Chain reaction

Today’s picture shows the restored hotel at St Pancras Station.  It was taken by my sister Susan.

The cleaned up old Midland Hotel

It was not a morning to fill your heart with joy and I was feeling rather gloomy as Dropscone and I set off in a miserable drizzle. It wasn’t long before I cheered up a bit. Just after we turned off the A7 onto the bike path, three log lorries swept past throwing up huge trails of spray. If we had been a minute later leaving, we would have been engulfed by the spray. To add to my feeling of well being, by the time we were half way round, the drizzle had stopped. To completely fill my cup of happiness, we got home in a reasonable time and once again Dropscone had provided his excellent girdle scones to go with our coffee.

After coffee, I took my customary stroll round the garden. We are still waiting for the next flush of new flowers to bloom so I took some pictures of things that caught my eye.

The weigela is thriving. There are plenty of blossoms to come.
yellow rose
My eye is easily caught by yellow roses
This slightly unearthly astrantia is newly out
This looks promising

The birds were busy again. The morning seems to be the time when the chaffinches have the seed feeder to themselves.

distracted chaffinch
A distracted chaffinch
concentrated chaffinch
A chaffinch concentrating

The morning rain was evident on the flowers.

A gleaming euphorbia
alchemilla mollis
A delicate alchemilla mollis

We have several peonies in the garden. This is the latest one to emerge.

a different pink peony

I liked this contrast in orange. I think it is more fortuitous than planned but I may be wrong.

poppy and hawkweed
Icelandic poppy and orange hawkweed

Before lunch, I mowed both lawns and I am very pleased with the way that they have responded to the recent scarifying and fertilising. For the moment, the moss has been held at bay and there is quite a lot of grass on view.

The chaffinches were still on the go while I was cooking lunch.

lady chaffinches

I made some potato soup for my lunch which I enjoyed with a selection of organic cheeses from the Loch Arthur creamery at Beeswing. They kindly send me a parcel of cheese every month (in return for money) and I always look forward to their delivery.

After lunch we went on a jaunt to two garden centres where Mrs Tootlepedal topped up her supplies of fertilizer and I failed to buy fresh supplies of bulk bird food because there was none of the sort I wanted in stock. I purchased some small supplies in Langholm on our return along with a cheap paintbrush.

I used the paintbrush to clean up the sprockets and dérailleur on my speedy bike following a tip I read on a cyclists blog. It was a lot better than the toothbrush that I have used before and my sprockets are now gleaming. I gave my chain a thorough clean as well so I expect the whole bike will probably fall to bits when we go out tomorrow.

We were visited by both Sandy, my fellow archivist and Mike Tinker in the pleasant afternoon sunshine.  Here they are, deep in consultation with the gardener.

men who know
Men who know

..and here’s what they were looking at.


While I was walking round the garden with Sandy, we noticed this bee on an astrantia.

astrantia with bee

The vivid colour of the pollen is unusual. This bee on a neighbouring astrantia shows the more normal shade.

astrantia with bee 2

We wondered whether the different astrantias were causing the difference in the pollen colouring.

The evening turned out really well after the drizzly start to the day and I took a couple of shots to show this.

view 1

view 2

I may have been influenced in my choice of shots by the opportunity to include a well mowed lawn or two in the picture.

I leave you with a snap shot of a goldfinch which I took while talking to Sandy while it was flying against the unusual background of our garage door.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

9 thoughts on “Chain reaction

  1. Very much enjoyed the flying goldfinch and the well tended lawns. Hope the newly cleaned bike goes really well today and that the sun shines as it is doing here.

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