Today’s guest picture comes from a visit to Huntingdon by my brother Andrew.
We were just considering our options for entertaining our daughter after breakfast when we were visited by our next door neighbour Liz. She had found something intriguing on a path in the park and brought it in to show us. I looked at it with some doubt…..
…but closer examination by sensible people led us to the conclusion that it might be some sort of fir cone, especially as it had been found under a coniferous tree. The end seemed to be missing and we wondered if it had been nibbled by a squirrel. Anyway, we picked up cameras and binoculars and Liz took us to the scene of the discovery.
At first, there didn’t seem to be anything on the tree like the object but by using the zoom lens, I found a likely match right at the top of the tree.
I have walked past the tree many, many times and never noticed the large cones before. Some research by Annie and Mrs Tootlepedal when we got home seemed to point to the tree being a Noble Fir, which must have been brought in from America and planted in our park. In general, the cones never fall off and just rot down on the tree which might explain why we have never seen one before.
While we were examining the tree, the park was filled with swallows flitting over the grass, sometimes flying past us as though we weren’t there. They are nippy birds that never seem to rest and Annie and I clicked away furiously but mostly in vain. These were my best two efforts.
I had some more business to do with regard to the photo exhibition and then I put a week and a bit of the newspaper index in the Archive Group database and this took me up to lunchtime.
I looked at the bird feeder.
After lunch there was a vague plan that Annie and Mrs Tootlepedal would go up to Eskdalemuir to look at the photo exhibition which Annie hasn’t seen, while I put another week or two into the database. In the end, we were overcome by inertia and watched the Tour de France on the telly instead. In our defence, it was a very exciting stage. A stage goes on a long time though and while they were still pedalling away, I went out into the garden and mowed a lawn or two.
As well as the tall delphiniums, some more stocky ones have come into flower…
While I was mowing, I was hailed by a voice at the front gate and it turned out to belong to Nancy, the Archive Group treasurer, who had been on a walk with a regular group of Tuesday afternoon walking ladies. She was keen to tell me that they had passed a wonderful show of orchids beside a track on Meikleholm Hill.
This was interesting as I like orchids and once the stage had come to an end with a well deserved victory for Tony Martin, Annie, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off for a walk up the hill to see if we could find the orchids. The day had brightened up by this time and although it was fairly windy, it was warm enough to make for pleasant walking conditions.
We saw some interesting plants on out way up the hill….
We kept a wary eye out in case we missed the orchids but Nancy’s guidance was most precise and we need not have worried. There were indeed a great many orchids all around…
We walked on along the track, admiring the views…..
We crossed the Duchess Bridge and walked along the edge of the Castleholm to the Jubilee Bridge. Here we crossed the river again and made our way home along Henry Street, having completed a most enjoyable circular walk.
On the Castleholm we saw the inevitable rabbit….
Between the fir cones, the garden and the orchids (with views), I had taken well over 100 pictures during the day so it has been quite a task to throw so many away but it was helped becuase many of them were terrible. Somehow the light wasn’t very co-operative today.
The flying bird of the day is sparrow looking out for fierce siskins before approaching the feeder.