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Posts Tagged ‘compost bins’

Today’s guest picture is the last from Venetia’s trip to Madeira and shows a local flower.  It is an echium known as ‘The Pride of Madeira’.  As you can see, it is popular with the locals.

Madeira flower

The forecast for tonight and tomorrow morning is pretty gloomy with strong winds and rain predicted.  As I write this, I can hear the wind sighing round the house and the rain pattering on the windows and I can only hope that the forecasters are being excessively pessimistic as they often are and we will avoid any storm damage.

The last day of our good spell of weather was grey but still warm and with gentle winds in the morning.  We couldn’t make the best of it though as I had an early appointment at the new hospital in Dumfries to see a surgeon about my low iron count.

The drive was smooth and uneventful,  the newly planted meadows round the hospital were as interesting as before…

DGRI meadow

…and since I was seen promptly and sent home with no need for further investigations, the trip was very satisfactory.  The advice was to keep taking the tablets and eat more greens.  I shall do both.

While we were in the vicinity, we went to have coffee at the very good garden centre we visited last week and while we were there, three plants, some more lawn feed and a new garden hose reel insinuated themselves unobtrusively into our shopping trolley and we had to pay for them before we could get out.  Since we had just gone for coffee, this was very odd.

When we got home, there was a lot to do in the garden before the rain came.  During the afternoon, I mowed the drying green and sieved some compost for Mrs Tootlepedal to use in her planting out work.

Because it is a great deal easier to shift compost when it is dry, I also took the opportunity to shift the contents of Bin B into Bin C and I know that discerning readers will never forgive me if I don’t record this event.

compost bin c and d

The warm dry weather has speeded up the composting process a lot and made sieving and shifting an easy task.

I also wound on the front garden hose on to the new reel…

new hose reel

…though of course, the weather will now be so bad for the rest of the summer that we will never have to use it.

In  between times, I wandered round the garden to take as many pictures as I could to record the end of our good spell.   (I apologise for the number of pictures in today’s post.)

The vegetable garden is looking very well organised….

vegetable garden

…and I was able to have a good helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s cut and come again salad leaves with my lunch.

Of particular interest to me was this…

strawberry fruit

…as I haven’t  netted the strawberries this year and I am hoping to pick as many as I can before….

blackbird

…the blackbirds notice them.

There are new flowers about.

day lilly, loosestrife and goldfinch rose

Day lily, loosestrife and the first Rosa Goldfinch

…and old friends are doing well.

astrantias

I tend to show close ups of astrantias so I thought I ought to show you the two colours on a broader scale.

At the top of the front lawn, the two box balls are in full colour…

golden box

…and all round the garden, the Sweet Williams that Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out are bringing some zing to the flower beds.

sweet william

On the house wall, the climbing hydrangea is looking healthy…

hydrangea

…and there is a constant buzz as you walk past it.

hydrangea with bee

The ‘ooh la la’ clematis is thriving….

ooh la la clematis

…and as it is in a very sheltered spot, I hope it survives the wind and the rain.

When I went in for lunch, I took the opportunity to watch the birds.

We have had daily visits from pigeons and collared doves recently….

pigeon

…and the supply of siskins and goldfinches seems endless.

goldfinch and siksin

I got the composting and mowing done before the rain started and then after a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been busy on a task in the town, I decided to go for a walk as it was too windy for enjoyable cycling.

There was some occasional drizzle but not enough to discourage me.  We could certainly do with some rain as the ground is very dry and the rivers are extremely low.

River Esk low

Somewhere along the gravel at the left hand side of the river in the picture above are five oyster catchers but I had to walk along the grass to see them.

The five were two parents….

oyster catcher parents

…clucking away and watching anxiously over three youngsters.

oyster catcher young

I know that there are four pictures but there are only three birds.

On the other side of the town bridge, I caught up with a pied wagtail…

pied wagtail

…standing unusually still for such a fidgety bird.

I looked back from the Sawmill Brig…

Ewes Water Island

…and wondered if there would be enough rain to turn the green mound that you can see back into an island again.  It is covered with roses, knapweed and umbellifers.

The light wasn’t very good and the threat of rain ever present so I didn’t dilly dally though I stopped for long enough to look at some docks…

dock

…admire the treescape on the Castleholm…

Castleholm tree view

…and check on the wild flowers along the Scholars’ Field wall…

nettle and umbellifer

……before calling in on my fern expert Mike to talk about going on a fern walk soon…

…and then going home to cook the tea.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to practise with the church organist’s summer choir and I rested my voice again.

I only went to the doctor in the first place because I was having trouble with a little hoarseness and after being thoroughly checked and cleared of any other problems, the hoarseness is still there.  I have another week of rest and then I will go back to the doctor again to see what is what if things haven’t improved.  I am missing singing more than I expected.

The flower of the day is the butter and sugar iris.  I am not sure that it will survive the night’s weather.

butter and sugar iris

I may possibly have run out of guest pictures.  Just mentioning it.

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary, who saw this copy of the Lamazzu – a winged deity looted from the Iraq Museum – made of empty date syrup cans, on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square

Our weather descended from the recent summer heights to slightly below the seasonal average, the feeling of slight chilliness compounded by a stiff wind which reminded everyone of the long cold months since Christmas.

The weather in the morning didn’t bother me much as I had to spend a couple of hours in the Welcome to Langholm office where I caught up on some Archive Group work.  I didn’t do quite as much as I had hoped though as I had to provide a welcome and information to no less than three visitors in the two hours.  I was fairly rushed off my feet.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden, having reorganised the greenhouse while I was out.  She is planting things out and improving the soil as much as she can so I sieved the last of the compost in Bin D and then set about shifting the contents of Bin C into the now empty Bin D.  I then emptied the contents of Bin B into Bin C.

I know that there is an insatiable desire for compost  pictures among the readers of this blog so here is the result.

compost bin shifting

The picture does show graphically how compost reduces in bulk over time.  The small amount in Bin D was the same size as the current amount in Bin C when it first arrived from Bin B and Bin B was full to the level of six of the wooden frames when it was first filled from Bin A.

This was quite heavy work so it was now time for lunch.

Mrs Tootlepedal provided me with a delicious dish of fried eggs and fried cabbage as a reward for compost shifting.

It was far too windy, with constant gusts of 25 mph and above to think of cycling so after lunch, I went out into the garden with my camera in hand.  Windy weather makes it hard to shoot flowers but I did my best.

white flowers

Mrs Tootlepedal is not certain what the pretty white flowers above are but I know what these ones below are.  They are potential plums if everything goes well.

plum flowers

The dog’s tooth violets are springing up all over the place.

dog's tooth violets

This clump of cowslip like things is enjoying the weather whether it is hot or cold and is getting larger all the time.

cowslips

The tree peony is looking very healthy.  Last year its flowers were hidden behind its foliage so we are hoping for a better show this year.

tree peony

The madness of the crab like flowers of the euphorbias is well advanced. I hope for a calmer day to take a better picture.

euphorbia

There is little pool of pale blue in the river of muscari.

muscari

And this is the start of our own clump of marsh marigolds in the pond.

marsh marigold

Once again the cold wind was causing the tulips to purse their lips but there is very promising red one waiting for some sunshine.

tulip

The daffodil of the day is a muted example.

daffodil

I put the camera down and mowed the front lawn with a great deal of huffing and puffing because the lawn is so spongy with moss.  There was a heartening amount of grass to cut even if the end result was a very patchy looking lawn.

Then, since it wasn’t really a very inviting walking day, I finished the composting job by emptying Bin A into Bin B so all is ready for Mrs Tootlepedal to start the process going again by filling up Bin A.  I may even have some grass to add to it myself.

Owing to the need for frequent pauses to admire the work in progress or chat to the gardener, it soon turned out to be time for a cup of tea and a sit down indoors.  This gave me a chance to look at the birds.  As it also started to rain, I was very happy to be inside.

The siskins really seem to have gone elsewhere although there was one on hand to join the queue for a seed today.

queue at the feeder

Mostly it was goldfinches and chaffinches again, with the goldfinches concentrating hard on the job in hand….

goldfinches

…and making sure that incoming chaffinches knew who was boss.

goldfinch and chaffinch

But the goldfinches are no match for a really angry redpoll though.

redpoll

The evening was given over to music when first my flute pupil Luke came and cheered me up by playing very well.  Then I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel after tea for what seems the first time for ages.

It was good to get back to playing and our lack of practice didn’t seem to matter as we played some familiar pieces with a good deal of verve, all things considered.

The flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches.

goldfinch

Strong winds and showers are on the menu for both tomorrow and Wednesday so getting out on my bike to knock off the last few miles of my monthly target may be a bit of a battle.

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who has been enjoying café society in the sunshine on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park.

Cafe overlooking the Serpentine, Hyde Park

In a surprise but very welcome move, Mrs Tootlepedal invited me out to lunch today.  The Buccleuch Centre, where she often helps out, is having an Italian week and she thought that I might enjoy a lasagne.

The weather was better today and this kind invitation gave me a big decision to make.  Should I go cycling before or after lunch?  The question turned out to be too difficult for me altogether and in the end I couldn’t choose and didn’t go cycling at all.  Choice is very overrated in my view.

The plus side was that I had a relaxing morning, had a good lunch and then did some useful work and had a walk in the afternoon.

Mrs Tootlepedal decided that it was time to lift the first of the early potatoes and the results were very satisfactory.

first new potatoes

We got a good crop of clean potatoes from the first row of plants and Mrs Tootlepedal soon had the space replanted with spinach (well protected from the marauding sparrows).

I took  time to wander round the flowers.  Yesterday’s rain hadn’t done any damage and even the sodden poppy looked quite perky.

poppy, lily, nasturtium and clematis

There is colour all around….

sweet william potentilla, orange hawkweed

…although the orange hawkweed is going over.

The paler astrantia is pulling in the bees.

astrantia and bee

The star of the morning was a rose once again.

rose

The lasagne at the Buccleuch Centre was absolutely excellent and as it was washed down by a glass or two of red wine and followed by coffee and cake, I was more than happy to sit down when we got home and watch the final kilometres of an enthralling stage of the Tour de France.

When it had finished, I went out for a short walk, just to work off the lunch.  I chose a route along the river to the Kilngreen, then over the Sawmill Brig, across the Castleholm and home by way of the Jubilee Bridge and the Scholars Field.

I saw a large number of ducks on the Kilngreen and among the usual mallards there was a unusual white duck.

ducks

It was sitting peacefully with the regulars but I have no idea where it has come from.

I got another surprise when I got to the far end of the Kilngreen and saw these two very large fungi.

kilngreen fungi

As I often pass this way and have never knowingly seen them before, either they have grown very quickly or I am not paying  as much attention while I walk along as I should be.

While crossing the Castleholm, I took a look at the horse racing track which is being prepared for a race meeting this weekend.

Castleholm racetrack

On the outside of the neatly mowed track, all is long grass and clover.

grass and clover

After leaving the racetrack, I passed through a gate with a rotten top to one of its gateposts.

A rotten gatepost is always worth looking into.

fungus on gatepost

It’s a different world in there.

I passed many trees with things hanging from them….

tree seeds and fruits

…and noticed that the sheep were keeping a very low profile today.

sheep

I liked this….

haw

…and I liked this even more.

umbellifer

On my way home, I peeped over the hedge into a couple of gardens….

hydrangea and lupin

…and then I peeped over our own hedge to show the view of the garden that passers by see.

garden view

We had some of the new potatoes with our tea and they tasted very good.  I hope the next rows turn out as well as the first one has.

During the day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were busy with our bow saw and we cleared a literal backlog of logs by sawing them up ready for the stove.  In addition, I mowed the middle lawn which is looking better for its dose of weed and feed and sieved the last of the compost in Bin D.

I know readers will be feeling that they haven’t seen enough compost pictures recently so here is Bin C and Bin D with half the compost removed from Bin C into Bin D.

compost bins C and D

I will shift the other half later. Exciting times.

In the evening, I went off to practise with Henry’s Common Riding choir.  We now have three basses and we are doing our best to provide a sound foundation for the rest of the singers.  The songs are relatively easy and I am finding it most enjoyable to have a sing without any pressure to master tricky parts and memorise large numbers of words.

The flying bird of the day was one of the many young blackbirds in the garden.  It was flying a few moments after I took its picture.

Blackbird

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my neighbour Gavin, who is on a trip to see family in the USA.  They have been been visiting Yosemite.

Yosemite

There was some every nice sunny weather when we got up but the wind soon got up too and if you weren’t in the sun, it was decidedly cool.

Being Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I made a lamb stew for the slow cooker.  I didn’t go cycling when I had finished though as there were more important things to do today.

Needless to say I had my mind on turning compost so that I could start getting my new bins installed.  By going very carefully, using a small fork and taking frequent rests, I managed to empty Bin D, turn Bin C into Bin D and then turn Bin B into Bin C.

In the rests between turning, I looked into tulips.

tulips

tulips

It’s wonderful to get such a variety  of shades and styles but I notice that they all have six stamens.  There’s probably some tulip rule about that.

I had the occasional sit down inside as well which let me watch the birds for a bit. Female chaffinches were to the fore…

female chaffinches

…and a siskin wisely bailed out before being run into by a determined male chaffinch.

siskin and chaffinch

Out in the garden, the dog tooth violets are in full swing.

dog tooth violets

I even saw a butterfly but as I didn’t have my camera with me, you’ll have to take my word for that.  I saw a couple of butterflies while I was out cycling yesterday so I am hoping to see a few more in the garden soon.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came home, we had some lunch and then we loaded up the car with clippings from the yew and two box balls which had been savaged by Attila the Gardener and took them off to the council dump near Annan.

When we got back, Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that we should take a trip up to the Langholm Moor and see if we could see the goats that people keep tell us we are missing. We had hopes of perhaps seeing a hen harrier too, although it had clouded over by this time.

It was very hazy so there were no views to be had and as we drove over the hill to the county boundary, there were no goats either.   We did see a buzzard high in the sky above us but we turned for home feeling that once again, we had missed the goats.

 I stopped the car as we came down into the Tarras valley in order to take a rather gloomy shot of one of my favourite bridges…..

Tarras Bridge

…and while we were stopped, the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal thought that she saw a goat on the far side of the river.  When I looked, I saw another two so we drove over the bridge and looked around.

We didn’t have to be very sharp eyed to see a lot more goats.

Tarras goats

There were goats and kids all over the place.  I don’t how we had missed them on our way out.

One of the kids was bleating furiously and I could hear an answering bleat from some distance away.  When I looked down the bank, I could see a goat sprinting along the far bank of the river.

Tarras goats

It came to the bridge and went tip tapping over it with no regard for trolls at all….

Tarras goats

…and was soon reunited with the kid.

The goats weren’t at all bothered by us and I was able to walk along the road side snapping away without disturbing them.

Tarras goats

I don’t often get a chance like this so I overindulged a bit.

Tarras goats

These are genuinely wild goats but they were very calm today.

Tarras goats

Tarras goats

Tarras goats

They were as curious about me as i was about them.

Tarras goats

Tarras goats

Tarras goats

Although we could have happily stayed and watched them for quite a lot longer,, we left the goats in the hope of seeing a hen harrier before the light faded…

Tarras goats

…and drove on.

Before we left, I did take a picture of a sheep which was standing nearby so that anyone who is having trouble in separating their goats from their sheep can tell the difference.

tarras sheep

We didn’t see a harrier, just another buzzard circling in the sky but we did see several grouse.  Sadly, the light had gone too far to take a picture by this time.

When we got home, I took some advice from Mrs Tootlepedal, borrowed her spirit level and set about demolishing the old compost Bin B and installing the bottom layers of the new bin.

I got the bottom section level….

spirit level

…installed the next layer and started turning Bin A into the new Bin B.  It was a pleasure to use such a handsome new bin.

compost bins

…and we soon had three layers of the new bin filled.

compost bins

Here are Bins A to D in a row.

It just remains to finish turning Bin A into Bin B (which has two more layers to put on if needed) and then build the new Bin A.  With a little good weather, that should happen tomorrow.  The beauty of the modular bins is that I never have to lean in deeply to dig out the compost and I never have to lift the compost any higher than is absolutely necessary.  These are important considerations for a man with a bad back.

We settled down to eat our lamb stew and watch the Masters golf tournament with a feeling of a day well spent.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch catching the morning sun..

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture shows a cheerfully departed couple whom my brother Andrew met in York Minster earlier this month.

This departed couple did not seem unhappy

Our very good spell of weather continued today and this meant that the steady supply of plums ripening on the tree continues.  I try to pick them just before they become fully ripe so that they don’t fall prey to plum predators but I am not always successful.

blackbird eating plum

Though if she is going to steal my plums, she might look a bit cheerier about it.

Blackbird eating plum

There are plenty left for Mrs Tootlepedal and me so I am not complaining.

As well as plums, I had some excellent scones today as Dropscone arrived for coffee.  He only had three scones instead of his usual four with him as his daughter Susan was off work because of the bank holiday and for some reason he thought that she deserved one for herself.  As he made up for this by bringing a tasty slice of cake, once again I couldn’t complain.  He was even kind enough to take some of our surplus runner beans away with him when he left.

I would have liked to have had some time in the garden in the sunshine but I needed to pick out and print some photos for the Westerkirk horticultural show at Bentpath.  This is a time consuming business, especially when your printer mysteriously starts making everything go pink and the whole system needs to be switched off and on again. I managed to get them pretty well sorted and my entry form posted by lunchtime.

After lunch, I went out to sieve some compost.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been doing heroic work in the garden, clearing old plants from a bed on which she has designs for next year. This is just part of the resulting debris…

plant heap

..and we will put it through the big shredder soon.  As compost Bin A is already pretty full and the revised bed will need a good dose of sieved compost to freshen it up, there was a pressing need for compost action.

I sieved the last material out of Bin D….

Bin C and D

And then turned the contents of Bin C into Bin D.  Now all that remains is to turn Bin B into Bin C and Bin A into Bin B and all will be well.  Mrs Tootlepedal sometimes gently points out that if I just left the compost to itself instead of bothering it endlessly, it would all decompose in its own good time.  This may be true but then I wouldn’t be having any fun.

Our friend took an interest in the composting.

robin

I spotted a lone peacock butterfly on the buddleia….

peacock butterfly

…but mostly the garden was full of fluttering white butterflies today, sometimes alone…

white butterfly

…but often in pairs probably making sure that there will be a good supply of white butterflies next year too.

white butterflies

I checked to see if any new flowers were to be seen but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that we are at the end of the road as far as novelty goes so I went in and got changed.  Then I got the fairly speedy bike out of the garage, cleaned the chain and pumped up the tyres and set off for a short ride.

The temperature was perfect and the sun was warm but not burning so everything would have been perfect of there hadn’t been a brisk wind straight into my face for the first three miles.  As I climbed up past Bloch Farm…

Bloch Farm

….I stopped to admire the view (and take a breather).

Wauchope valley

The Wauchope valley

From this point on, the wind was more often helping than hindering and I whizzed along at a good speed.

I stopped on the old main road before I got to Canonbie to admire these very leafy trees…

Leafy trees at Woodhouselees

…and once again on the Skippers Bridge to take the obligatory picture of the old distillery.

Old distillery from Skippers

I got home in time to take a picture of a small lobelia….

lobelia

…and have a shower before my flute pupil Luke arrived.    We puffed and blew but we were both a bit tired so it wasn’t the most progressive lesson that we have ever had.

After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and although I wasn’t playing at my best, we had an enjoyable time, perhaps hearing what we would like to have had the music sounding like rather than what it actually did sound like.  Selective listening is an art in itself.

The flower of the day is a collection from the pink, purple and red bed which continues to look really good on a sunny day…

pink, purple and red flowers

…and the flying bird of the day is a butterfly butterflying.

flying butterfly

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother.  He has got back from Belgium and us visiting Hartlepool with my oldest sister.  They went to see the transporter bridge at Middlesborough and for the price of 60p each way, they crossed over and back.

Transporter Bridge, Middlesborough

We had a nearly perfect summer day today, with sensible temperatures even in the sunshine.  This enabled me to do some useful gardening in the morning (when I wasn’t drinking coffee with Sandy) which included some dead heading, a bit of propping up a flagging rose, some clipping of box balls and a first dose of compost sieving for Bin D.

A reader recently complained that there have not been enough exciting compost bin pictures lately so here is Bin A being instantly refilled by the ever busy gardener and Bin B, shut up for a while before the next compost convulsion.

Compost bins

From time to time, I wandered around with my camera.

A pink poppy

A pink poppy makes a welcome addition to the many red ones.

Lilian Austin rose

Two stages of the Lilian Austin rose side by side

Not all the flowers are outside.  Mrs Tootlepedal cuts the sweet peas.

sweet peas

I spent quite a bit of time sorting through my pictures to find six for our forthcoming camera club exhibition.  They printed out very well which was a relief as often pictures seem magically to print out very differently from how they appear on screen.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to visit Matilda in Edinburgh and had a good time there and I allowed myself the luxury of snoozing in front of the telly while cycling heroes completed the mountain time trial in the Tour de France.

I was so tired watching them by the time that they finished that I decided to limit my own cycling to a single mile first along the river, then over three bridges and quickly back home.

I saw my  oyster catchers at the usual spot where the dam from behind our house eventually enters the River Esk.  I suspect that it must carry some extra nourishment down with it as the oyster catchers seem very busy pecking away there.

Oyster catcher

A few yards away there was a disturbance.  Looking around I saw that it was being caused by a young wagtail demanding food from its parent.

Wagtail and young

I pedalled on and looked over the Town Bridge to see Mr Grumpy standing on a rock.

Mr Grumpy

He must have been behaving as he wasn’t being harassed by gulls today.

When I got back, I mowed the middle lawn and then had another look round for some interesting flowers.  Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out dahlias all over the garden and this one was at the end of the lawn which I was mowing.

dahlia

Nearby a crocosmia has reared its head.

crocosmia

And we are getting flocks of phlox.

phlox

The Rosa Wren has not been flowering profusely to say the least, but when the flowers do come, they are worth waiting for.

Rosa Wren

On the other hand, there are a large number of knapweed flowers.

knapweed

Wheels within wheels

In the evening, Susan picked me up and we went to Carlisle to play with our recorder group.  There were only four of us instead of our usual five and as a result we played a lot of music that we don’t play very often which was a treat.

As a sign of the turning of the year, Susan had to put the car lights on as we drove home.  Tempus fugit.

No flying bird of the day today I am afraid but that pink poppy makes a reappearance as floating flower of the day.

pink poppy

 

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Today’s guest picture shows Kenwood positively glowing in the morning sunshine.  My sister Mary visited it for a breakfast in their excellent cafe today.

Kenwood House

We came to the end of our bright wintery spell today, although we kept the wintery part of it, as it was one of those mean days which feel much colder than the thermometer says that it is.

I got a phone call from Dropscone who had had his sleep disturbed by a noisy fellow patient and was not in a good mood.  He still does not know when he will get out of hospital but it can’t come too soon for him as he is mortally bored.

I was entertained by the arrival of Sandy for coffee and a a good selection of garden birds for sunflower seeds.

The chaffinches came first….

chaffinches

…but they were soon brushed aside by goldfinches…

goldfinches

…who were joined by a single siskin.

goldfinch and siskin

After coffee, Sandy and I went out for a short stroll round Gaskell’s Walk, starting at the park.

The going was much less icy than I expected and we only had one alarming section where I used my Yaktrax (which I had prudently put in my pocket).  I was probably being ultra cautious because Sandy managed perfectly well without any helpful footwear but better safe than sorry, I say.

We stopped beside the park wall partly to let Gavin pass by…

Gavin

That’s the second time in three days that I have met Gavin on a walk.

…and partly to see how many interesting things we could find on the wall.  We saw mosses…

Park wall mosses

I don’t know what the thing in the left frame is. It looks like moss and lichen at the same time (*see bottom of post for a bigger picture).

…and we saw lichens.

park wall lichen

We could have spent a lot more time there and one of these days I will come out with a tripod and try to get some better shots of the wall life.

Although the snow and ice had gone from the paths, it was still cold enough under the trees for a fine set of little icicles to be hanging around.

icicles

When  we got up to the Stubholm, we were please to see a glimmer of weak sunshine.

Stubholm

A buzzard was sunbathing on top of a pole…

buzzard

…but it wouldn’t turn round and flew off as we got closer.

In spite of the sunshine, it was chilly out in the open and the hillside looked cold and bare.

Warbla

Going along the path to the Auld Stane Brig was tricky.  It sits more or less permanently in the shade and was still covered in ice where walkers had squashed the snow flat.  I liked this neatly iced tree stump beside the track.

iced tree stump

We paused to admire the Becks Burn where it joins the Wauchope…

Becks Burn

I have got Photoshop to prune some of the irritating branches in front of the waterfall.

…but we had to keep our heads down to watch our footing so we didn’t have the chance to look about much.

Once we made the security of the road, we looked at bridge parapets and walls again.

lichen

I liked this metal fixing which has matured so much that it is getting hard to tell where the metal finishes and the wall starts.

nut and bolt

When we got back, Sandy went home and I finished off shifting the compost from Bin C to Bin D.  I can’t pretend that this is a big job but it is still pleasing when it is finished.  I know that compost enthusiasts the world over will be wanting photographic evidence so here it is.

compost bins

I have started on moving Bin B into Bin C.  I like a little excitement in my life.

By contrast, we had passed some more serious work in the park on our walk.

Leaf mould

Kenny emptying a well rotted leaf mould bin

I could do a lot with one of those little machines.

I had time for lunch and a second peer out of the kitchen window…

sparrow and siskin

Two infrequent visitors, sparrow and siskin

redpoll

And two shots of our recent regular, the redpoll.

…before it was time to go to the dentist.  I was the first customer of the afternoon so I was seen immediately and was soon walking back home with a slightly heavier mouth and a little lighter pocket.

My replacement filling had required an injection so I didn’t mind so much when it started to rain as I was going to spend the afternoon sitting quietly indoors and mumbling anyway.

I put the time to good use by catching up on my correspondence and putting another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  I was hoping to get a call from the power company regarding the Archive Group’s bill but they have obviously found a lot to think about because they didn’t call me.

Mrs Tootlepedal made a light and easily eaten spaghetti and tomato sauce dish for tea and by the time that I have come to write this, my mouth is back to normal which is a relief.

Dropscone bulletin: I am going to see him tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a strictly horizontal chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

*For those interested, here is a bigger shot of the curious moss on the park wall. I don’t think that i have ever seen anything quite like it before.

moss

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