Today’s guest picture shows Devonport, near Auckland in New Zealand. My brother travelled there last week.It was a good day today in many ways. The sun shone, I got in a cycle ride and a walk, my hip was much improved and best of all, there were many ripe plums from our tree to be eaten.
This last was perhaps the most amazing because the thermometer could only manage a niggardly 11C as I set out for my cycle ride after breakfast. In spite of the big drop in temperatures, the plums are ripening at a steady rate and not only did I get several to eat but Mrs Tootlepedal has cooked a batch for freezing as pulp for endless plum crumbles in the depth of winter.
In spite of the low temperature for the time of year, the sun was out for my cycle ride and conditions were very pleasant as the strong winds of recent days have calmed down. I am still taking the cycling easily and limited myself to a gentle eighteen mile run with no steep hills to test my joints and no photographs to make me jump off and on the bike.
This careful approach paid off and I was able to walk freely when I got off the bike. The extensive resting over the past few weeks mixed with some light exercise seems to be a good recipe and although I am not back to normal, I am certainly a lot cheerier than I have been lately.
I had a walk round the garden when I got back.
The Shirley poppies are just sensational and I took yet another picture to prove it.
More rudbeckias are coming out every day. I think that they may be the most disorganised flower I know.
After a brief moment of staring out of the kitchen window….
…I made myself up a couple of tomato rolls using a tomato from the greenhouse and then went up to the golf club where Dropscone was organising the Langholm Seniors Open Golf Tournament. It sounds a bit grander than it actually is, as it is a rather informal event with only 19 entrants this year.
Dropscone had to take his wife to Dumfries during the day so he had asked me to go up and act as official starter for the afternoon draw. I was happy to oblige.
When I got there, I discovered that I hadn’t needed to make up my rolls as Drospcone’s sister had volunteered to help with the catering and made a great pile of filled rolls, more than enough for everybody.
The view from the first tee was as glorious as ever and one of the consolations of playing golf at Langholm is that no matter if your score is poor, the view will always be good.
…and the players teed off in cheerful mood. I didn’t stay to see their rounds come to a conclusion but I learned that it was a family affair this year and Dropscone’s brother-in-law carried off the trophy.
The reason that I didn’t stay at the golf club was that I had been asked by Cat Barlow, who is in charge of the moorland education project, to take some pictures to show the excellent condition of some of the heather on the hill. In spite of the heather beetle, there are considerable patches of good growth which she wanted to be highlighted.
Although I was by no means sure that walking over the hill would be possible, I went off with Mrs Tootlepedal to the moorland bird feeder site and armed with two walking poles, started to walk along the quad bike track up Whita Hill. Mrs Tootlepdal had walked this track last week so I was pleased to have her to show me the way to go.
Mrs Tootlepedal kept her eye out for raptors…..
We were very pleased to see a patch of lucky white heather among the purple when we were on our way back to the car.
Apart from the beautiful day and the great views, the walk was especially pleasing for the fact that I could do it at all. It wasn’t far but the going was rough underfoot and there was a fair bit of uphill work involved. I felt well enough when I got home to give the front lawn a much needed mow but I was quite pleased to sit down after that.
Cat came round after tea and I gave her a memory stick with all the eighty moorland photos that I had taken and left her with the task of sorting out the most suitable shots for her purpose. I hope that she can make a decision. I would have found it very hard.
I didn’t have much time in a busy day to watch the bird feeder but I did catch one of the blue tits with its feet just off the perch as the (blurred) flying bird of the day.