Not much happening

Today’s guest pictures were sent to me by my friend Liz.  She had been to see one of her daughters enjoying, if that is the word, a Tough Mudder at Drumlanrig.  At the end competitors were asked to donate their trainers though the reason for this remained obscure.  I have combined her pictures into one.

Tough Mudder 21st June 2015 307Because the proposed bird ringing at which I was going to take pictures had been cancelled because of forecast rain, it was a bit annoying to get up and find that the sun was shining.  However the forecasters had got it right and all through the morning, the sunshine was interspersed with showers, some of them very heavy.   It was hard to make a plan as the weather veered so wildly from fine to wet in quick succession.

I retreated inside and put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Database while Mrs Tootlepedal was off singing in the church choir and when she came back, I darted out into the garden between showers.

iris and poppyrose and Sweet WilliamIt was hard to find a flower without a drop of water on it.

foxglovesI took a few moments to pick out some colourful corners rather than concentrating on close ups as I am inclined to do.

colourful cornercolourful cornercolourful cornerOf course my favourite general garden shots usually include a bit of lawn and today was no exception.

lawnI waited until the late afternoon for this shot, as the lawn looks at its best then.

I spend quite a lot of the day watching Andy Murray play and win two tennis matches at Queens which was a double treat but I did find a little time to stare out of the kitchen window.

siskin, goldfinch, sparrow
There was a mixed bag on the feeder today
You don't often see a bird picking its teeth.
You don’t often see a bird picking its teeth.
siskin flying in
There was plenty of action and I had to refill the feeder.

In the afternoon we were visited by Mike Tinker, who is just back from holiday in Wales.  He got into a discussion with Mrs Tootlepedal as to whether we had misidentified the glorious fields of flowers that we saw on our recent  bike ride to Dalston as Sweet Rocket when they should have been  Dames’ Violets.  After some thumbing through flower books and visits to the internet, it was finally established that Dames’ Violets and Sweet Rocket are the same flower.  Life is hard.

However he did establish that this flower…wild flowers…which we couldn’t identify is a Pyrenean Valerian.  It is quite rare in Britain and how it came to be beside the banks of the Esk is a question to ponder.

In general Mike, is Langholm’s answer to Google but without the annoying ads.

The weather seemed to have settled down when he left so after a last look round the garden…

garden

philadelphus
Two philadelphus round the edge of the garden are coming along nicely.

I got my bike gear on and took the fairly speedy bike out of the garage.

I wasn’t feeling mentally up for a ride at all but I thought that I should go and to my surprise, my legs were very enthusiastic about the whole thing right from the start and I had to rush to keep up with them.  I had in mind to do three gentle laps of the sheltered run up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back and I felt quite sure that my legs would get fed up with trying long before the end of the first lap.  Even if my legs lasted, I was confident that my breathing would soon run out of puff and then I would be able to slow down.  To my annoyance, my legs kept working and my breathing raised no objection and I had to work hard for the whole twenty miles.  It was great fun.

I even managed quite a good speed though I should add that to a proper cyclist observing me pedalling along, it would be hard to distinguish between me going at a good speed and a tortoise having a nap.

With the temperature recently hovering about 13 to 15 degrees C, with constant cloud and wind and only occasional sunshine, it is difficult to realise that this was midsummer day and that we are going downhill as far as the light goes from now on.  It is not as though the weather has been really bad on the whole, it just hasn’t been any good bar an odd week here and there.

Still, there are usually flying birds to cheer me up and as it is the longest day. I am putting two in today.

starlingchaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Not much happening

  1. I really liked the wider shots of the garden that show the plants and color combinations, but I’d miss your close-up photos if you were to stop posting them.

    Why would any one want some one else’s used, stinky shoes?

  2. Your tortoise comment made me laugh! It’s nice to see the long shots of the garden. I admire Mrs. T’s skill at planting to co-ordinate things such as height, bloom time, and colour to make a garden that’s beautiful all season.

  3. I enjoyed seeing some wider shots of the garden shots as well as the close-ups. You do have a glorious arrangement of flowering plants. I’m glad you had a chance to enjoy your speedy bike too. Thank you for delighting us with two flying bird shots on your solstice. I was offered a chance to participate for free in a tough mudder style event in Malaysia when an online adventure friend couldn’t use his free tickets. I had to laugh at someone like me trying to do a challenging event such as that! 🙂

  4. Have you ever thought of sending your garden and bird photos to that wonderful English magazine, Country Style (I think that’s what it’s called)?

    1. Magazine photographs generally have to be taken in perfect light with a tripod and with a low ISO so that they will print perfectly. Mine look not too bad on a screen but a screen uses many less dots than a full colour magazine page.

  5. Your discussion re Sweet Rocket or Dame’s Violet had me smiling..Hooray for your legs and breathing working in sync .everything in your garden is definitely rosy at the moment 🙂

  6. Two great FBOTD shots. I love the overviews of Mrs T’s flowerbeds. The newspaper index is benefitting from your bad weather. And oh, just a twenty mile bike ride to cap it off.

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