Cutting it fine

Today’s guest picture was very kindly sent to me from the USA  by fellow blogger Amy Corron who knows that I like rabbits.  It shows a regualr visitor eating blueberries in her yard.

rabbitIt was hard to believe that it was the middle of summer when we looked out of the window this morning.  It was grey, cool and misty and the clouds were firmly jammed down on the top of our surrounding hills.  Under the circumstances, I was in no hurry to get out on my bike and finally got going about ten o’clock.  This limited my time as I had a dentist’s appointment straight after lunch.

Everything in the garden was wet.

poppy and beeAs I had chickened out from pedalling in the rain yesterday, I thought that I had better harden up a bit today so I chose a more hilly route than usual.  I modified the hardening process by riding a sedate pace.

There were wild flowers in their hundreds to be seen beside the road….

wild flowers…but as I was time limited, I concentrated on getting up the hills.  I did stop for a view or two.

Water of Milk
The Water of Milk winding down the valley
A distant view of the Solway

By way of a small diversion, I should point out that what the eye sees and what the camera sees may be entirely different.  When I came over the last of the hills on my way out, pretty well all I could see was the Solway Firth, gleaming far below me, a great reward for the climbing that I had done.  The camera, on the other hand, hardly noticed it at all, being much more interested in the dull green field in the foreground.  There is no doubt that good landscape photography is an art.

After taking the picture, I had four miles of almost uninterrupted downhill in front of me but even a good but bumpy road surface couldn’t let me make full use of it, as it was on a single track road and I had to take care.  It was lucky that I was careful because I met a large lorry taking up the whole road just round a corner and I was able to stop in plenty of time.

At the bottom of the hill, I took a moment to add to my collection of bridges…

Bridge over mein water
Bridge over Mein Water near Eaglesfield

…before heading back to Waterbeck, then over Callister and so home.  Anyone interested can see the route here.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy in the garden while I was out and after lunch and a (painless) visit to the dentist, I joined her and we cut the hedge along the road.   When we had finished, she kept going with the trimmer and fettled up her chicken….

Chicken…and a hedge or two as well.  Things definitely looked neater when she had finished.

hedges trimmedWhile she was slaving, I tested the strawberry jam that I made yesterday.  It had set pretty well, thanks to the gooseberry juice and the flavour was not bad at all.  More jam will follow.

Leaving Attila the Gardener to destroy tidy things up in the garden, I went off to stretch my legs and see if I could find a bird that wasn’t a siskin.

I could, as my walk took me along the river bank and there was lots to see.

Two black headed gulls
Two black headed gulls
Oyster Catcher
An Oyster Catcher

I crossed the Town Brig and walked onto the Kilngreen.  Mr Grumpy wasn’t there today but a gull posed for me both on the ground and in the air.

Black headed gullAs you can see, the afternoon weather had remembered that it was mid summer and it had turned into a lovely day.

KilngreenI walked round the new path on the Castleholm and was surprised to see what I thought was a parakeet in a fir tree.  I didn’t really believe that it was a parakeet because they don’t come this far north but it was curious.   A closer examination revealed that it wasn’t a bird but an enormous green fir cone.  There were more when I looked.

fir coneThanks to our neighbour Liz finding one of these lying on a path in the park recently, I knew that I was looking at a Noble Fir.  I have walked past these four trees often, thinking that they looked a bit out of the ordinary but never knowing what they were until today.

Noble Firs
I don’t know why it is called a Noble Fir.  They are rather raggedy looking in my view but they are not native.

At the other end of the scale, a tiny flash of orange caught my eye on a log which has been fashioned into a bench.

slime mold
It is a slime mold I think.

The path was in full summer greenery.

New path CastleholmI walked over the Jubilee Bridge and round the new artificial school pitch.  There was more to see here.

thistleBy coincidence, since Zyriacus had sent a fine fungus picture yesterday, I saw one for myself today.

FungusAnd I enjoyed a spray of yellow flowers dripping down the wall at the end of the field.

Wild flowersIn the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a final practice for two pieces that he is going to play at a concert tomorrow.  They should go down well.

One of the oyster catchers beside the river is the flying bird of the day.

oyster catcher

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Cutting it fine

  1. Fine that Luke has recovered in time for his concert. Seems that the parasols are not that rare. They are edible by the way, but should be crumbed and then fried like Schnitzel.

  2. I think those are jelly fungi rather than slime molds. They have that “Jello” look.
    The noble fir gets its common name from “the magnificent proportions of the tree and the large, heavy cones.” They say that they’ll grow to 200 feet, which is tall for any tree.
    I like Mrs. T’s chicken! Great job on the hedges too.

  3. If I were you, I’d have a very difficult time deciding where to go each day. You have the beautiful countryside to practice landscape photography, a walk by the river for the birds and other subjects to be found there, or stay home and shoot the birds in your yard and the outstanding flowers in the gardens. I envy you.

    1. We are conscious of being lucky where we live but I don’t see half the number of birds that you do on your walks. Our countryside is scenically attractive but lacks variety of habitat because of monoculture commercial forestry and overgrazing by sheep.

      1. I shoot birds because that’s what I have to work with. If there were more scenic places, I’d be adding more of those, same with the flowers and even lichens.

  4. I loved the detail in your rain-soaked poppy. The center looks like a firework.

    Mrs. T is truly an amazing gardener, her chicken is wonderful! I like your black-headed gulls, they are very pretty. I’m glad your day turned out so well. It looked like you had a wonderful afternoon walk. Those yellow flowers almost look like giant coral bells. I would be interested if anyone says what they are.

    I’m glad you liked the bunny photo. 🙂

  5. Well done for such a long ride. I am glad the weather improved during the day.
    Splendid oyster catcher picture.

  6. “Attila” has done a fine job of the hedges and I am impressed by your jam making abilities as well as another beautiful set of photographs of very lovely countryside. I particularly liked the red flower at the beginning. Its “internal workings” remind me of fireworks. You take such stunning close-ups of flowers, Tom. And the bird photos are excellent, especially the “parakeet.” 😉

  7. I often seems that the things I see and the things the camera captures are worlds apart. If only we could capture what we really see, what photos we’d have! Even so, you do very well.

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