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Archive for June, 2012

Today’s picture shows the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames.  It comes from my sister Mary.

The Globe Theatre

It was a day that was never quite sure of what it was going to do.   As a result, I was never quite sure of what I was going to do either.   Every time that the sun came out and I thought I might be able to do something interesting, the sun promptly went in again and took my enthusiasm for action with it.   I have only cycled 129  miles this month and I am getting used to a slothful way of life and it needs to be a very good day before I stir my stumps.

I had to go to collect the key for the Town Hall gallery just after twelve and I managed to spend the whole morning just waiting to do this and nothing else.  There were birds to watch to take up some of the time.

siskin

A siskin caught in a sunny moment

blackbird

A rather ragged blackbird

rook

A young rook finds a bit of fallen fat ball.

So disorganised was my morning that I didn’t even manage to make a pot of coffee which is a very rare occurrence.

Instead of drinking coffee, I was watching greenfinches approaching the feeder.  It was either two different greenfinches or the same greenfinch twice.

greenfinch

greenfinch

I think that they are different birds.

 

I did manage to mow part of the back lawn but I had to do in two parts as it started to rain when I was halfway through.

The siskins were as aggressive as always.

siskins attack

You would think from the pictures that it was mainly sunny but just before I went to get the key, this was the picture.

hail

The hail was stotting six inches off the lawn.

Fortunately it passed quite quickly and I was able to get the key without getting too wet.

After lunch, the sun came out for two hours of uninterrupted summer.  Of course these were the same two hours that I was sitting in the gallery looking after the exhibition for the benefit of the complete absence of visitors.  At four o’clock, we took the pictures down and at ten past four, two visitors arrived to look at the exhibition.  It was that sort of day.

We have had about 100 people in to look at the photos, which I thought was a little disappointing over two weeks, but  we have agreed to put on another exhibition next year as those that have come seem to have enjoyed themselves.

When I got back  home, the variable weather was back but I was able to sieve a bit of our own compost, add some earth and a dash of fertiliser and then use it as a bit of top dressing on the middle lawn.  I mowed the front lawn as well so it wasn’t an entirely wasted day.

We have got some expert opinion on the brownish pigeon that has been visiting us and it turns out to be a first year homing pigeon from somewhere in Scotland.  Pigeons of this colour are called chequered birds.  The expert, Alistair brought round a pigeon box and some seed in the hope that we could entice the bird into a corner and catch it.  When he came in the evening, it had refused our bait and flown away.

Alistair and his pigeon box

Alistair and Mrs Tootlepeal contemplate the bird that had flown

The day ended quite well and I was able to take some pictures of flowers in the garden.

clematis and rose

Mrs Tootlepedal is pleased with this combination of clematis and rose in the back border.

white iris

The white irises are coming along well.

pink rose

A rose looking very well indeed.

Rosa goldfinch

Rosa goldfinch, one of the few roses of which I know the name.

There are places in the garden where there is not a great splash of colour but where the effect is got by the contrast between flower and shrub or hedge.

lupins

I like this corner.

I took a couple of pictures of young birds in the plum tree.

Young siskin

young greenfinch

I went out at quarter past eight in the evening and the day was at its best because the wind had died down and the light was very clear as you can see from this glimpse of the monument from the back garden.

monument

I took one last picture of a rose before going it to watch Andy Murray play at Wimbledon for as long as I could bear.

rose in evening

Although I didn’t watch it all, I am pleased that he won in the end  because it makes the expense of several hours of your life seem a bit more worthwhile than if he had lost.

The bird of the day is one of the flying greenfinches from this morning.

greenfinch

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Today’s picture, from one of my sister Mary’s walks, shows the Olympic rings on Tower bridge in London.

The Olympic rings at Tower Bridge

It was another wet morning and my joints were sore anyway so I wasn’t too upset at not going on the morning cycle ride.   Mrs Tootlepedal had said that she would use the top dressing that we bought earlier in the week if I didn’t use it myself so I went out in the drizzle after breakfast and spread the bag on the middle lawn and brushed it in.  The lawn has been showing signs of distress, probably because of the cold spring and early summer, and I am hoping that a light dressing will perk it up.

Luckily, I didn’t miss good scones as Dropscone brought some round even though we hadn’t cycled.   Arthur appeared as we were sipping our coffee with a camera full of pictures for me to look at  in his hand.  This was the best of them.

fisherman

The one on the right is Arthur.

He had been fishing for trout near Bailliehill with a Dr Greenwell fly on a 6lb line when, to his surprise, he hooked this 8 lb grilse (salmon).  It required a great deal of delicacy to land it and he was very pleased that he had managed it.    Dropscone and I were impressed.  The fish’s opinion about all this was not canvassed.

It was not a day for photographs but as usual that didn’t stop me trying.  Before coffee, I looked for rising spires in the garden.

spires

Some of these flowers may never come out unless we see the sun again soon.

One white rose flower had survived the dampness quite well.

white rose

Most of the white roses are a soggy brown colour.

I found a couple of siskins to look at.

female siskin

A rather grey looking female

male siskin

A male in the plum tree. the photo doesn’t show it but it was hanging on for dear life in a stiff wind.

After coffee, I looked again.

birds queueing

A greenfinch is shadowed by a siskin

At midday,  Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to the funeral of an ex colleague of mine from my teaching days.  It was sad to reflect that she was three years younger than me.  The good things of life are not dished out with an equal hand.   We returned home in sombre mood.

Still, I have the birds to take my mind off things and by lunchtime, the greenfinches were in the ascendency at the feeder and here we have a full house.

greenfinches

After lunch, I walked up to the Town Hall to see if our exhibition curator had showed up.  He was there and was available until three o’clock so I walked back to the house, got the camera and spent a rather fruitless twenty minutes trying to catch some low flying feathered things.

I was moderately successful.

swallows

There were a lot about but they were very quick.

I am determined to get a really good swallow shot before they go back home at the end of summer.

The wet weather has made everything even more green than usual this year.

Wauchope and Kirk Birdge

The Wauchope and Kirk Bridge

The Wauchope from the Park Bridge

Looking up the Wauchope from the Park Bridge

Trees behind Eskdaill Street

Trees in the breeze behind Eskdaill Street

I put the camera away and did my session in the Town Hall and then came home and watched a bit of tennis on the telly.  Wimbledon is a bit of a drug and if you let it get hold of you, you can waste your life away, imagining wrongly that you are having a good time.  I can take it or leave it alone or so I like to think.

A friend brought me half a dozen fresh eggs in return for a little research which I had done for him in our archives so I enjoyed scrambled eggs and baked beans for my tea.  We live high on the hog here.

In the evening, instead of my customary tootling, I left Mrs Tootlepedal to socialise with Mike and Alison and  went to the Buccleuch Centre to listen to a concert of brass band music given by the Langholm Town Band with an interlude from their Junior Band.  They have a relatively new conductor and he has really galvanised them and they have reached a very good standard of playing.  The programme was wide ranging and enjoyable. To my delight it included a very elaborate Air varié played by Henry, their talented trombonist.   No brass band concert is complete without one of these pieces in my opinion.

The band has always had good players but under their new conductor, their ensemble playing has improved immensely.  If I was really crabby, which I am on occasion, I might mention that the concert started at 7.30 and didn’t finish until 9.40 which some may consider to be almost too much of a good thing.

Today’s bird on the wing is a very unyellow siskin.

siskin

If any local is reading this who has not been to the photo exhibition, I might mention to them that tomorrow (or today, if you are reading this tomorrow) is the last chance to go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s picture in the midst of our gloomy weather is another ray of sunshine from Sue’s Greek Island hols.

donkey

The picture gives a flavour of the morning pedal as I puff along behind Dropscone before he shoots off.  Today, I did my now customary ten miles while he went round a hilly 26 mile circuit before returning for coffee and scones.  The only bright side of this was that I got back in the dry and it rained on him as he went round.  By the time he was ready to cycle home after coffee (and excellent scones) it was tipping it down by the bucket load.  There can be benefits in being a stay at home.

Arthur joined us for coffee and told me that he had been able to borrow a golf buggy in which he can buzz about the golf course doing the large scale gardening which he enjoys without feeling exhausted.  This is good for him  and good for the course as he is an assiduous weeder among other things.

While I was waiting for Dropscone and Arthur to appear, I took advantage of a lull in the rain to get a few pictures of the colour in the garden.

four flowers

From top left clockwise: allium, geranium, sweet William and potato

colour

The revised bed at the end of the new lawn  and a perennial nasturtium waterfall

flowers

A giant clover and the coral peony

If we could get a few days of good weather, the garden would start to look really good.

I was just about to go in, when Isobel, a neighbour, turned up with a big frame to give to me as a representative of the Archive Group.  It turned out to hold a large scale map of the old Waverley line junction at Riccarton…

big map

…and had come from her daughter’s house where it had been left by the previous owner.

I had no idea whether it was of interest or not and we obviously needed a railway buff to help us out.  By coincidence, Guthrie was walking down our road as we were talking…

guthrie

…and with Guthrie came Bruce and Bruce is undoubtedly a railway buff.  He fell upon the picture with enthusiasm and knew of a good home for it so I accompanied him and Guthrie back to his house carrying the map, pleased to have been of passing use in the transaction.  I know you will be keen to see more of the map so for railway enthusiasts everywhere, here is Riccarton Junction sometime in the sixties.

Riccarton

It’s an elaborate layout for a station in the middle of nowhere.

After lunch, there was a break in the rain and I walked up to the town to do a bit of business (and get fresh supplies of coffee) and I was pleased that unlike yesterday, I was able to see the top of a hill as I crossed the suspension bridge.

Castle Hill

Generally speaking it wasn’t a day to get out much and so I did have some time to stare out of the window.  We were visited during the day by an unusual brown pigeon and as it had a ring round its leg, we wondered whether it was a homing bird which had gone astray in the poor weather.

pigeon

It certainly flew in a neat and well organised way.

pigeon flying

We have a small family of collared doves on a regular basis and I managed to catch one of them in flight too.

flying dove

You can see from the pictures that the rain was patchy.  Once again forecasts of heavy rain and floods have proved to be for other places and we have escaped relatively lightly.  We did have a thunderstorm in the afternoon but even that wasn’t very alarming and I didn’t get an opportunity to photograph any spectacular lightning flashes.

Some birds looked gloomy.

rook

I think that this is a young rook.

wet bird

The smaller birds continued their never ending scrap for seeds.

small birds scrapping

There are flowers waiting to come out but as this rather beaten up delphinium shows, the weather is against them.

delphinium

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre with Sandy and, once again, we got through some good work before retiring to the Douglas for a drink.  While in there, we couldn’t help noticing some very fine play by the Italian national football  (soccer) team in the semi finals of the European Championships.  They comfortably and deservedly saw off Germany and will play Spain in the final.  While the football supporters in both countries will be very pleased no doubt, I do wonder if it is a good thing to beat the country that you are hoping to borrow buckets of money from.  Like playing golf with the boss, it might have been better just to let the Germans win.

I walked home, admiring a fine moon in a clear sky but by the time I was organised to take a picture of it, in keeping with the rest of the day, it had clouded over.  More rain is forecast for tomorrow.  We could do with a bit of the hot sunny weather that I read about in American blogs at the moment.  In moderation of course.

Today’s flying bird is a sparrow in the rain.  I don’t know whether it was singing or not.

flying sparrow

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Today’s picture is another from my brother’s recent walk on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border.  It shows a gate for very thin people or perhaps, one legged walkers..

Image035

It wasn’t a good day for a walk here or a pedal for that matter as it was raining lightly and steadily when we woke up.  On the plus side, it was quite pleasantly warm and it was possible, when the rain slacked off, to pop out into the garden and sample the roses and clematis that are out.

floral tribute

A floral tribute to summer

The birds didn’t look so cheerful when the rain was on.

rook

A rook sticks its tongue out at the rain.

wet siskins

A group of wet siskins

damp goldfinch

And a damp goldfinch

Fortunately, the rain eased off and it turned into a humid, soggy, misty sort of day with no sign of the top of a hill in sight.   Nancy came round and a had a coffee.  She was passing on an enquiry from a visitor to the Archive Centre as to whether we could find a home for a mass of research on the farming communities of this and neighbouring parishes.  She said that he had obviously done an enormous amount of work but it is hard to say if we we can use it or not without further enquiries.   We have no storage capability so it will only be possible if he has got his work in easily transferable digital form.  Even so, if the project is large, it may be more than we can take on.

It was a day for archive business, as Mrs Tootlepedal played pass the parcel with a large envelope of stuff from the dusty recesses of the town hall which had been given to her for us to look at.  I haven’t had a chance to see what is in it yet as I had to go to the Archive Centre to meet a lady from America who had to Langholm from Edinburgh on the bus.

She wanted to look at the newspaper microfiches to see entries which she had unearthed on our index.  Sadly, as I could  have told her before she came if she had asked, the entries were very uninformative and did not help her at all.  In spite of this, we had a good chat and she went to see the photo exhibition and seemed quite cheerful about being in Langholm.  She told me that she intended to go for a walk in the hills.  As you can see from this picture…

mist

… she wasn’t going to get much of a view. If she went, I hope she got round safely.

It wasn’t really a day for photographs at all but I couldn’t resist having a go at some passing birds once the rain had stopped…

flying birds

There is always a good crowd of sparrows about.

fatball fortress

Young sparrows crowd the fatball fortress

These young sparrows find it hard to work out how to get onto the feeder once they have got into the fortress.  That is why you can see two standing on the floor of the cage.  The one facing us was trying to bend over backwards  to get a peck in but kept falling off.

When I got back from the Archive Centre, Mrs Tootlepedal had disappeared to Hoddam and I had a late lunch and stared out of the window for a while…

a bluetit

A blue tit with a fully rotating head.

sparrows

One or two had managed the trick of clinging on to the feeder itself.

My birthday peony is looking better every day.

birthday peony

A hint of pink has appeared in the centre

A clump of white irises are about to come into flower.  This first one had braved the rain to come out.

iris

I got the slow bike out and pedalled up the Lodge Walks for a bit of light exercise.  I didn’t see anything interesting to look at in the wildlife department but my eye was caught by a couple of trees.

tree

An Italic tree.

twisted tree

This one has been given an interesting twist by nature

When I got home, I found that Mike and Alison were inspecting the coral peony in the garden.

peony inspectors

They gave it the thumbs up

Mike and I had a cup of tea and decided that the world would be a lot better if we were in charge.

I am trying to get a convincing shot of a pigeon in flight but they are very skittish birds and shoot off into the sky at the slightest hint of me poking my nose through the door.

pigeon flying high

In the evening, we went to the final practice of this session for our new choir.  The choirmaster is offering lessons to people who want to improve their singing and I am thinking of taking him up on his offer as I have plenty of scope for improvement.   I have thoroughly enjoyed the singing and am looking forward to the autumn restart.  I am even going to practise singing in a relaxed and resonant way in the interim.  That will probably mean no bird photos as they will be scared off in no uncertain manner.

The chaffinch of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

 

 

 

 

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Today’s picture is from my recorder playing friend Sue’s holiday on a  Greek island.  Looks quite nice there.

sue in greece

It was almost as sunny there as it was in Langholm this morning and I had taken several photos before Dropscone and I set out for the customary pedal.

A frog was already sunbathing.

frog sunbathing

I like the paradoxically white pinks.  You can see the simple pattern of the developing flower in the bottom left of the picture below and the incredibly complex result of maturity at centre stage.

pink

The blue Himalayan poppy looked happy to be here.

himalayan poppy

To go with my white birthday peony, Mrs Tootlepedal has been nurturing this gorgeous beast as well.

peony

It is protected from the gales by a shield of plastic bottles.

I stooped snapping when Dropscone arrived and we set off towards Callister.   I felt so perky that I was almost tempted to go past the five mile mark but a nagging twinge in my knee persuaded me to draw on some of my limited stock of good sense and I turned for home as Dropscone pedalled off into the wide blue yonder.

Dropscone and the wide blue yonder

On my way home I stopped to take a picture of a bull guarding his harem….

bull and cows

…and an example of one of the many wild flowers that flank the road.

wild rose

As well as Dropscone, a collared dove was a visitor today and I took a picture of it in the morning and another of it, or a look alike, in the afternoon.  It likes to see what is going on around it.

collared dove

It was still sunny after coffee and scones and it gave me the opportunity to capture a flying siskin pretty well.

flying siskin

I had to go to Carlisle for my weekly dose of hydrotherapy and that was the last moment for sunny snapping because by the time that I got back to Langholm, the day had clouded over.  I did some work printing out leaflets for the Tourist Information Point and taking them up to the town and then went home for a cup of tea and a sit down.  I was able to note that the sparrows were keeping up with the siskins in the matter of aggressive footwork.

sparrow kicking

It had started to rain lightly by this time but it was on and off and in one of the off moments, I went outside.

A honeysuckle is making a large floral arch over the path from the vegetable garden.

honeysuckle

A clematis flower is the first of many, I hope, in the back border.

clematis

Then it started to rain gently so I went back in and stared out of the window.  There was a lot to see.

chaffinch on a spirea

A chaffinch on a spirea

pigeon

A better organised pigeon.

a redpoll

I wasn’t expecting to see a redpoll at this time of year.

redpoll in plum tree

It posed in the plum tree for my sister Susan’s benefit.

Two birds in the gentle rain.

sparrow

A sparrow sheltering in the tree.

a starling

A starling wondering wistfully where the sun had gone to.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had a busy day planting the magnolia which she bought yesterday, getting her hair cut and going to work but as soon as she got back she to work in the garden again.  I was so tired watching her that I had to go in and rest.

In the evening, I was driven to Carlisle by Susan to go and play with the recorder group.  We had a really enjoyable night of playing, with every piece that we got out meeting the approval of the group with the possible exception of one called ‘Cuckoo’ by Nicholson.  Sue feels that if you want to hear cuckoos, then you should go and stand in a wood, not listen to recorders making a poor imitation of one.  The rest of us feel that she is being a little picky here.  There were good home made biscuits of a sympathetic texture to round the evening off.

Today’s flying bird is not the best picture of the day but it is the only one of a flying redpoll that I can remember taking for ages so it got in.  It was squawking nineteen to the dozen which is why its beak is blurred.

flying redpoll

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Today’s picture shows a Bonnie Langholm hanging basket.  It will develop more flowers as time goes by.

hanging basket

I decided to let Dropscone pedal on his own today from a combination of business to do and joints to rest.  While he was out pedalling, I went up to fill up the feeders at the Moorland Feeding Station.  I had learned my lesson and was fully covered up and anointed against the midgies so I had time to lurk to see if anything interesting turned up.

This did.

Unknown bird

It was very blurry through my camera eyepiece.

I thought that it might be some kind of pigeon as it was quite a large bird.  I had a closer look when it settled on one of the feeder towers.

Unknown bird

Still not entirely helpful but not a pigeon.

Unknown bird

Definitely not a pigeon but what was it?

woodpecker

I had thought that it might be a green woodpecker when I first saw it but it definitely wasn’t one of these which popped up while I was looking at the new bird.

It was very busy flying to and from the feeder as though it might be feeding a young one.  Here it is coming back.

unknown bird flying in

I took one final shot and when I got back home I showed it to Mrs Tootlepedal and she identified it immediately as a jay, a bird I can’t remember ever having seen before.

Jay

A very pretty bird which I hope I get to see again.

On my way back through the town, I took the town hall keys back and checked the photo exhibition to see how many pictures had fallen down during the night (only one).

I admired the hanging baskets which Mrs Tootlepedal and her group had put up on Friday.  Here are two on the side of the Town Hall which houses our exhibition.

hanging baskets

After I had got home, Dropscone arrived soon afterwards and we enjoyed coffee with the scones which he had kindly carried round the morning run on his back.

We are being visited by one or possibly two families of starlings just now and I am pleased to feed them as their numbers have gone down a lot because of the two hard winters we have had recently.  I had to use the rather conventional picture below…

starling

…because I couldn’t use this one, as the very tip of the beak is just out of frame.

diving starling

It’s a pity because it would have made a fine picture.

The fluffy young one appeared later in the day.

young starling

When Dropscone had left to go about his avocations, I wandered round the sunlit garden.

Rosa Gallica Complicata

Confusingly, these simple roses are called Rosa Gallica Complicata

moss rose

The first moss rose of the year

campanula

I like the curly pistils on this campanula

I have a picture of a frog peeping out from under a lily in the exhibition and there was another one at it today.

frog peeping

I went back inside and was rather baffled to see this bedraggled looking object under the feeder.

coal tit?

I think it may be a coal tit.

The siskins were as actively aggressive as ever.

siskin

This one just mistimed its kick. It’s probably an English one. (Football joke)

Then it was time to go the the hospital.  To make the outing more fun, we went to a garden centre to have lunch and mooch about first.  After stopping for me to buy bird food on the way, Mrs Tootlepedal bought a plant or two and I acquired some lawn top dressing and then we popped across the road and Mrs Tootlepedal bought some embroidery thread from a quilting shop so that made for a good outing all round.

The visit to the hospital to see the consultant’s nurse  was very quick (I was in and out before my official appointment time had even arrived) and I was pronounced ‘fair to middling’.  I am seeing the consultant himself next week and after that, I should have a better view of when I can get back on the bike.  Meanwhile, swimming is recommended.

While I was in the hospital, Mrs Tootlepedal made a quick dash to a fabric shop where I picked her up sooner than she would have liked.  The journey back out of Carlisle from the Eden bridge along the Scotland Road was very smooth and almost uniquely, we sailed through every one of the many traffic lights without having to stop.

The day had been very sunny throughout and this sweet William was positively glowing with pleasure.

sweet William

Another flower with fun pistils

I have been trying to catch one of the pigeons in the garden in flight and I finally managed it this evening.  The result is decidedly disjointed.

pigeon

Designed by committee like a camel perhaps. It seems amazing that it can make any progress at all.

It did get further away though without looking any more comfortable…

pigeon going

…and finally settled with dignity in the walnut tree.

pigeon in walnut tree

A greenfinch glowed gently while taking in the rays.

greenfinch

The day was rounded off by a visit from my flute pupil Luke who gave me a rousing rendition of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which pleased me greatly.

Today’s flying object is a siskin, showing that they can have elegance as well as ferocity.

flying siskin

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Today’s picture shows Dropscone with two club-mates, Stewart and George, representing the Langholm Golf Club in a charity fourball at Southerness today.  Presumably the fourth member is taking the picture.

golfers

In the end, we have passed through the forecast rain and gales of the last few days without getting too much of either and the day dawned pretty fair this morning.  This was a moment of joy, since good days have been at a premium since we came back from holiday.

I had offered to open and close the Town Hall for the volunteer exhibition curators today which meant being available at 10, 12, 2 and 4 o’clock.  This gave me the perfect excuse for additional resting and I started well by doing no more than taking a  picture of a perennial nasturtium…

nasturtium

and a slightly damp white peony before the first of these appointments.

peony.

This is a very special peony which a friend gave to me for my 70th birthday and Mrs Tootlepedal has been looking after it with great care.

Sandy was the morning curator and he came to pick me up and we managed to open the gallery without setting off the alarm which is always a relief.

When I came home, it was time for coffee and a good look out of the kitchen window.  The bird entertainment was top notch.

There were wings flapping on all sides.

wings

Siskins were about in profusion with wings both up and down.

siskins

Goldfinches had the full range of flying skills on show too.

goldfinch flying

goldfinch

This one is putting a spell on the sparrow.

The habit of siskins indulging in bird trampling was very much in evidence as well. (Click on the picture for an enlarged version if you want.)

bird trampling

This was a continuous sequence of events; the first kick ended in failure so the siskin regrouped and decided just to stand on the sparrow and get a beak-ful of seed.  The sparrow was extremely calm about the whole thing.

I went up to the town hall and we managed the closing successfully.  Whether the opening and closing had been worthwhile was another matter as Sandy had had only had one visitor and that was another of the exhibitors.

When I got home again, I had time for a wander round the garden.  The sun was working wonders.

Rosa goldfinch

The first sight this year of the prolific rosa goldfinch

eryngium

The eryngium is just beginning to show its blue colouring

campanula

The first campanula

peony

A well protected peony which is going to be gorgeous.

In the face of a warm sunny day in the garden, my resting resolve cracked and I got the hedge trimmer out and trimmed two of the golden box balls on the edge of the front lawn.

box balls

Before and after

A sphere has literally an infinite number of positions that you can look at it from and it is very hard to get them perfectly spherical.  Every time you do a little trim to even up one side, it throws off the view from another angle.  Still I can always give the one on the left a little re-trim some time.

A little movement in the pond caught my eye…

frogs

The are quite a few frogs in the pond again.  I expect a return visit from the heron.

There were strange rustling noises in the philapelphus beyond the pond too.  It was Mrs Tootlepedal doing some clearing out of clematis plants that were strangling the philadelphus.

The gardener

By afternoon, a large pile of cutting had appeared on the lawn.

The pink rose which had been hanging its head in the downpour yesterday was beaming at the sun today.

pink rose

After lunch, the second opening was accomplished successfully and I watched the pipe band march up the High Street on its way to the Church Fete.  There was a bit of a hiccup in its smooth progress when a youthful drummer tripped and fell.

pipe band

I took a short cut across the suspension bridge, stopping to snap a family of ducks that had found something very good to eat….

ducks eating

…before going to the church Fete myself.  Langholm’s other band was playing when I got there.  The Town Band is a splendid mixture of ages as this view of the cornet section shows.

LTB cornets

Their E flat bass player was in reflective mood.

E Flat bass

The plant stall was in the hands of two of the finest brains of the Archive Group.  Sandra and Nancy were giving all their concentration to the business of bagging potted plants.

Sandra and Nancy

The band was being watched by respectable members of the community including fellow blogger Gavin.

Margaret and Gavin

The Community Council and the Langholm Initiative relax side by side

The minister was being a good sport.

minister

..though I did think that I might have heard him excommunicate one parishioner who had thrown a particularly savage wet sponge.

burgering about

Andrew was burgering about, bringing sustenance to the body at this spiritual occasion.

I expect that everyone was very pleased to get a dry afternoon after all the rain.  Especially the pipers, because it is no fun to march around in the wet.  This one looked cheerful enough.

piper

I left after a while, having purchased the obligatory raffle ticket and paused on the bridge to watch the birds catching insects.

martin

I think this is martin but it might be a swallow

Then I went home again.  My resting policy was in tatters when the middle lawn called out to me so loudly to be mowed that I couldn’t resist it. Still, it looked good when I had finished.

I cycled up to the Town Hall for my last visit of the day and was pleased to find that Corrie, the curator, had had enough visitors to make the opening worthwhile.    Even so, the attendance has been a bit disappointing and we can only hope for better things next week. Those who have come have enjoyed the show a lot and we will definitely do it again next year, probably with a few more photographers involved.

I had to put the camera away at this point, as I found that I had taken over 80 photographs and cutting more than that number down for the blog is too much like hard work.  I watched the athletics on the telly instead of looking for more subjects.

After a tasty tea of mince and tatties, I was going to go for a short bike ride in the evening sunshine but I found that clipping the box balls had made my wrist too sore to hold the handlebars in comfort so I mowed the drying green instead, my excuse being that it was such a lovely evening that it was hard to sit inside.

No flying bird of the day today.  There are too many pictures on the blog already.

 

 

 

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