A sight for sore eyes

Today’s guest picture was not taken by a guest but by me when I was a guest in someone else’s garden this evening.

Jenny's gardenIt was gloomy and damp when we got up but at least the wind had dropped so it felt warmer than the 11 degrees on the thermometer indicated.

The weather wasn’t much of a factor however, as I spent the morning driving Mrs Tootlepedal to Dumfries so that she could have a consultation about a cataract in one of her eyes.  The hospital was very well organised and everything went on schedule and the upshot was that Mrs Tootlepedal will have a corrective operation sometime fairly soon.

We stopped at a garden centre on our way back for a cup of coffee and found that two plants had been mysteriously purchased when we got back in the car.  As one of them is a buddleia, I am hoping for many butterfly pictures in the future.

We had left our daughter Annie at home, as sitting in hospital waiting rooms is not much fun, and she had made a fine pot of soup for our lunch when we got back.

After the soup, I took a walk round the garden.  The rain had finally stopped but things were still wet.

wet rosesiris and clematisA Turk’s cap lily had come out.  It was wet too.

turk's cap lilyI know that I have shown them before but I can’t resist the coral peony’s seed pods.

peonyThe garden was full of blackbirds, both old and young.

blackbirdI don’t know if any new late broods are on the way but this blackbird had a beak full of good things.

blackbirdWe watched a bit of the Tour de France but the stage seemed likely to be quite dull until the finish so Annie and I went out for a walk.  Mrs Tootlepedal couldn’t join us as she was still feeling the effects of her eye drops from the hospital but she did suggest a route for us and we took it.

We went through the park to the Stubholm and up the lower slopes of Warbla before dropping back down the track to the Wauchope road and then went home by the Auld Stane Bridge and Pool Corner.  There were  wild flowers all the way.

On banks and walls
In yellows…
…and whites

Some were delightfully complicated at the stage of their life when we met them.

wildflowersAnd some were attractive not just to us.

wildflowers with insectsThe most interesting insect was lying flat out on a leaf.  I have no idea at all what this is.

insectI couldn’t go past a gate with a view without taking a picture of it.

gate on WarblaAs we walked, the clouds began to lift off the hills…..

view from warbla…and by the time we were at the Auld Stane Brig, it was very hot and humid and we were pleased not to be going too far.

As we came down the track, we could see very clearly the layers of sedimentary rock that underlie our green hills.

rockI am not a geologist at all and would love to know how many years of deposition this snapshot represents

I couldn’t pass the Auld Stane Brig without looking at the lichen.

lichen…and shortly afterwards, we saw young and old slow worms at Pool Corner…

slow worms…and a bramble flower hanging over the water.

bramble flowerFor a walk of a little over a mile, it was very good value.

On spite of incessant photo pauses, we got back in time to see the mighty Cav win the TdF stage and this almost made up for the comprehensive defeat of Andy Murray at Wimbledon later in the day (which thankfully we didn’t see).

The reason we didn’t see the tennis was that it was time to say goodbye to our daughter and take her to Carlisle to catch her train back to London.

After we dropped Annie off, we continued south to Dalston.  Jenny, a friend of ours who is in the Carlisle Choir, had heard that we are trying to grow a mini wildflower meadow on our front lawn and had offered us some plants which she was digging out of her wildflower garden.   This was a kind offer and as we were keen to see her garden, we were delighted to go down to pick the plants up.

Her garden is small but perfect and the picture at the top of this post shows part of it.  As well as making it as ecologically sound as she can, Jenny has put a great deal of thought into the the design and colour scheme of her planting.

Jenny's gardenIt was a great pleasure to sit sipping tea in her conservatory and look out on her work.  She is going to save seeds for us later in the season.

We couldn’t stay too long though so we packed up her gifts and made our way home in time to have a light supper and greet Mike and Alison who came round for their customary Friday night visit for conversation (Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal) and music (Alison and I).

I was a bit tired after two days of driving about and made more than one mistake as we played away but as always, even if not quite playing perfectly, communal music was a great joy and a good way to end an interesting week.

For some reason the number of bird visitors to our garden has taken such a dive that in the short time that I had to look out of the window today, not a single opportunity to catch a flying bird was on offer.  I can only assume that the recent warm weather has produced a bumper crop of food for the birds in the woods round the town but it is odd, because the seed level in the feeder has been going down very steadily until the last few days.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A sight for sore eyes

  1. You missed an absolutely amazing match. Andy did nothing wrong, it’s just that Federer did much less wrong: perfection!

  2. Thank you for including more pictures of the coral peony’s seed pods.I think they are very interesting. Like Jerry, I can’t think of anyone else I know who packs so much into one day! What a beautiful walk and superb close ups of the flowers and the visiting insects. Such a wonderful collection of interesting images – rocks, slow-worms etc. I do hope Mrs T’s operation goes well. Sight is so precious.

  3. Good luck to Mrs T on her operation, everyone I know who has had it has experienced a great improvement in their sight. Thank you for a post full of beautiful pictures, impossible to choose a favourite. I hope Annie got back to London with no problems, you gave her a very good time.

  4. Lovely wild flower garden guest picture. Hope all will go well for Mrs. T’s eye operation.
    Beautiful roses and other lovely flower pictures too numerous to mention.

  5. It must have been hard to say goodbye to your daughter, it seems you had such a wonderful visit. Glorious flowers and color in today’s post. If I breathed deeply enough, I could almost smell the roses.

  6. I hope Mrs T is now recovered from her eye operation. The walk was lovely and shows you don’t have to walk too far to enjoy yourself. The wildflower garden is an inspiration.

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