Another floral feast

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia, who saw something a bit bigger than a chaffinch out of her kitchen window.

badgerThe weather people seem to take a sort of morbid pleasure in making our flesh creep with forecasts of doom and gloom.  Once again they were overly pessimistic and, having prepared ourselves mentally for a cold and windy day, we had to readjust to a calm and reasonably warm day instead.   Perhaps their policy is always to err on the dark side so that we will be happy when things turn out better than we thought but it does make planning ahead a lottery.  Still, mustn’t grumble.

Still, the kindly weather let Mrs Tootlepedal do a power of work in the garden in the morning and I mowed the greenhouse grass with great care and attention.

I took a walk round the garden after breakfast.

sweet William and poppy
A Sweet William and an oriental poppy offered contrasting reds
lupin and iris
Lupins and an iris share a delicate blue
A hosta carries off the prize for exciting greens

I was meandering through the crossword indoors when Mrs Tootlepedal came in and alerted me to a foreign body on the lawn.  I went out at speed.

frog on lawnThe frog was so static and let me get so close that we worried for its health but when it was left quietly alone, it soon hopped off.

Meanwhile, I went back in and looked out of the kitchen window.

young starlings
The Katzenjammer Kids of the starling world were back again.

As well as birds, there are always flowers to look at through the window too.

aquilegiaAfter lunch, I had one more quick walk round the garden….

A dark iris has come out.

…before having a quiet sit in front of the telly watching some motor racing until Mrs Tootlepedal summoned me out for another cycle ride.

Although it was cloudy, it was still an excellent cycling day with surprisingly light winds so we set out to bicycle to Enzieholm Bridge and back, a 15 mile trip.

Unlike yesterday’s ride, this was quite a hilly effort in places….

Quarry Brae
Mrs Tootlepedal sweeps over the summit of the Quarry Brae

…and affords some fine views along the way.

Gates of Eden
It couldn’t be much greener.

We went at a steady pace, keeping an eye out for interesting flowers beside the road.  Although we had nothing like yesterday’s spectacular array of Sweet Rocket, there was still plenty to please and intrigue the eye.

plantain and clover
Plantain and clover
whitebeam and laburnum
Whitebeam and laburnum
hanging down and sticking up
Things hanging down and things sticking up

From Bentpath, we cycled up the back road past Georgefield….

Georgefield…with its well stocked verges.

We stopped at the bridge at Enzieholm for half a banana and a finger of Kit Kat each…

Enzieholm Bridge…and then cycled home back the way we had come.

There were more treats on the way.  Just past Georgefield, Mrs Tootlepedal’s sharp eye spotted a single flower.

An orchid, probably a northern marsh orchid, she thinks.  The only one we saw today.

A few yards further on, my eye was taken by this burst of colour.

Georgefield hedgerowWe crossed the Esk at Bentpath.

Esk at BentpathJust over the bridge there was a grand display of orange hawkweed.

hawkweedWe stopped once more to take a picture of a flower that we had noticed on the way out and couldn’t name.  Research at home indicated that it was a rattle.  Mrs Tootlepedal also noticed that the silverweed beside the road had some little flowers.

silverweed and rattle
Silverweed on the left, a potentilla and Rattle on the right, a sort of snapdragon

All in all, it was a very interesting ride and although we didn’t break any speed records as we idled along, we were very satisfied when we got home.

Once in, I set about looking at the pictures which I had taken and Mrs Tootlepedal went off to do some more gardening,  She is making the most of the good weather.

In the evening, we went to the Buccleuch Centre to hear a French chanteuse called Flossie Malavialle.  She has lived in the north east of England for many years and has a delightfully mixed accent now.  She has a very lovely voice, an excellent technique and a very varied programme.  Tonight she sang songs by Abba, Beth Neilson Chapman, Paul McCartney, Tom Waits, Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf among many others and did them all justice.  She is able to vary her style to suit the song and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

My enjoyment would have been total if she had talked a little less between songs and sung a little more but she is a teacher by profession so her anxiety to explain everything very clearly (and sometimes twice) is quite natural.

Catching a flying bird these days is a tricky business and this shot of coming and going was the best that I managed today.

chaffinch and goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Another floral feast

  1. Love the “coming and going” shot, as well as the second amazingly lovely iris in a row. Re. the show: singing everything from Piaf to Abba shows remarkable versatility!

  2. You might want to go back to that rattle in a few weeks’ time to collect its seed for your wildflower patch. Apparently it impoverishes the soil nicely, which is just what wildflowers like. I was given some seed this time last year and have the pleasure of seeing its offspring just going over now, ready to scatter more seed.

  3. More lovely flowers. I do admire the lovely country cycling areas you have there. Such lovely scenery! Our country roads here tend to be used by speeding 4WD owners and cycling can be a rather risky venture. Do you encounter speeding drivers much on your country rides? A double flying bird shot today. Well done.

  4. A great day to be out and about from the look of your photos, a bit of everything again, landscapes, birds, and the flowers. I can’t think of much else to say, other than I really enjoyed this one.

  5. I totally agree with you about performers who will talk at a concert when one has gone to listen to the music, it makes me very cross indeed. You had a wealth of lovely photographs, I especially enjoyed the orchid.

  6. Fine shot of the badger.
    Glad you and Mrs T had a pleasant ride and spotted an orchid among other things.
    The concert sounds very varied and enjoyable.

  7. All the flower pictures are so beautiful, and as for the Hosta photo — well, I’ve always been quite indifferent to them, but the photo you composed has me gasping! Looks like a Van Gogh. Love the interplay of the lines.

    1. I have changed my mind about hostas. I used to think that they were a bit boring but Mrs Tootlepedal likes them and there are quite a lot in the garden and I have come to enjoy their form and colour.

  8. How big was the frog – it looks huge!
    I am in utter awe of you Two-tlepedals – a substantial bike ride and then back out into the garden again and off to a concert in the evening as well! Exhausting just reading about it!
    That balance for a performer between showing your personality by interacting with the audience and lecturing them – it’s a fine line. I would say less talk and more play is preferable but for the memory of a Dire Straits concert circa 1989 where I may have well have stayed home and played a recording…I still feel ripped off

    1. The frog was just frog size, about an open hand. It was just that I was able to get close to it.

      It is generally true that a recording will be better balanced than a live show and I was never one for going to listen to the pop bands of my youth. I like jazz live though and I prefer it if no one talks at all.

  9. Another magnificent stone bridge! What a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. That looked to be another fine spot to pedal. Loved the flying bird of the day shot. I really sat and looked at it closely, something about the look in the eye of the incoming bird was humorous to me. 🙂

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