Obliging weather

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline. She visited the botanic gardens on her way to the seaside in Southsea today.

The forecast was for a cloudy day here today, and when our friend Stan leaned over the hedge as he passed by . . .

. . . he wondered if it was going to rain. I said that of course it wasn’t, but with more confidence than I actually felt. However, it turned out that I was right, and the clouds soon thinned and the sun came out.

We spent some time in the garden after breakfast, as Mrs Tootlepedal continued the task of edging the lawns. While we were out, she spotted swifts visiting the eaves over our dormer window. I went to get a camera. Swifts are swift by name and swift by nature, but I managed to capture a flying visit or two.

A little bit later, my sister Mary and my brother Andrew arrived for a flying visit too. By good fortune, they came just as the sun appeared and we had coffee in the garden under the walnut tree in very pleasant conditions. I had made a batch of ginger biscuits to welcome them, and they went down very well with the coffee. Fortified by coffee and biscuits, we went for a walk up to the monument, sensibly driving up to the car park at the MacDiarmid Memorial to give us a head start.

At the monument, we had a look over the wall into the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, and then descended back to the car, passing tormentil and lichen as we went. I have added two guest pictures to this gallery.

We drove a little way over the hill in the hope of seeing hen harriers but only saw a few goats.

We didn’t have much time to sit about in the hope of seeing the hen harriers though, as we had booked lunch at the Whitshiels cafe at the bottom of the hill. We had an excellent meal, and then drove on home for a rest and a cup of tea before another walk.

We had the tea under the walnut tree, and as the sunshine had brought more azaleas out, I took a picture of them as well as using my new tripod to get studies of an allium and some bluebells.

We were quite an elderly party of walkers, so for our afternoon walk, we once again took advantage of the car, and drove along to the bottom of Jenny Noble’s Gill before walking up into the oak woods.

As well as the trees, there were wild flowers to enjoy . . .

. . . as we strolled along the path through the woods.

We got as far as the Round House, and then came down to the road at Skippers Bridge. I left the others there to sit on the wall beside the river while I walked back to fetch the car and pick them up. The roadside verge was rich with grasses.

Once again, we had a cup of tea, a ginger biscuit and a sit down when we got home. This time we stayed indoors, and the conversation round the kitchen table was stimulating as we mixed reminiscences with consideration of the state of the world today. All too soon, our visitors had to go, and they drove off to spend the night in the Lake District.

It had been an excellent day, and, as Mrs Tootlepedal said, although we hadn’t been very far, it had felt like a proper outing. We hope that they will come and see us again soon.

I checked on the birds when they had gone. The feeder had been quite busy all day, and it was still busy. I took these three pictures within a minute and they go to show how quickly the birds hop about and swap positions on the perches.

I had a phone call in the evening from my recorder playing friend Susan, who is also Dropscone’s daughter. She told me that Dropscone had had a bit of a setback, necessitating another visit to hospital today. Although he is back home again this evening, he will not be coming round for coffee tomorrow, and I will have to wait a while to get the full tale of his adventures.

The flying bird of the day is one of the swifts flitting over the garden this morning.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Obliging weather

  1. Excellent swift photos! Well done. I am sorry to read that Dropscone is still suffering. I hope this was a minor set-back and he will be feeling better soon. I enjoyed sharing your day with your family.

  2. Maybe the swifts are looking for a place to make a nest… So you had a great day with your sister and brother and as the weather was nice, you were to make nice walks. It seems syou had lots of succes with your ginger biscuits 🙂

    1. The biscuits were as good a batch as I have made so I was elapsed that they went down well. The swifts have nested in our roof before so we hope that they will again.

  3. Good pictures all round. Pleased to see that the swifts are all around. Ours seem to be declining every year. Very impressed by your return trip to collect the car, and ginger biscuits too.

  4. I’m glad you had good weather for your outing. It’s 27 degrees here this morning so I expect to see some frost burned leaves.
    I was surprised to see a shot of wood sorrel. I didn’t know it grew there, I know of only one place to find it here.
    I was sorry to here about Dropscone. I hope he’ll be back on his feet soon.

    1. The wood sorrel is described as widespread in the pages where I looked it up. We have avoided sub zero mornings for which we are grateful. I hope that you don’t get too much damage.

  5. Lucky the house that has swifts as lodgers. Maybe you give them a little help to nest – a small board under your eaves should do. Nice outing and it is always a boon to have visitors.

  6. Sorry about Dropscone. Tell him he has a well-wisher in Maine. So delightful to read about Mary and Andrew’s visit. Hope they will be able to visit again sometime soon.

  7. Very much enjoyed our two walks with spectacular views from the Monument and a chance to see the TVNR and the woodland oak trees. A good supply of ginger biscuits and a very pleasant lunch made it a memorable day.

  8. I am glad Mary and Andrew were able to visit. I see jackets on in those photos. It must still be fairly cool there in Langholm? It was in the upper 80s here yesterday, but is not supposed to get above 79 today. I hope some heat is on its way over to Scotland.

    Wishing Dropscone a speedy recovery. I am sorry he had a setback.

  9. ‘Flying’ is the operative word in your post. A lovely flying visit, with ginger biscuits and lunch out, from your siblings and amazing photos of your flying swifts. Quite the best swift photos I’ve seen capturing their wing shapes and movements. I like the one with the swift’s face and feet on show.

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