Showing up

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia.  She visited Ham Quarry on a geological outing and was delighted to see that wild flowers survived among the stone.

Ham quarryI am finding it hard to leap out of bed at the crack of dawn these days, partly because of old age no doubt and partly because the weather is not helping my asthma very much and I am a little tired so I missed a golden opportunity to make the most of a beautiful early morning by going for a good, long bike ride.

In the end, after a late breakfast and getting a few things done that needing doing, I got out for a short, slow cycle ride when Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with the church choir.  The sun was still out when I set off and my spirits were lifted by some lovely dog roses beside the road.

dog rosesI pedalled for six and a half miles over the top of Callister and all the way along the road, tall , slender thistles waved gently in the breeze.

thistlesMany questions arise as I look at the verges.  One today was why do some plants do well on some short sections of the verge and appear much less frequently or not at all in others?  Just near the top of the hill, I came across a stretch of fifty yards or so which was entirely given over to this plant.

weedWhat was so good about this bit of verge?  There are things which I am now too old ever to learn about.

On my way back, I made the short diversion from Wauchope Schoolhouse up to Cleuchfoot just to enjoy the splendid new surface on this stretch of road.  If there is a bit of road with a smooth surface, it seems silly not to pedal along it even if it goes nowhere.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I got home almost simultaneously and after a quick cup of coffee, we put all the exhibition pictures in the car and drove up to Eskdalemuir.  To my surprise, we managed to find a home for all but two of the submitted pictures by making full use of the windowsill space.

The HubAll we have to do now is hope that some people will actually come and visit the exhibition.

We were very impressed by the large solar panel set up that The Hub has outside its back door.

solar panelsI would like to have a smaller version in our garden as out roof points in the wrong direction so we can’t put one up there.

We had a bite of ,lunch at The Hub and then drove back south, stopping briefly at home before going on to Carlisle to meet out daughter Annie at the station.  She is coming to spend a dew days with us.

I had enough time to take a walk round the garden.  My sense of smell is not brilliant but so strong are the scents from many flowers that even I notice them.  The honeysuckle is one of the main culprits.

honeysuckleThree new roses have joined us. The Queen of Denmark has arrived….Queen of Denmark…unfortunately invaded by a lot of little flies committing the crime of lèse-majesté.    She has been joined by the Wren, named after the women’s naval service….

The wren…and the first of the moss roses.

moss roseSince I had my camera in my hand, I couldn’t get past the astrantias without my finger twitching…

astrantias…and Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite colourful corner demanded attention too.

colourful corner

There were occasional birds to be seen.

blackbirdAnnie was more fortunate than my sister Susan as far as train punctuality went and was only quarter of an hour late.

This gave me a chance to be a train spotter.

The London bound express pulls out of the station

Both Annie, as she went though Lancaster and we, as we left Langholm to meet the train, had run through torrential downpours but neither shower had lasted for very long and we drove home bathed in sunshine.   At 20 degrees C, we though it was quite a warm evening but since Annie has been living with temperatures in the mid thirties in London, she found it pleasantly cool.

I had bought a rolled shoulder of lamb at the producers’ market yesterday and Mrs Tootlepedal roasted it perfectly tonight and we enjoyed it for our tea along with some new potatoes which Annie had brought up from her small allotment.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch flying with its hands behind its back.

flying goldfinchA notice for local readers:

photo poster

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Showing up

  1. Maybe the plants that do well where they are have just decided to call it home and not bother getting up and spreading to new territory. I’m with you on the getting out of bed; if it weren’t for work I don’t know if I would ever get up early. The roses and the astrantia are exquisite. Good luck with your photography show!

  2. I wish I could get there for the exhibition. It’s too bad that you can’t do a blog post with the photos in it, but I know that would be an awful lot of work.

    Plants have needs and they grow where their needs are best met, be it sunlight, moisture or soil nutrients. Good gardeners like Mrs. T know this and give plants what they need, and that’s why they grow so well for them. The dock plants (if that’s what they are) must find what they need on that small stretch of verge.

  3. I join with the rest of the team in wishing all success to the exhibition. The post was a joy to look at, the flowers, Mrs T’s colourful corner and that flying goldfinch.

  4. I hope that there’s a good turnout for the photo exhibition!

    The astrantias is looking as spectacular as ever, and I really like the goldfinch flying with its hands behind its back!

  5. It sounds like your weather may be sorting itself out! The garden is looking gorgeous and I’m enjoying meeting all the new residents.good luck with the exhibition – would love to peruse it and also check out the hub which sounds like a wonderful place.

  6. Just starting to catch up with your great blog. Like yourself, even with this wonderful weather we have been having lately, ( unfortunately, as I type, it’s raining ) I too struggle to get up as early as I used to. I’ve always found it, the best time to cycle. Out in the early morning air before the sun is fully up, out in this beautiful Neath valley that I call home. Unless I am pedalling to work for my day shift, I rarely get out there before 07.30., preferring to snooze in bed. In fact it is rare that I get out for, what I call a leisure ride, meaning not part of my commute, at all. On my days off, cycling is limited to pedalling into the village for odds and ends, or my three weekly haircut, a round trip of about a mile. There was a time that I would cycle into Neath for that haircut, round trip of 20 miles, but that became an indulgence, time wise. I seem to have so little of the latter. Indeed, as retirement fast approaches, I really can’t make up my mind whether or not to jump ship, when I hit, hopefully, 65, next February. Everyone tells me I should be slowing down at my age, which I find incredibly insulting, but there is so much I need, and must do on a continuing basis. Though I do less pedalling, than a year or so ago, it remains a real stress buster, and means I continue to be called “laid back” by my friends and colleagues. Most of the time, there’s that word again, it doesn’t feel that way. Whoops, apologies, I’ve turned this comment into a post within a post, I didn’t mean to hijack your musings. Just the ramblings of a confused, but “laid back” chap who is getting older, faster than he wants to. Cheers.

    1. Ramble on Keiron, you are very welcome. I did think of cycling to work in earlier years but things didn’t work out and I had to wait until I was retired before I had time to cycle.

  7. I am not as quick to comment lately as I am away from the Internet a great deal but I wanted to wish you good luck with the exhibition too. Like Jerry, I particularly admired the astrantias picture (such a detailed jewel of a flower) and your clever flying bird of the day. I would also like to put solar panels on my roof but i will need to replace my old roof first and also teach the possums not to crash about up there. We have so much sunlight here it seems a shame not to be using it. Thank you for the bright purple thistles. They are different to the kind I commonly see here but still bring back fond memories.

  8. I don’t have a good sense of smell either (though I can smell unpleasant things easily enough) and I put it down to the use of an inhaler for asthma. We are suffering from the pollen beetles here too. I have tried to photograph some of the flowers in our garden but have given up because of the beetles. The astrantia is remarkable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: