More like it

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my Newcastle correspondent and she tells me that it shows her daughter both celebrating ‘wrong trousers’ day and supporting the Dutch football team in the World Cup at the same time .  She is supporting the Dutch team because she is half Dutch and if you ask which half, it is the top half of course.


It was another dry day today but with a little more breeze than lately and quite cool for the time of the year with the thermometer showing 14C when I set out on my bike.

I surprised myself by feeling cheerfully fit unlike the last few days and I was just getting pepped up for a brisk run while passing the three mile marker when I suddenly remembered, in the nick of time, that I was supposed to be at the Town Hall taking down the photos from our photo exhibition.

A quick turn round and I was home and changed in time to be at the take down.  Phew.

Sandy was there too and we had a cup off coffee afterwards and arranged to meet after lunch to go on a butterfly hunt at Longtown.

I got changed again and went back out on the bike to add another thirteen miles to my original six. I was still feeling well so I didn’t even think of wild flowers today and concentrated on getting my average up to to over fifteen miles an hour for the combined nineteen miles.  It was a mystery to me as to why I was feeling so much better today but it was very welcome.

I had a quick look for new flowers in the garden when I got back.  There were some conventional flowers….

nasturtium and marigold
The first appearance of nasturtium and marigold

…and one a little bit different.  It is the woolliest plant that I know of.

Stachys byzantina
Stachys byzantina or Lamb’s ear

As well as new plants, I took a picture of the very last of the peonies.  This one is going out in style.


Mrs Tootlepedal and I made some soup for lunch and then I went off with Sandy to Longtown.  Mrs Tootlepedal and Granny also went to Longtown but  a little bit later, as they were visiting a garden centre to buy some plants for the chimney pot outside the kitchen window.

When we got to Longtown, Sandy and I went down to the river…

Longtown Bridge

…which was very low after the recent dry spell.   The fishermen won’t be happy as they need a good flow of water but a goosander on an exposed rock seemed cheerful enough…


…and I enjoyed her splashy take off a moment or two later.


The path along the river was through a wild flower meadow….

Longtown meadow

…and there were insects of many kinds on every side…

insects on knapweed

…and plenty of butterflies.  The trouble with the butterflies was that they showed a marked reluctance to stop flying for even an instant when we were looking at them.  There were any amount around and they rose from the sides of the path as we approached and didn’t settle again until we had gone well past.

Still, it was a treat just to walk along the path….

Longtown path

…and look at the flowers beside it.

wild flowers
Possibly a Heracleum of some sort on the left and definitely a lovely wild campanula on the right

After a while, the path emerged into the open and the ponds come into view.

Longtown ponds

The butterflies were just as busy here but the warm sunshine seemed to make them a little more restful.

It wasn’t warm enough to make them sit on a flower and spread their wings but at least they did sit for a moment.

ringlet butterfly
We think that this is a ringlet butterfly
ringlet butterfly
A butterfly with a really complicated head
clouded yellow
This one may be a clouded yellow.  It has the face of a disgruntled troll….
clouded yellow
…but a good taste in flowers

It was sitting on an orchid as Sandy noticed and when we looked round, we could see that there were many more around it.

orchids at Longtown

There was quite a large number of them growing on a bank and it is hard to see why they should just grow there and nowhere else round about.  They were the only ones we saw on our walk.  They were looking very fine in the sunshine.

orchids at Longtown

The views were worth looking at as well as the butterflies.

Longtown pond
One of the ponds
River Esk
A bend in the River Esk

And there was the occasional bird too.


After the cool morning, the afternoon proved to be very warm and we were getting well cooked as we went along.  We were quite pleased when the sun went in as we rounded the ponds and turned to walk home.

Sandy has posted some of the pictures that he took today on his blog and if you are interested, you can find them here.

Both Sandy and I were quite tired after a couple of hours in the sun and we were pleased to get back to Langholm.

When Sandy dropped me off, I failed to take an opportuntiy to mow a lawn and went inside to update the Moorland Project website for Dr Barlow instead.  If any reader has been intrigued by pictures of owls and hen harriers on my recent blogs, I can recommend a visit to her regular blog for more expert information and photos.

Mrs Tootlepedal turned out to have bought one of my favourite flowers to put in the chimney pot outside the kitchen window and it will give me something to look at while I am waiting for the birds to return to the seed feeder.  The uptake so far has been slow but I did manage to catch a flying blue tit in the evening.

flying blue tit




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “More like it

  1. Butterflies are notoriously uncooperative photography subjects! Good job on the ones you got, I especially do like seeing the face on the clouded yellow. Definitely looks disgruntled! 🙂

  2. Brilliant as ever, but what plant did Alison bring back for the chimney pot, my guess villas.

  3. Good photos of the orchids and butterflies and so nice to see some sunshine. In the faraway lands to the south and east we have had cloud, cloud and cloud with frequent thunder-storms and torrential rain.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: