II don’t think the public care much about this very lightly used back road one way or the other. There seems to be a council policy of trimming back young trees by the roadside. It was just that it was very noticeable here. They will regrow remarkably rapidly.

  4. Yes, I agree with other comments, trees can never be left alone it seems. It’s all a bit sad.
    It seems a very sensible idea to relax and watch rugby all day, especially if you are neutral. The Irish club here in Canberra would have been thrilled to have a win against England.

    I am starting to recognise all your birds now, it must be lovely to have birds visiting every day, despite the occasional squabbling !

  5. I am glad you felt strong enough to go out. Those are beautiful bird portraits, and I enjoyed seeing the frogs. Is that a forsythia bud about to open? Our forsythia are not that far along yet.

    The weather continues to oscillate here. It was down on freezing at sunrise, and almost hit 70 here yesterday. I worked some more on cutting up the old plum tree, and was able to roll the main trunk off the daffodils that were attempting to come up underneath it.

    1. That was a forsythia bud. Looking at my records it seems that we are a few days late with our spring developments this year as I have seen flowers fully out earlier than this. I am pleased to hear that you are doing some vigorous work in the garden. Take care.

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