Taking an opportunity

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s recent trip to Huntingdon and shows the old bridge across the River Ouse there.

Old bridge over River OuseMy cycling mileage for July has been negligible so my plan was to take advantage of a reasonable forecast for the morning and the fact that I had nothing on my calendar to distract me by actually going for a pedal.  Not all my plans come to fruition but this one did and though I didn’t go as far as I would have liked, I did get out and stretch the legs.

I curtailed my mileage ambitions for three reasons, a regrettably late start, slightly creaking knees and a brisk wind.  I am still recovering from falling into the hole and although I am pain free, there remains a little ankle swelling and knee creaking and I am anxious not to overdo things and set myself back.

As a result, I pedalled gently round a 35 mile circle, avoiding any big hills and not stopping and starting to take photos.  In fact I only stopped once.  That was at Gretna Green where in times past, I have often eaten a banana on a bench in a little grassy space opposite the Old Blacksmith’s Shop with a handy litter bin for the banana skin placed just beside the bench.  Progress has changed all that.  What was once a little green patch is now this….

Gretna Green…impressive but a little chilly and less welcoming.  I suspect that it is intended to be a place where just marrieds may pose for photographs.  Still, I sat there and ate a banana like old times, though I had to walk across the road to find a litter bin.

The run home from Gretna was greatly assisted by having the wind at my back.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been hard at work in the garden while I was out and I walked round when I got home.

Moss rose
A Moss Rose has come to join the other roses.
special grandma rose
The Special Grandma rose had come out too

This rose was given to Mrs Tootlepedal by a friend when Matilda was born and seeing it today reminded me that we had seen Matilda walking freely when we visited her on Wednesday.  Bearing that in mind, she has now been officially upgraded from the WGSP (World’s Greatest Small Person) to WGT (World’s Greatest Toddler) and will be referred to as such in future posts.

Turk's cap lily
There are Turk’s cap lilies all over the garden now.

Looking at flowers with a camera has given me a sense of wonder about their reproductive machinery and how widely varied it is from flower to flower.

campanulaBobbie jamesIt takes all sorts obviously.

After a late lunch, I took a look at the middle lawn.  I was intending to mow it but it looked to be a bit short of nourishment so I spent some time watering in some encouragement instead.  The packet promises me a greener lawn in days.  I wait with baited breath but as our brief spell of warm weather seems to be over for the next few days at least, I am not sure that a little fertilizer will be enough to perk it up.

It got gloomier and windier as the day went on and I was glad that I had got my cycling done in time.  I went inside to watch the real cyclists showing how it should be done in the Tour de France.

While we were watching, we were visited by Mike Tinker, his daughter and her husband and their two children, William and Sara.  Elizabeth is a professional gardener and had brought some cardoons for Mrs Tootlepedal’s garden.  I have no idea what a cardoon is and look forward to finding out.

I had another walk round the garden after the stage finished.  New delights were to be seen.

The first Shirley poppy of the season

I took a stroll round the back of the house.

A verbascum outside the dam door

I was very pleased to see that the Fuchsia on the back wall has recovered from been attacked by the late frost and is covered in flowers.

fuchsiaWhen I came back in, I was drawn to the delphiniums.  Even in the gloomy light with a hint of rain in the air, they looked good, each one a slightly different colour than the one next to it (or so it seemed to me).

delphiniumsI found yet another Turk’s Cap lily looking interesting among the shrubs in the shadows of the back border.

Turk's cap lilyAnd on the other side of the garden, the first day lily had appeared.

day lilyThe final picture of the day was of a foxglove shading from white to pink down its stem.

fogloveThe birds continue to turn their back on the feeder and once again I didn’t see a single flying bird there today.  A sparrow symbolically turning its back on me is the nearest I could get to a flying bird today.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Taking an opportunity

  1. You take such breathtaking flower pictures, the close ups are so interesting to look at! Glad you managed the 35 miles, hope you manage some more tomorrow.

  2. Though I like the herringbone pattern in the bricks the granite is a little stark for my taste. I would have left it green.
    I didn’t know what a cardoon was either so I looked them up. It sounds like they will fit nicely in your Mediterranean diet if you like the taste of artichokes.
    That’s the first bi-color foxglove that I’ve ever seen.

  3. How did Matilda become a toddler already? Oh, to slow time down! How wonderful to see the Special Grandma rose appearing now. All the flowers are captivating but I especially liked the foxglove.

  4. As someone who gasps and wheezes cycling the 2 km round trip to drop Farm Girl at school, I had to smile at your gently pedalled 35 miles 🙂 Love the Moss Rose and congratulations to WGT – another milestone whizzed past!

    1. Honestly, it was a gentle pedal. If you are wheezing at 2km the obvious answer is to sell a child or two (or anything else that you have about you) and buy a much better bicycle. The difference that a good bicycle makes is unbelievable.

      1. Don’t think there’s much call on the market for any of my lot 🙂 It is true, however, that my humble steed has indeed seen better days.

  5. I think you’ll enjoy having a cardoon in your garden. Hope it withstands your windy weather. Gretna does look a little stark now to be sure. I think my favourite flower is the gorgeous moss rose.

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