Slow day

Today’s artistic guest picture was sent to me by a fellow blogger Marie who saw a guest picture from my daughter-in-law of a cruise ship in Leith and was reminded of the days when she worked in the cruise business. It shows the Swan Hellenic ship, Minerva.

cruise shipWe had a cool and dry morning to greet us today.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help create a sound recording of the local newspaper for the benefit of customers who cannot read it for themselves and then disappeared in the direction of Edinburgh to visit the world’s greatest baby.

garmin route 22 Aug 2014I got out the (fairly) speedy bike and embarked on a circular trip.  The little map on the right shows a gap in the circle which was caused by my failure to start recording the journey until I was two miles out.   (You can click on the map for details of the ride.)

This route had only two thirds of the climbing that my last excursion had and this was fortunate as my legs were a bit equivocal about cycling today.  They were fine as long as I didn’t tax them at all but they began to grumble if I asked them to put a bit of effort in. 

Still, the views as always were very enjoyable as I went round so I didn’t mind taking a bit of time.  The farmers are busy cutting the grass and these cylindrical bales were to be seen on all sides.

DSC_0011 (2) bales near GairJust as I joined the old A74, I saw a sight that used to be common but is much rarer these days.

DSC_0012 roadside horse grazingThere are some very bright rose hips in the hedges this year.  My phone couldn’t do justice to their cheerful redness.

DSC_0014 (5) rose hipsThere was an occasional hint of rain as I got near the end of my 32 mile trip but it came to nothing and I arrived home dry but a little tired.

After some suitable refreshment, I took a walk round the garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal has been a bit aggrieved that her packet of mixed poppies hasn’t produced any white so it was typical that on the day when she was away, several mainly white poppies appeared.

_DSC2032 white poppy_DSC2036 pale poppyThere was more white to be seen as well.

_DSC2030 (2) japanese anemones
A cloud of Japanese anemones
_DSC2056 campanula
And a mist of campanulas

As I was taking these pictures, a blackbird kept an eye on me.

_DSC2038 blackbirdAlthough the garden is past its best, there is still a lot to please the eye.

_DSC2039 fuchsia

_DSC2040 mint
The delicate flowers of mint.
_DSC2041 (2) sedum
We will know that it really is autumn when the sedum finally comes fully out.

The most colourful spot in the garden is the bed at the end of the drive.  It has nicotiana, cosmos, phlox and sunflowers.

_DSC2043 end bedThe sedum will attract butterflies if the weather is good when it comes out but meanwhile, the other flowers are trying their best. 

red admiral
A red admiral or Vanessa Atalanta butterfly on a knapweed.

After lunch and a look out of the kitchen window…

_DSC2047 perching birds
Enjoying the sun.
A siskin and two greenfinches find some space.
A siskin looks for a perch among a sparrow and two greenfinches.

…it was time to go to the Tourist Information Point at the Kilngreen.  I wasn’t expecting to do any informing but to my surprise,  I had eight visitors.  I have to admit that six of these came in as one family and one of those was in a pushchair and didn’t need any information except to find out when they could go out again.  

I was going to go down to the waterside to check on Mr Grumpy  when I locked up but some very dark clouds persuaded me to cycle straight home.  It was a good thing that I did because we soon had a heavy shower.

The day brightened up again though and I was able to mow the middle lawn.  Because of the frequent wet weather I have had to put the cutters on the mower up and this has let weeds spring up.  A close cut keeps the weeds down without the need for weed killer and when I look at the lawns now, I shed a little tear for the glory of July when they looked just as a lawn should look.

The plums are ripening very well and thanks to an unplanned surplus of milk, we are now living mostly on plums and semolina. 

A hovering chaffinch is the flying bird of the day.

_DSC2061 flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Slow day

  1. I like the sight of a tethered roadside pony – they are still to be seen quite regularly here The flower photos all very good today but I especially liked the sedum.

  2. When I was in primary school we would gather rose hips and earn some welcome cash for them. Then our parents would buy them back in the form of rose hip syrup which was absolutely delicious. They contained the vitamin C we needed but I fear a lot of sugar too!

    1. Among the many interesting things I was made to swallow when I was young, whale meat, cod liver oil, spam fritters etc, somehow rose hip syrup escaped me.

  3. Still a lot of colour in your garden. How about an over all shot to get in as much as possible for your readers. Very impressed by the long bicycle ride. Hope the hip did not complain too much afterwards.

  4. I am only ‘bloggering’ haphazardly at the moment but your blog, Tom, is always a delight and has also, always, provided me with a new way of seeing things. I hope your hip is faring well.

    1. I look forward to your intermittent bloggering keenly as you always have something interesting to say so it is one of the wonders of the modern world that WordPress allows us to have this mutually rewarding conversation although we are thousands of miles apart. My hip is slowly improving.

  5. Still so much lovely color in your garden. I enjoy your daily photos very much and try not to think about winter! I know I’ve commented often about my black thumbs and how I kill things but I have to say that thanks to some regular doses of Miracle Grow my patio flower boxes have fared better than ever this summer. Even with the long dry spells, my impatiens have continued to bloom. Truly a “miracle”! LOL

    Loved the pony staked out in the grass.

      1. Mine started looking pretty pathetic right after being planted and I asked someone more knowledgeable in gardening who told me that there is a disease going around and that they would probably die. (The leaves were all turning yellow.) But then I started watering once a week with the miracle grow and they came back, so it must have just been a lack of proper nutrients and not the disease after all. I had also been given a hanging basket of them from a student that also started to fail but came back as well.

      2. I’m glad mine survived – they’ve been so colorful and cheery around the patio. Mrs. T has so many lovely flowers, you would never know impatiens are missing. But if you enjoy them, hopefully you’ll have the new kind available next year.

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed my photo of Minerva. I know what you mean about the grass. Ours is never brilliant but there is a point when it almost looks like lawn and that point of the year has sadly passed. I hope Mrs T got to see the white poppies before they faded.

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