Posts Tagged ‘saxifrage’

Today’s guest picture shows my brother Andrew taking his own picture in misty conditions on the top of Blencathra (868m) in the Lake District today.  The climb was fun, the views from the summit were terrible.

Blencathra summit

It was pretty gloomy here  in the morning so I wrapped well when I went out on the fairly speedy bike for a traditional forty mile Sunday morning run along flat main roads to Newtown on the line of Hadrian’s Wall near Brampton and back.  Still, it was very calm so pedalling was a pleasure.  Even better was the fact the the very light wind was behind me on the return journey.

As you can see from the pictures which I took while the fairly speedy bike was resting as I tucked away a banana and some apricots at Newtown…


…the weather had improved considerably and I pedalled back in gentle sunshine.

Not long after I had got home, we were visited by my Newcastle correspondent and her children Leo and Hannah….

Leo and Hannah

A healthy diet and a strange finger

…who had come in the hope of seeing frogs.

We couldn’t show them frogs but we could show them tadpoles and snails.

snails and tadpoles

The snails were in especially good shape.

pond snail

Not wanting to waste an unexpectedly good day, I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a walk in the afternoon.  She was happy to come as she wanted to inspect a possible source of garden manure on our route.

The roads are lined with daffodils now…


…and wild flowers are beginning to appear.

celandine and dandelion

A host of celandine and a single dandelion

I was struck yet again by how mossy the trees and hedges are in the area round Pool Corner.

mossy hedge

The possible manure looked very promising and the views on the walk were good as well, even though the sun had faded away.



There were small things to admire as well.

lichen and bracken

Brilliant green lichen and the chopped stems of bracken

Our route home took us through the woods and I made a diversion to show Mrs Tootlepedal the little waterfall there.

Becks cascade

We climbed up beside the cascade and looked down on the water from above.

There were all kinds of fungi to admire as we tramped through the soggy woods.


I thought that this might be orange peel fungus but it seems to be too red.  There was a lot of it about.


Everywhere we looked, we saw more fungi

As we came down to the Becks Burn we saw the the strange sight of a blob of frogs spawn on a well chewed tree stump…

peltigara and frogs spawn

…and during the walk we saw many fine crops of dog lichen.

There were some more signs of spring about as well.

larch and primrose

The most cheerful sights on the walk were the many clumps of golden saxifrage carpeting the forest floor and lining the ditches beside the track.

golden saxifrage

When we got home, I had time to put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and have a little sit down before another set of visitors appeared.

This was three of my siblings, my sisters Susan and Mary and my brother Andrew (who had recovered from his vigorous walk up Blencathra earlier in the day).  They are spending a day or two in the Lake District and had taken time out to come and have a meal with us at the Douglas Hotel.  It was a merry gathering with excellent food and abundant conversation as we caught up on our various doings.

I didn’t have a lot of time in all this to watch the birds but I did catch a glimpse of the sparrowhawk.  It was flying away empty handed today.


I was pleased to spot our robin with the injury several times today.  It looks to be surviving very well.  It showed me its good side today.


It was very fluffed up when I saw it in the early morning

I am unaccountably tired so I won’t ramble on any more.  The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.



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Today’s guest pictures, sent to me by Bruce, shows some of the inhabitants of Gilnockie who haven’t decided how they are going to vote in the forthcoming general election.

GilnockieIt was hard to know who or what to blame.  Was it the dry spell making for dusty conditions, was it the flowers in the garden or pollen from neighbouring trees, was it dust from the end wall work which still lies in many nooks and corners of the house or was it just life?  Whatever it was, my breathing was a little below par today and I was happy to wander around doing as little as possible.

I was assisted in this by Dropscone, who brought round some of his traditional Friday treacle scones.  He had already cycled 20 miles and I was happy to have let him do the work for today.  The scones were very good.

Mrs Tootlepedal was varnishing away in the front room and in between letting coats dry, she moved some of the furniture back in during the day.  I lent a small hand from time to time.  In a startling move, some of the furniture has gone to a different corner of the room than it occupied before.  It will take me a year or two to get used to this.

The change in the weather predicted by the forecasters had begun but it was still a pretty pleasant if windy morning and i walked round the garden…

daffodils and tulips…doing a little dead heading of daffodils.  There are still plenty left though and they go well with the tulips.

daffodils and tulipsThe blossom on the plum tree is nearly at its peak….

plum blossom…just in time to catch the drop in overnight temperatures to near zero at the weekend.   We hope for the best.

In the mornings recently, teams of sparrows have been ranging the lawns pecking away and today they were adding a few dance steps to their routine.

sparrowsI went out to see if the little fishes were still swimming in the dam (they were) but got distracted by this fine clump of marsh marigolds instead.

marsh marigoldsThe sun faded away with the morning but the weather stayed dry so after lunch, I went off for a very slow walk round the Castleholm.

I paused in the Clinthead garden to enjoy the good work the gardeners have done.

ClintheadIn the absence of any interesting birds on the Kilngreen, I bought an ice cream cornet from the van there, and licked and walked as I went on.

There were flowers growing wild by the side of the road as I walked up to the Lodge….

bluebell and anemone….though some may be garden escapes.

primrose and red flower…and there were plenty of shades of green to be seen as well, both on the ground…..

golden saxifrage

A pool of golden saxifrage under the trees

…and on the branch.

leavesI looked at trees from a distance…

trees…and close to.

treeMy knowledge of tree species, unless I am walking beside Mrs Tootlepedal, is minimal but I can still enjoy their leaves.

I do know a lime tree though.

lime treeSome fallen branches among the limes gave me a chance to admire some lichen which would otherwise have been above my head.

lichenI stopped at the Jubilee Bridge in the hope of seeing a tree creeper or a nuthatch but instead I was entertained by a wren on a branch shouting energetically at the bushes below.

wrenAfter a while two other wrens, scrapping furiously, emerged from the undergrowth like rockets and disappeared.  I would like to have known what was going on.  (Wrens are very small and hard to photograph!)

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set to work reducing the pile of cherry tree logs to firewood with the aid of our neighbour Liz’s log splitter.  While we were at work, Liz herself appeared and seizing the splitter from us, spilt twice the number of logs that we had and in half the time.  She loves splitting logs.  We stood to one side saying things like, “You won’t be able to split this large misshapen and knotty log,” in innocent tones.  That was like a red rag to a bull to her and firewood soon flew off in all directions.

I had time to be impressed by the flourishing dog’s tooth violets….

dog's tooth violets…before it started to drizzle and I went in.

I rounded off a quiet day with an even quieter evening.

The flying bid of the day is a very determined chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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