The pick of the crop

Today’s guest picture is another from Bruce’s visit to the south west of England.  He saw this black swan at Dawlish.  He tells me that before he saw this actual black swan, he had thought that all black swans were public houses.

Black swan

The main business of the day was taking Granny to Newcastle Airport so that she could fly back to London after her visit.

Granny going
All belted up and ready to go.

We had to get up quite early as unlike trains and buses with which we are more familiar, it appears that you have to arrive long before the scheduled departure time if you wish to catch an aeroplane.   In this case we had to arrive longer before the take off than the actual journey would take.  However we managed it well and I dropped Mrs Tootlepedal and Granny off at the airport and went off to have a cup of hot chocolate at a nearby garden centre.

While I was there, I got the car washed as one does at a garden centre and by the time that this was done, Mrs Tootlepedal appeared on foot from the airport, having whizzed thought the formalities and left Granny in the safe hands of BA.

We set off home, stopping at a pick-you-own fruit farm on the way where we picked some strawberries and raspberries to make jam.

pick your own

The weather remained very sunny all day and it was hot work picking the fruit.  After we left the fruit farm, we stopped once again at an upmarket supermarket in Hexham and were grateful for the air conditioned coolness inside.

We were pretty tired after two days of driving when we got home and sank down on the couch to watch the cyclists in the Tour de France pedalling through typically miserable French weather.

After the stage had finished, I staggered up and mowed the two lawns while Mrs Tootlepedal did some essential garden maintenance.

I found some time before we left in the morning and after mowing the lawns in the afternoon to take a few garden pictures.  It was a good day for poppies….

Another self sown poppy has arrived to add a splash of colour.
It looks good enough to eat close up.
Two fading Icelandic poppies

…and for roses….

A rambler and the Queenof Denmark

Wren and Lilian Austin

…and the cosmos are coming along nicely too.


The garden was alive with the sound of bees.

bee on Campanula
One getting stuck into a campanula…
bee on knapweed
…and one grazing on knapweed.

I thought that the knapweed deserved a shot in its own right.


day lily
A new set of day lilies have arrived on the scene.

We finished off the slow cooked lamb stew for our tea with new potatoes and turnip from the garden.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre with Sandy.  It was so pleasant that we walked up and as we crossed the suspension bridge I saw the first set of ducklings that I have seen this year.

I took a poor picture with my phone just for the record.

Our friend and co-worker Jean is now in hospital in Dumfries for tests so I think that a visit to her there will be on the cards for next week.  Sandy and I worked away and rewarded ourselves with a small glass of wine at the Eskdale Hotel when we were finished.

I couldn’t find the time or patience to catch a flying bird today although I toyed with using this picture of a passing flying object which flew over the garden in the evening…


…but in the end I cheated and  settled for another picture of one of the kites from yesterday.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “The pick of the crop

      1. Well, from experience I can say that sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn’t. But, the VR system of your Nikon is a little different that that of my Canon.

  1. Beautiful berries – they look good enough to eat. And the close up of the red poppy is amazing! Do you think you’ll get a day of rest now that company has gone? I had company for only two days and was positively exhausted when they left.

    1. I would like a day of rest but I need to get back on the bike seriously as I have been neglecting it with all theses visitors. If I don’t cycle, my legs are liable to fall off.

  2. I always enjoy my visits here, Tom! Loving the looks of those berries! Been picking small batches of blueberries and blackberries from my garden this summer. Seems to be the only thing producing through my neglect this season. 😉

  3. I’m sure the airports like you to get there so early so you have time to spend lots of money in them while you wait. The black swans at Dawlish are actually captive, they were originally imported from Australia, and their wings are clipped so they can’t fly off. The wild ones, like those I’ve seen recently on the river here are escapees from such colonies and are pretty rare, apparently only about 40 pairs in the UK, even so they’re a lovely sight.

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