Today’s guest picture is another from my daughter Annie and shows two of her friends deep in conversation in her Brixton garden.
This weekend the Muckletoon* Adventure Festival is in full swing with a cycle hill climb yesterday, mountain bike rides, guided walks and trail running today and 30, 60 and 90 mile cycle sportives tomorrow and a host of other supporting events as well. In previous years I have done the 60 mile sportive while Mrs Tootlepedal did the 30 miles, taken part in the cycle hill climb and rushed about taking photos but this year I decided that I would take a break. I was due to take some pictures of a bird ringing session tomorrow but this has been cancelled due to the threat of rain.
A forecast of wet and gloomy weather had helped me make up my mind and it was soggy when we got up. Still, it was warmer than we expected so we put rain jackets in our bags and set off for a very gentle ride far from the energetic competitors of the main events.
We were keeping an eye on the roadside verges and Mrs Tootlepedal reckons that if you go over 9mph, you can’t check them out properly so, by and large, we maintained a modest pace.
It paid off.
Our route took us up quiet back roads…
We were just at the highest point of the 14 mile ride and on our way home, when Mrs Tootlepedal said, “It’s starting to rain.” It was. Two minutes later, I said, “The sun has come out.” It had and greatly to our surprise (and delight), the rain vanished and the sun remained out for the rest of the day.
It was warm and the garden looked fresh and welcoming.
After lunch, I mowed the middle lawn in celebration and Mrs Tootlepedal continued planting out the flowers that she has been raising in the greenhouse. In the end, I decided it was too good a day not to go for a walk so, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal slaving over a hot trowel, I set off to visit the top of Warbla to enjoy the views.
It was a beautiful day, warm but not too hot and with a cool breeze in my face.
I had taken a picture of a geum in the garden before I left and I found a wild one in the hedgerow as I walked up the Manse Brae. The contrast between the two shows the skill of the plant breeder.
I looked up the Ewes Valley…
There were other things to look at as well as the views. I saw quite a few butterflies and even managed to photogrpah two of them, a painted lady and an orange tip.
There were birds singing galore and one hopped down the track ahead of me as I left the summit. It kept a few yards in front of me so I suspect that I must have been near a nest. I am not very knowledgeable about birds but I think that this one is a lark. It kept just out of range of a clear picture.
Nearby, an old stable was in danger of being swamped by buttercups.