Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ash tree’

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother’s Spanish tour.  I was excited when I saw compost in his email header but it turned out to be Santiago De Compostela and not interesting garden products. Santiago De Compostela looks quite interesting though.

Santiago de Compostela

We had another grey morning after some overnight rain and once again a keen wind made it feel pretty cool.

My morning was greatly brightened up by the arrival of Dropscone, bearing treacle scones and reports of his recent holiday in Majorca. As the temperature there had been about 24°C, he felt that he had made a good choice of destinations.

After he left, I went out into the garden to see what Mrs Tootlepedal was up to.  Wisely, considering the chilly breeze, she was working in the greenhouse and I was impressed by how well her seedlings are coming on in the indoor warmth.

greenhouse seedlings

My hand is a lot better so I felt able to get the push mower out and give the middle lawn a cut.  After that I needed some refreshment so I went in for lunch and a look at the birds.

The siskins were back today and eating as if there were no tomorrow.

siskins

I had to fill the feeder three times.

There was some more regrettable siskin behaviour though.

siskin attacking goldfinch

After lunch, I should have been going to Carlisle to pick up my new bike but the bike shop got in touch to say that some parts hadn’t arrived yet and the pick up was to be delayed until sometime next week.  I was  very disappointed but we watched the start of the men’s race in the Tour of Yorkshire on the telly instead…

….and then went back out into the garden.

Some plants were in the pink.

hellebore

And Mrs Tootlepedal was very pleased with this purchase of these primulas as they came from the bargain tray at the garden centre .  Although they are  basically for next year, they are adding a good dash of colour in the short term.

primula

I was very pleased to see bees buzzing around among the gooseberry flowers.

bee on gooseberry

They were still busy there when I checked again in the early evening.

In the absence of my new bike, I contemplated a ride on the slow bike but as I think that riding the slow bike with its straight handlebars may have contributed to my sore hand, I thought that I would wait until my hand was completely cured before going out on it again and went for a walk instead.

I went to see if it was possibly to walk through the newly felled Becks Wood, a favourite walk before the loggers got to work.

On my way, I passed a dead nettle…

dead nettle

…a rapidly maturing lamb…

lamb

…any amount of dog’s mercury and sprouting leaves…

dog's mercury and new leaf

…and two sheep.

sheep

There wasn’t a tree left standing in the wood when I got to it and all the felled timber had been removed. More in hope than in expectation, I followed the old path and found that it was easy to get down to the bridge across the Becks Burn…

Becks bridge

… looking a little forlorn in the open air, devoid of mystery now the trees beside it have gone.

The path up the other side was in good condition and I could soon look back at the way that I had come..

Becks wood

…and be thankful that the path through the woods has been reinstated and exists again, even if the woods don’t.  The area will soon be replanted and many new plants will grow now that there is light and air about so I am not sad about the change.  It makes life interesting.

Having crossed the Becks Burn, I made my way down the road and then crossed the Wauchope Water by the Auld Stane Brig…

auld stane bridge

…and climbed a short way up Warbla on the other side of the valley so that I could look back at the felled wood.

Becks wood from Warbla

They have made a thorough job of the felling and taking the timber away.

The day was getting warmer but the taller hills were still shrouded in low clouds…

Castle hill from Warbla

…so there was not much in the way of views.

There was plenty of other interest though as I walked back home past ash trees laden with male flowers…

ash tree flowers

…primroses peeping out of a  wall and rabbits trying hard not to be noticed…

primrose and rabbit

…and hints of this and that.

garlic, bluebell and fern

The woods are covered in wild garlic and bluebells just waiting for a bit of heat to burst into action.

This weekend has a very good forecast so perhaps by Monday, the promise will be fulfilled.

The Beechy Plains are looking beechier by the day…

Beechy Plain

…and one or two wild garlic plants have tried their best.

garlic and fly

That fly gets about.

I got home in time to watch the last few kilometres of the Tour of Yorkshire.  It had an excellent finish.

After tea, the sun came out and we went back into the garden again to make the best use of the day.  I zipped round the drying green with the light mower and felt quite positive about my hand.

Unfortunately my Friday night orchestra was otherwise engaged but Mike, her husband came by himself so we enjoyed a glass of beer and conversation with him with no musical accompaniment.

The flying bird of the day is two sparring goldfinches.

goldfinches quarrelling

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s colourful guest picture comes from my sister Mary who recently visited the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park, London.

isabella plantation

Apart from a couple of brief showers, we had a much better day today.  It wasn’t a lot warmer in theory but a very welcome break from the recent strong winds made it feel a lot warmer in practice.

Mrs Tootlepedal had a busy morning of coffee and lunch meetings but managed to get some gardening in before she went out.  Meanwhile, I got the slow bike out and did some slow bicycling down to Canonbie and back.

Before I went, we checked the pond to see if Mrs Tootlepedal’s improvements were still keeping the water in place.

full pond

They were.

And I saw a couple more signs of spring.

willow and plum

Willow and plum

Once on the slow bicycle, it was a great relief not to have to battle against the wind for once and I enjoyed myself, although I didn’t try for any speed records.

There is enough grass growing for the farmers to be thinking about silage and I liked the rolled pattern on this field near Canonbie.

field near Canonbie

The dandelions in the verges are showing promise and I hope to be able to show some good clumps soon…

dandelion and bluebell

…and I saw my first bluebells of the year so I hope to see them in quantity soon too.

I stopped on the bridge at Canonbie to see how the ash tree flowers were coming on.

ash tree flowers

I think the branch that I looked at can truly be called an explosion of new growth.

I didn’t have to kid myself to see green leaves on the trees along the Esk at the Hollows today.  Spring is definitely springing…

Esk at Hollows

…although it has a bit to go before it is fully sprung.

When I got home, I found that the tulips were appreciating the better weather.

tulips

The euphorbias seem very popular with flies of various sorts as there is often one about when I try to take a picture of the plants.

fly on euphorbia

This is what the plant looks like when the flies have flown.

euphorbia

I went in to have lunch, soup and one of Matilda’s rolls, and took some time to watch the birds.

The siskins had gone away again so the chaffinches were getting a look at the feeder today.

chaffinches

…but there was still some waiting around on the plum tree to be done.

chaffinch and plum blossom

A goldfinch approached the feeder in the manner of one showing that he wasn’t armed and dangerous.

flying goldfinch

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal returned and found that our bench builder had arrived to cut an inch or two off the legs of the new bench.  It needed to be shifted back a bit and Mrs Tootlepedal set to work on that.  The result was very satisfactory and when she had finished,  we invited our neighbour Liz (with friend) to come and try it out

Ally and Liz on bench

By this time, as you can see, it was perfect weather for bench testing.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was gardening and working at the bench area, I mowed the front lawn and walked around with my camera.  I had the macro lens on.

white flowers

Tulips are popping up everywhere…

tulip

…and I spotted another colourful corner.

colourful corner

The plants in the foreground are dicentra and they were attracting bumbles bees again.

bee on dicentra

As were the paler variety in the back border.

bee on dicentra

Liz came in for a cup of tea and then, while Mrs Tootlepedal did some more gardening, I stayed inside to get some computer business out of the way.

I took the opportunity to look at last year’s cycling stats and found that I had done 500 miles more by this time last year so it is not surprising, considering the lack of decent cycling weather,  that our spring is quite a bit  later than usual this year.

I hope we get a good summer to make up for it.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I had an enjoyable music making session while the other two chatted away.  After playing, Alison and I joined the conversation and Mike, who is a retired doctor, made us all rather gloomy with a very downbeat assessment of the shortage of general practice doctors and hospital consultants in our area.  We will have to try our best to keep ourselves healthy.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »