Today’s guest picture is the result of another visit to Edinburgh by Mrs Tootlepedal in her role as grandmother. It shows Matilda being transported by a personal travel solution.
We were all being transported today. Mrs Tootlepedal was physically transported by car and train to Edinburgh where she was spiritually transported with joy at seeing Matilda. While there, she reverted to Shank’s pony and walked six miles during the day. Her journey home was made miserable by the fact the the train company had sold tickets for an eight coach train but had absent mindedly only provided four coaches so she had to stand in a very cramped vestibule for over an hour. She had enjoyed her day nonetheless.
I, after a quick blackbird shot…
…and an admiring glance at an Allium…
…was transported to Carlisle by bus. When I got there, I joined a good turnout of members of the Carlisle Community Choir for a rehearsal and performance in the old Fire Station building. This was abandoned as a fire station after the great floods of 2005 and is now lying empty but in good condition. It was never quite clear to me why we were doing a half hour lunchtime concert in a deserted shell of a building but I have no doubt that there was some good reason. The choir sang quite well and and the small audience received us enthusiastically so it was very enjoyable.
My satisfaction was compounded by the timing working out so that I walked out of the concert and more or less straight on to the next bus home. This left me plenty of time for a 25 mile easy pedal in warm sunshine. Cycling is always a pleasure but there is no doubt that the pleasure is enhanced by a bit of sunshine and the chance to get some suntan on one’s knees.
I had a walk round the garden when I got back.
A large flag iris has appeared.
And in contrast, two more delicate newcomers are another geranium and a white Icelandic poppy.
More sensational poppies of a different sort are about to burst into flames.
I had a busy time because the warm afternoon had brought things out. Flowers…
…and other things.
Sandy came round for a very short and gentle walk and we started by driving to the Kilngreen where the regular heron was standing on yet another rock…
…and a wagtail was rocketing vertically up into the air off the stones beside the river to catch insects.
Then we parked the car at the Episcopal Church and strolled across the Castleholm. It was still pleasantly warm but the sun had gone behind clouds by this time. We caught a glimpse of a nuthatch but there was no action at the nest so we walked up beside the race track. It was looking very orderly having recently been mown…
…and at the top corner it was framed by buttercups.
We walked across the grass to look at another possible nest site on a branch. On our way we passed these..
…and a rabbit who had obviously read John Updike.
The nest was occupied by blue tits and we watched while they busily went in and out, mostly too quickly for a photograph but once or twice, slowly enough to get some sort of record.
Ominously, we couldn’t stand watching for too long as the midges were beginning to bite. The miserably cold winter of 2012-13 meant that last year was almost midge free but I fear that we will pay for this year’s mild winter in multiple midge bites.
Still, we moved off in time and got home safely. When he had arrived for the walk, Sandy had looked at our garden from an angle that I don’t often use as I normally look at the garden from the house. He suggested that bis view would make a charming picture.
I was going to use a pale Aquilegia as the non flying flower of the day…
…but Mr Grumpy took off (catching me by surprise) while I was watching so here is a traditional flying bird of the day. I am always slightly surprised that a bird that looks so slim while standing, can look so broad when flying.