No pedal, no tootle

Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone and shows a pastoral scene near Peebles, which he had time to enjoy while officiating at a golf competition at the end of last month.

sheepI would like to have got out for a pedal today as I have been a bit short of cycling action recently but the strong winds and persistent rain proved to be a considerable disincentive and I spent the day mainly indoors instead.

I had to venture out into the wind and rain for a little shopping and some business and then Dropscone came round for a coffee and somehow that filled quite a bit of the morning up.

I did look out of the kitchen window from time to time through the day to check on the portable feeder.


Starlings weighing up the problem of getting at the coconut shells


One found a way with a bit of effort

Later in the day, a rook considered the same problem…

rook…and came up with a different answer.

rookOn the seed feeder, a chaffinch behaved with casual rudeness.

chaffinch stampingThe feeder was quite busy during the day…

busy feeder…but a couple of flying (but unsuccessful) visits from a sparrowhawk kept things quieter in the afternoon.

Generally, it was miserable outside.

blue titThe sedum was untroubled by any bees at all.

sedumI managed to put the day to some use by getting a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and putting one of our more tricky Carlisle choir pieces into the computer so that I could practise it properly.

I put some pellets out into the tray on the new feeder on the lawn but the jackdaws come so quickly and eat so greedily…

jackdaw…that I can only do it once or twice a day without bankrupting myself.

I didn’t get a tootle as my flute pupil Luke is away in Belgium visiting First World war battlefields.

The rain only stopped after the light had disappeared for the day but at least it was dry when I went off to our monthly camera club meeting.  We were pleased to welcome a couple of new members and fourteen of us sat down to enjoy a really splendid set of images taken by members.

It is was particularly interesting to see what other people had made of the opportunities of the cattle show and some of the results were quite stunning and a tribute to the skill and patience of our local photographers.  Not everyone had been to the show though so we were treated to a wide variety of other shots as well which included red squirrels and cobwebs from a nature reserve and scenic shots of Venice and Rome.  We all agreed that it had been a well spent hour or so.

By the time that I went home, the skies had cleared a bit and the temperature had risen quite a lot so we are hopeful of a better day tomorrow.

It was not a day when a good flying bird was easily to be found.

flying chaffinch

A walk in the park

Today’s guest picture shows my stepmother Patricia enjoying the flowers in  Calke Abbey walled garden.  She had been taken there by my brother Andrew, who sent me this.

 Calke Abbey walled gardenIt was choir day in Carlisle today so I started the morning off by making a venison stew for the slow cooker while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir.  When she got back, she just had time for a cup of coffee and a walk round the garden before she drove off to attend a farewell lunch for the organiser of the driving for the disabled group, who is going to live in Orkney.

This left me with a choice of catching the bus to Carlisle for the choir or cycling.  I seriously considered cycling as I would get a lift back from Mrs Tootlepedal but the practicalities of suitable clothing and arriving in good order to sing persuaded me to catch the bus.  Unfortunately, being Sunday, the service is rather infrequent and I had to leave a couple of hours earlier than would have been ideal.

Still, I had enough time to wander round the garden with my macro lens on the camera. I thought I should show a close up (or two) of the sort of bumble bee that has been visiting us in such great numbers.

bumble beebumble beeIf this is a white tailed bumble bee, which I think that it is, I read on the internet that they may live in burrows in colonies of up to 400 bees.  This might explain why we are getting so many at one time.

Once again, the bees were not our only visitors.

hoverfly and butterflyThe butterfly on the right is enjoying the sweetness of a fallen and rotting plum.

The late season has brought contrasting fortunes to our flowers.  The poppies, as you have seen, are doing well….

poppies and cosmos…but the cosmos on the right looks as though it might have left it too late to flower in spite of growing to a very healthy height.  It should have been in flower for some time by now in a more normal year.

After yesterday’s flood of birds, there was no more than a trickle today and it is very difficult to work out why this should be as the overcast conditions and temperature were very much the same as yesterday.  Perhaps a sparrowhawk had been patrolling the neighbourhood.

I caught the bus and was able to pass the time travelling to Carlisle in conversation with a friend.  This was a good thing as I don’t like bus travel as the seats are always too small for my legs and I find it very uncomfortable unless I am distracted.

Once in the city, I found a suitable place for a light lunch (spinach and goat’s cheese tart and a cup of coffee in the Old Fire Station bistro!) and with nearly two hours to spare, I headed off to Bitts Park for a post prandial stroll.

The park was full of interest, both unnatural and natural.

chairs and crocusThe path which I followed was lined with musical instruments….

Musical instruments Bitts park…all provided with handy mallets to strike them with.

There were more traditional things to see too.

Bitts park….and it was obvious that the Carlisle Parks Department have been working hard to make the park an attractive place for old people to walk around.  I noticed that there were no bees on the sedum here.

It said in my morning paper that the recent conditions of warm days and chilly nights should lead to an excellent display of autumn colour but only sporadic signs of this are on show at present.

autumn colour Bitts parkThe park is sited on the banks of the river Eden and I walked down to see the river….

River Eden…which was in reflective mood.

I followed the river upstream for a short way and passed under the Eden Bridge…

Eden Bridge…which carries the road to Scotland over it.  Before the Carlisle by-pass was built, this bridge carried virtually all the west coast traffic between England and Scotland and was the scene of some horrendous traffic jams as a result.

I walked back under the bridge and admired the very serene garden that sits in a hollow just beside the busy main road.

Bitts parkI left the park and followed a grassy path which runs below the ramparts of Carlisle castle.

Carlisle castleThis path is obviously not used by wild berry pickers as there were heavy crops of ripe blackberries and elderberries beside it.

brambles and elderberriesLeaving the castle, I headed into the centre of town, bought a newspaper and a mug of hot chocolate and read one and drank the other in the railway station cafe.

Then I had just enough time to walk to the church where our choir meets to be in time for our practice and meet Mrs Tootlepedal.

On my walks, I passed three of things which distinguish Carlisle, the castle, the cathedral and one of its public houses.

CarlisleCarlisle is notable for the fact that is was the home of the  ‘State Management Scheme’ which was the UK government’s take over of the brewing, distribution and sale of liquor in three regions of the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1973. The main focus of the scheme was centred on Carlisle and the surrounding district close to the armament factories at Gretna founded in 1916 to supply explosives and shells to the British Army during the First World War.

A central pillar of the scheme was the ethos of disinterested management; public house managers had no incentive to sell liquor, which supported the aim of reducing drunkenness and its effects on the arms industry. It had a ‘No Treating’ policy which operated from 1916 to 1919 forbidding the buying of rounds of drinks.

Another important feature of Carlisle is its place as a major railway junction and these two features could be seen at the same time from the path as I walked round the castle today.

Carlisle railway and brewery

The old brewery behind the main railway line.

I passed my last notable Carlisle landmark just before I got to the church.

Dixon's Lum

It is hard not to notice Dixon’s Lum. 

The small brick built terraces are very typical of Carlisle.

Our choir practice was very had working as we are entered into two choir competitions and our conductor is anxious that we should be as good as we possibly can be.  We are a bit short of men so if any local reader feels that a good sing under an excellent conductor would be just the thing for a Sunday afternoon, come along and join us.  There is no audition.

When we got home, the venison stew turned out well, as slow cooked stews always seem to do and now we are looking forward to a few days of wet and windy weather which will make a change from the incessant calm and sunny days of recent weeks.  Ah well, it couldn’t last for ever.

The flying bird of the day is one of that trickle of morning chaffinches.

flying chaffinch


Today’s guest picture comes from my son Tony who must be paying a visit to the Trossachs as he has sent this charming picture of Loch Lubnaig.

Loch LubnaighAfter some beautifully sunny days, the weather was much mores subdued today.  It started misty and ended dull and grey with only the briefest lighter moment between.

I started with a visit to the producer’s market at the Buccleuch Centre where I stocked up on meat, fish, honey and cheese and then got home in time to entertain Dropscone to a cup of coffee or two.

He arrived with a good sized pile of drop scones and explained that he had found that he had a milk surplus at home which accounted for the drop scone mountain.  We managed to render the mountain invisible without too much difficulty and he went on his way with some apples in return.

The chilly weather hadn’t put off the bees, though there weren’t nearly as many today as there had been in the sunshine, but it had encouraged birds to get a good feed…..

chaffinch…in such numbers that I not only refilled the current feeder but put out another one as well.  It got very busy immediately.

feeder queuefeeder queueI was thinking about going out for a cycle ride in the afternoon but a certain lethargy and the dull weather tempted me into watching the World Cup rugby on the telly instead.  The first match, Japan vs Samoa was a great treat as Japan’s only intention seems to be to play rugby as it ought to be played.  The second match, Scotland vs South Africa made me wish that I had gone cycling as South Africa controlled the match from start to finish and Scotland played without inspiration and lost.

My mood was as subdued as the weather.  I wasn’t made much more cheerful by a phone call telling me that my bid to become conductor of the Brampton Community Choir had fallen on stony ground and failed.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t as gloomy about this as I might have been, as the choir meets on the same night as our Langholm Choir which I would have had to give up.  I think, having met the Brampton committee and the choir, I might have found the post quite stressful. and since the Langholm choir has acquired a very competent conductor, I will happily continue to sing with them.

A passing butterfly brightened my day a bit….


I caught this one in the rare sunny moment

…and I cheered myself up a bit more by sieving some excellent quality compost.

I looked at the flowers while the day was bright.


The reliable poppies were there

Lilian Austin

Lilian Austin was smiling

Japanese anemones

And the Japanese anemones were celebrating a fine rugby win.

I have purchased a new feeder pole and my plan is to move it round the middle lawn during the autumn and winter months so that the lawn beneath it will get regularly fertilized by visiting birds.  It is a bit exposed for small birds but, after keeping a watching brief for a while…

starlings…the starlings soon tried it out.

starlings at new feederMore and more arrived….

starlings….and more and more and more…..


Those little red pellets are a great draw.

Larger birds arrived incognito.

jackdawSo the day wasn’t entirely without incident.

The flying bird of the day turned out to be a jackdaw when the incognito was revealed.


Today’s guest picture is another of my sister Mary’s studies of the lakes and ponds of London’s parks.  This one is the small lake in Parliament Hill Fields

The small lake in Parliament Hill FieldsWe woke to the coldest morning of the autumn so far at a meagre 4 degrees C and to find the town well covered in mist.  It took some time for the mist to clear but by lunchtime, the sun had broken through and the afternoon was well up to recent sunny standards although it never got very warm.

I started the day with a visit to the health centre to get some blood taken for tests which I hope may give me an excuse for stopping taking statins.  While I was there, the nurse took the opportunity to give me my annual flu jab thus hitting two targets with one arrow.

When I got home, it was time for a late breakfast as I had not been able to eat for twelve hours before the blood test.  Then, in an effort to keep up with Mrs Tootlepedal, who was wielding the vacuum cleaner to great effect, I tidied everything off all the surfaces in the front room.  Looking around as I type this in the evening, many things have mysteriously materialised out of thin air and covered some of the surfaces again.  Tidying up is  not my forte.

I had time to make a pot of coffee and stare out of the window though.

blue titsI had put some brightly coloured pink bird food out in the covered feeder and it attracted the blue tits.

blue tits and pink foodI admire the way that blue tits cope with food that is too big to swallow in one go.

A coal tit approached the problem from a different angle.

coal titThere was an early visit from two goldfinches.  I was pleased to see them but I don’t think that they returned the compliment.

goldfinchesWe were intending to go to a garden centre straight after coffee to get some sand for the lawn but there was a slight hiatus while we searched for my debit card which had disappeared.  For a moment, we wondered whether it had been mislaid on the Edinburgh train on Tuesday and this involved a catch 22 conversation with that grand misnomer, ‘customer services’.  The Edinburgh lost property number was faulty and not working so I was advised by a kind lady in Fort William, who was working, to leave a message on the answer-phone at the Glasgow lost property office, the head office for lost property, and they would ring me back.  Luckily the astute Mrs Tootlepedal had found the offending card before they rang and we set off for the garden centre and lunch.

I got the reply from Glasgow later in the day on my answer-phone.  It said, ‘Please ring the Edinburgh Office.’

The visit to the garden centre went well in spite of the fact that they had no suitable sand.  We bought lunch, a moveable bird feeder, some bird food, some peat and logs for the stove in the front room and a small potentilla so we hadn’t wasted our time going there.

By the time we got home, the  sun was in full swing and the garden was full of bees and butterflies.

bees and butterflySomeone suggested that counting the bees must be difficult but as you can see in the picture above, the bees are behaving rather like sheep and are steadily grazing on the sedum rather than buzzing about.  There were well over a hundred here again today.

Unlike yesterday though, there was a good turnout of butterflies too.  There were well over a dozen flitting about, though there were none of the peacocks that looked so pretty yesterday.

Today we had red admirals…

red admiral butterfly…small tortoiseshells…

small tortoiseshell butterfly…and painted ladies…

painted lady butterflyThe painted lady gave me a profile shot.

painted lady butterflyLovers of the 1980s will appreciate the deely boppers which butterflies sport.

There were butterflies and bees wherever we looked.

butterfliesIt seemed that every flower had an insect friend.

poppy and daisy with insectsastrantia with insectsI was dancing about with glee like a little boy allowed a free run in a sweetie shop.

I calmed down enough to take a shot of a poppy for the poppy parade.

poppyI will miss the poppies when the season ends.

We were expecting Mike and Alison to come round for their usual Friday evening visit for music and conversation but Mike rang to say the Alison was unwell and had retired to bed.  This was sad but at least it let me practice a little choir music and write a business letter that had been waiting to be written for nearly a month so some good came out of it.

The flying bird of the day is a bee.

flying bee

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my neighbour Gavin and shows the harbour at Crail on the east coast where he is on holiday.  We have booked a holiday cottage nearby for next April and I can guarantee that the weather won’t be this nice then.

CrailIt was a day of perfect autumn weather, crisp in the morning, pleasantly warm in the afternoon and cooling down as the evening wore on. There was not a cloud in the sky all day and the conditions above the town were such that  passing aircraft were not leaving vapour trails to spoil the blueness.

After putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, I spent the morning entertaining first Sandy to a cup of coffee when he had finished filling  the Moorland bird feeders and then Dropscone, when he had finished a few holes of a golf with a friend.

In between times, I walked round the garden enjoying the colour in the sunshine.

poppies and marigoldpoppy and dahliaThe colour didn’t just come from the flowers.

peacock butterfly

Peacock butterfly

red admiral butterfly

A red admiral

The were several peacocks and red admirals about, the first time that there have been a lot of butterflies in the garden this year.

red admiral butterfly

Sometimes they were side by side.

The Michaelmas daisies and the sedum were the two favourite attractions but almost anything that was out had a visitor or two.

sedum and astrantiaThe bumble bees preferred the sedum and in the afternoon I counted over 150 bees on the plants beside our bird feeder.  It was quite an amazing sight.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with the driving for the disabled and I watched the birds for a while.

great tit and coal tit

Great tit and coal tit

I have put some tasty morsels into the new covered feeder and they are being eaten but never when I am watching so I was pleased to see these two at the other feeder.

A dunnock crept around under the feeder…

dunnock…and a chaffinch pretended to be a flower.

chaffinchThen I took a walk up Warbla to enjoy the day.

Things are definitely running to seed on all sides…

seedy…but the views remained very satisfying.  I looked across to Meikleholm hill where I had seen the scabious plants.

MeikleholmI walked up the track to the top of the hill and looked around.  The phone panorama function looked around too.

Warbla panoramaI had Pocketcam (Nikon J1) with me and it has an ingenious mount so that I can attach my DSLR lenses to it and get a vastly increased zoom. The fine weather gave me a chance to try this out.  I put my 70-300mm lens on the mount and looked down towards the town….

Langholm…and the river.

Langholm BridgeThe bridge is a mile (1.6km) away from where I was standing.

I was quite impressed.  I would need a tripod and delayed shutter release to get the best out of it but it obviously has great possibilities.  I looked east and west.

Monument and Craig windmillsThe monument is just under 2km away and the windmills are 3½km off.  It amuses me that some people can regard the monument to a colonial administrator in India with equanimity while being appalled by some elegant renewable energy devices.  (They weren’t generating any electricity today though.)

Although the sky was cloudless, the views were a bit hazy but I did my best.  I used the zoom again, out…

View from warbla…and in…

Langholm…and my phone again for a wider picture….

LangholmIt was good to be alive on a day like this, with a gentle breeze keeping me cool on the top of the hill.

I walked back down and took a shot on my way with Pocketcam with its own 10-30 lens on.

Whita from warbla I was just thinking that whatever the charms of the walk were, a lot of wild flowers were not among them when  a splash of colour caught my eye.  It turned out not to be a wild flower though but my friend Tom, taking a little fresh air after a morning conducting mock interviews with fourth year school pupils.

Tom on warblaI exchanged greetings with him and made my way home via Gaskell’s Walk.  Tucked away in a little valley with no cooling breeze, the heat was considerable and I was glad to get back into the cool of the house.

I went up to the town to do a little business and when I got back Tom appeared with some coffee beans.  He had inadvertently picked them up while shopping, not realising that they were beans so I ground them up for him and recommended buying a grinder of his own so that he could always have freshly ground coffee at home.

Mike Tinker dropped in and was impressed by the great bumble bee collection on the sedum.  We keep on being told that our bees are declining in numbers so perhaps they have all come to our garden this week.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from her pony driving and claimed to have seen a cloud in the south as she drove home.  We didn’t believe her.

In the evening, I went off with Sandy to do some work at the Archive Centre and with the internet connection working well, we got quite a lot done.

The forecast says that our spell of good weather may be coming to an end in a day or two but it has been great while it has lasted and I apologise for the flood of pictures it has unleashed on you long suffering blog readers.  Things should calm down soon.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

Gear failure

My children have been looking upwards.  After my daughter’s moon shots yesterday, my older son Tony saw some aeroplanes playing noughts and crosses in the sky over Edinburgh this morning.

noughts and crossesIt was another perfect day today, still and sunny from start to finish.  I was intent on cycling but it was too cold for me to start straight after breakfast so I waited until the temperature got to a point where I would be able to go out and not have to discard cycling gear as the day warmed up.

This gave me a moment to enjoy the early sunshine in the garden.

rose and poppyThe insects were up and about too.

butterfly and bugI finally got going after a cup of coffee and a slice of toast and I set off to see how far I could go.  My route took me up to Eskdalemuir where I stopped for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in the Old School there.  I then went over the hill to Annandale.  As I climbed the hill out of Eskdalemuir, I saw a trail of smoke across the hillside in front of me.

log lorryIt turned out to be a timber wagon turning onto the road, having come across a special track provided to keep these big vehicles out of the village of Eskdalemuir.  I was glad that it was ahead of me.  The pedal across the hills was delightful with the almost total absence of wind allowing me to keep up a good rhythm over the undulating countryside.

The state of the rosebay willowherb beside the road interested me.  Some patches were bright red and almost seed free while others had green stems and were snowy white with the seed heads still clustering on the stems.

rosebay willowherbI came out of the hills and crossed the sweeping motorway which follows the River Annan upstream.

M74The road on the right is the old dual carriageway, now reduced to a single lane, which has been bypassed by the new motorway.  I often cycle up it as it has a bike lane on both sides of the road. The big building is a wood fired power station.

I went over the motorway but before I got to the river, I followed a sign to Applegarth Church.  I have cycled past this sign several times and I thought that it was about time to see the church itself.  It was not far from the sign.

Applegarth ChurchI looked out over the kirkyard and the valley beyond.

Applegarth Church

There might be worse places to be buried.

I crossed the River Annan at Millhousebridge and turned south to Lochmaben.  The Mill Loch there was looking very placid in the sun.

Mill Loch, LochmabenI pedalled on south towards Dalton.  It was not long before I came to another sign pointing to a church; this time it was for Little Dalton Kirk.  At one and a half miles, this was a bigger detour than the visit to Applegarth but the legs were in good order and the bicycle was going smoothly so I turned off.  It was lucky that my legs were feeling cheerful becuase the route to the church involved going up a long and fairly steep hill.  This was followed by a plunge back downhill but it was shorter and the the sign to the church was at the bottom.  I had no idea what to expect and was a bit dashed to find that I would have to leave the bike and walk through a field to get to the Kirk.  Still, it was a beautiful day and the views were good…

 Little Dalton Kirk…and the track was lined with wild flowers….

persicaria…so I didn’t mind too much.  I found when I looked it up after I got home that  “The kirk is located West of the town of Dalton, between the old Carruthers estates of Fourteenacre and Butterwhat, on the road between Dormont and Mouswald.”  It is not in pristine condition.

Little Dalton KirkI walked back to my bicycle, noting that the colour of the view changed considerably when I was going in the opposite direction.

Little Dalton KirkThe seed on the willowherb shows just how light the winds have been recently.

I jumped on my bike, ready to pedal off back up the hill and as I changed gear, the gear cable sprang out of its housing and left me with no way of changing gear.  My front gear was still working but that left me with only three gears and every chance of damaging the transmission train further if I stamped up hills in an inappropriate ratio.  There was nothing for it but to ring the MTRS*.   Luckily this service was available and I managed to walk up the hill and cruise down the other side into Dalton village where she picked me up after a short wait.  The wait gave me the opportunity to take a couple of pictures in Dalton.


Millennium wall Dalton

One of the better Millennium artefacts.  Each hand print has a child’s name under it.

The MTRS took me to Bike7 in Longtown where I was able to get a new cable fitted in very quick time and while the MTRS drove home, I followed on my bike.  I have done about 30,000 miles of cycling since 2009 and this is only my second breakdown (apart from the very occasional puncture) so I can’t complain but it was lucky that it happened on a day when the MTRS was available as I was over 20 miles from home.

The sedum round the bird feeder was absolutely humming again when I arrived back.

Butterfly and beesAnd a couple of starlings were keeping a watching brief from above.

starlingsOwing to the excitement of the breakdown and recovery, I didn’t get quite as many miles in as the day deserved but the 53 miles I did manage took my total for the month to just over the 500 mile mark and that was very satisfactory.  I think I can begin with some confidence to say that my new knee is now fully functional.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to see a performance of Coriolanus by Shakespeare, screened from the National Theatre into the Buccleuch Centre, while I went off to our local choir.  I had meant to go to the play too but we have become rather short of tenors as two have left so I didn’t want to let the new conductor down.  I enjoyed the choir practice and Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed Coriolanus as much as was possible for a rather stern and gloomy play.

Since the garden was so full of bees today I have got a flying bee to go with today’s flying bird.

flying beeflying chaffinch*MTRS is the acronym for the Mrs Tootlepedal Rescue Service, a fine body of skilled person.

In training

Today’s guest pictures come from my daughter Annie.  She looked on the internet for advice on camera settings, used her tripod and, over the space of an hour, took much better pictures of the lunar eclipse than I did.  Click on the picture for an expanded look at it.

lunar eclipse annieWe had yet another fine, calm day today and although I couldn’t use it for cycling, we did make good use of it by going to Edinburgh to see Matilda by a new route.

Instead of going to Lockerbie and catching the train there, we went to Tweedbank and caught a train on the brand new Borders Railway service on the recently re-opened section of the Waverley Line.  The 40 mile drive up to Galashiels was a treat in itself as we set off on one of those mornings when the early mists were just lifting and the hills looked at their best.

The train was pretty full but we got seats and enjoyed going smoothly up the railway line looking at the winding main road beside it instead of going slowly up the winding main road as we have in past months and looking at the line under construction.

When we got to Edinburgh, the weather was just as fine as it was in Langholm.

Calton HillMatilda was in good form, looking shyly at her grandpa from her granny’s lap…..

Matilda…and enjoying a joke with her mother while writing to the newspapers…..

Matilda…or to be more precise, writing on my newspaper.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I took her for a short walk…

walking matilda

This is Walking Matilda….is there a hint of a song there?

…but all too soon it was time to leave to catch the train home.

We arrived back in Tweedbank on time and I took a picture from the commodious car park to show that however much money they have spent on reviving the railway line, no money has been wasted on the terminal station.

TweedbankIt consists of a platform, a bus shelter and nothing else.

The drive home was as sunny and scenic as the drive out but Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that she will return to using the Lockerbie route when she next goes to Edinburgh because it needs a lot less time spent driving as the station is only 18 miles away from us and the train goes a lot quicker so the trip takes the same time.

When we got home, there was just enough light left to catch a passing poppy….

poppy…and a cheerful phlox.

phloxThen there was time for a light meal before Susan arrived to drive me off to Carlisle and a meeting of our recorder group.  One of our group has taken up the clarinet and has joined an amateur orchestra which meets fortnightly on a Tuesday so tonight there were only four of us.  We had an excellent evening of playing with the highlight being a Bach Motet.  It is a great privilege as well as a pleasure to have friends with whom it is possible to enjoy playing such good music.

The flying bird of the day had unfortunately landed before I could press my shutter finger.



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