Today’s guest picture is a very nice clematis in Manitoba sent to me from across the pond by Mary Jo. She tells me that they are expecting snow. It has not been a good spring here or there.
We had another fine day today but with a strong and chilly wind still very much in evidence. I spent most of the day keeping out of the wind. Dropscone helped me by dropping in for coffee and he was rewarded with several sticks of rhubarb of which is fond.
When he left, I girded up my loins and went outside to mow all three lawns. I had just finished when I was visited by Mike Tinker, his son -in-law, Lorne and two of his grandchildren. Sara and William immediately headed for the pond and were delighted to be able to surprise a frog while Mike, Lorne and I considered the state of the world in general and the lawns in particular. I was bemoaning the fact that I no longer have the capacity to properly spike the lawn when Lorne offered to come down and spike it for me in the autumn. It would be wonderful if he did. Having a lawn spiked by someone called Lorne would be a clear case of nominative determination (and jolly useful too).
When they left, I had a wander round the garden.
Brasher colours are to be seen too.
After lunch, I spent a little time watching the bird feeders.
Then Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Canonbie, where she had one or two items entered in a WRI competition and I went for a walk. I was looking to see if the bluebells had improved at all but there were many other things to look at on the way.
The bluebells, when I got to them, were good but not great…
Further on still, I had another look at the flowering nettle which I have photographed before without doing it justice. This is one of those tiny flowers that you might well pass by without noticing it, if you hadn’t had your eyes opened by walking around with a camera. I find it hard to capture yellow flowers well but this was my best effort yet.
When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned and I was able to eat a couple of slices of her third-prize winning tea loaf with my refreshing cuppa. It was delicious. The first and second prizewinners must have been really good stuff. I was also pleased to see a bee hard at work among the apple blossom.
In the evening, I went off by myself to the Buccleuch Centre to hear a band called Elbow Jane play. There was much to admire about them; their sound level was very reasonable, the bass and drum players were efficient and discreet and the three front men were all good musicians. On the other side of the coin, their set went on too long, and their singing was a bit relentless so in the end it rather felt as though you had been shouted at for two hours. As well as their own songs, they covered Paul Simon, The Beatles, Credence Clearwater Revival and Joni Mitchell which gives a good indication of their influences and although it is music that I like, they never really managed to bring an involuntary smile to my face or get my toe tapping for long. Still, a live concert 300 metres from your front door is always a bonus and I enjoyed myself.
The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch. The picture shows just how well balanced these birds are in the air while their wings are flapping furiously.