Definitely a touch of summer

Today’s picture is another from my son’s recent visit to America.  They had a plan to visit famous landmarks but they think that they might have been able to get a little closer to this one if they had gone round the other side.


We had a warm and pleasant summer’s day today and after last year, it was more than welcome.  Even if it rains for the rest of the summer, we have done better already this year than in the whole of the last summer.  The garden is looking colourful, the grass is growing, the bees are buzzing, the fruit is appearing on trees and bushes.  Dropscone is up and about.  Everything is good.

After breakfast, I went up to check on the photo exhibition and found fellow archivist Nancy giving the pictures the once over.

photo exhibition

Although we have a couple of gaps on the wall where we are waiting for a late exhibitor to arrive, the walls are well covered and there are about 75 pictures to view which should be enough for anyone.  There is a good variety of subjects and styles too.  The room acts as a tourist incarnation point which explains the table covered in brochures.

I returned home in time to make coffee for Dropscone who arrived on his bike complete with a set of treacle scones.  He has got some stiffness in his shoulder and a sore hip but is very cheerful under the circumstances.  He is wondering whether he might even try to play golf tomorrow.

After we left, Mrs Tootlepedal and I put a netting cage round the strawberries.  This was none too soon as there is a tinge of redness to be seen on some of the fruit.  They are looking really healthy and I just hope that we get to eat them before the slugs destroy them.

I took a moment to mow the front lawn, which is now looking reasonable and Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she has put some blood, fish and bone on the new bit of the middle lawn which was looking a bit peaky.

I also took a few pictures.

I have been waiting for this plant to burst into flower….

It’s a Rodgersia

…but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that this is it in flower so I took its picture.  Not one of the blooms that is going to live in my memory.  Just behind it is a guelder rose.

guelder rose

The yellow azalea is reaching the end of is glory but still has picture or two left in it.


As a jackdaw flew overhead, I thought that I would try to see how quick my new lens could focus….


Not bad for an early attempt.  The bird wasn’t gliding but flying quite fast so the outlook is promising.

Mrs Tootlepedal was struck by the number of young frogs in the pond as she passed by.


As I may have remarked before, I don’t think that we have ever had so many at this time of year.

There was just time to catch a siskin being shouted at…


…before it was time for lunch and my weekly turn in the tourist information point at the Kilngreen.  The better weather is bringing a few tourists out and I have already met more than in the whole of last summer, though it was disappointing that my first two customers were only wanting to know which was the best road out of town.

I had taken my camera and the teleconverter with me to give them a try and in a quiet moment, I took two pictures to show what a fine summer’s day it was.

sheep on the Castleholm
Sheep resting in the shade on the Castleholm across the Ewes Water
blossom on the top of castle hill
Hawthorn (may) blossom on the flanks of Castle Hill.

When I finished, I cycled up to see of the nuthatches were still at their nest but as I expected, they seemed to have gone.  I cycled home and sieved a little compost to cheer myself up.

A young teacher, who is a member of both the community choir and the Langholm Church choir came for tea.  She is nearing the end of her year in the primary school in Langholm and has been amazed at how much there is to do in the town.  She has thrown herself enthusiastically into  the life of the town and will be missed when she goes.  She wonders if her new job London will offer her so many opportunities for entertainment.

In a sign of how good the weather has been, Mrs Tootlepedal set up the sprinkler in the vegetable garden.  I took a look at the blackbirds’ second attempt to raise a family.

blackbird nest

Going well so far.

There are plenty of young sparrows about too.

This one is old enough to feed itself.

In the evening, two of the recorder players came to our house in Langholm and we were joined by Susan and we had an enjoyable evening of quartets ancient and modern.  It was nice not to have to go to Carlisle to play for once.  One of them was my friend Sue who gave me the sour dough starter and under her supervision, I purchased a banneton online.  It is a basket used for shaping the bread dough while it rises.  I am now hoping for artistic as well as tasty loaves.  She also gave us some home made dried tomatoes in oil which she is experimenting with.  They have been dried in the oven rather than sun dried as even in a good year, you could wait a long time for the sun to dry your tomatoes round here.

The prize for the showiest flower of the day goes to this flag iris which is now fully out.  They don’t last long but they are splendid while they do last.

flag iris

A genuine flying bird was on hand as well.  It was a goldfinch taken at 200mm with the new lens.  I’ll have to work on the settings so that I can get the whole bird in focus but it does show that the lens will do what I need, which is lucky.






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Definitely a touch of summer

  1. So much to comment on I don’t know where to begin, so I will just say I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the pictures and the running commentary. The new lens looks good, so far. Thanks for the Jackdaw – I fell in love with them, if that can be imagined, with their blue heads, on my first trip to Ireland. And it is wonderful you have bees and frogs – I hope we still do, I haven’t seen or heard much of either yet.

  2. I know you’re always keen for more tourists, but incarnating them seems a bit extreme. Lovely photos of the Castleholm and the Castle Hill. Would there by any chance be a castle in the vicinity? The iris is beautiful. Glad Dropscone is not too badly off after his close shave.

  3. Glad Dropscone is feeling a good deal better. Good news about the new lens.
    The photographic exhibition looks impressive – wish I could see round.

  4. I love your frog pictures. We only have one frog in our pond this year. Do you know how to attract more? And the iris is stunning.

  5. Thank you for hosting recorder group. It was nice to come to Langholm. Good luck with the banneton… I hope you will be impressed. And thanks for a great blog. It always cheers me up before a hard day battling with bureaucracy.

  6. I’d never heard of a banneton before and had to look it up. I’ll be interested to see how it works for you. Is sourdough harder than other breads to shape attractively?

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