Beating the rain


Today’s guest picture shows live steam at Llangollen.  It was taken by my friend Bruce on a recent visit.  I would have liked to have been there too.

LlangollenI woke up at six o’clock to see glorious sunshine peeping through the bedroom blind.  What an opportunity to get up early, take some photographs and go for a cycle ride and all before breakfast, I thought.

And went back to sleep again.

It was still reasonably fine, although the sun had gone in by the time I eventually got the fairly speedy bike out of the garage at ten o’clock.  My plan was to test out the defective knee on a ten mile trip (or a little longer if everything felt good) and then see whether there were any after effects.

In the event, I managed thirteen miles, including the gentle climb up Callister, and only felt a little stiffness while on the last mile.  I stopped just once to celebrate the fondness of a bright orange lichen (Xanthoria parietina, the golden shield lichen) for battered concrete fence posts.

lichen on concrete
All the posts on this stretch of road host this lichen.

lichen on concretelichen on concreteMrs Tootlepedal was still singing in church when I got back so I invited Dropscone round for a cup of coffee and Mike Tinker, exhibiting finely honed coffee scenting skills, dropped in to join us.

As far as golf goes, Dropscone is still affected by shanking in his short game so listening to the story of his round on Saturday was a very traumatic experience for me as I suffered badly from the same ailment in the last couple of years before I wisely gave up the game.

After Mike and Dropscone had gone, I clipped the last two box balls on the front lawn and then trimmed the hedges beside them.

box ballsI needed a rest after that so Mrs Tootlepedal, who had returned from church, took up the hedge trimmers and continued the work.  I had used garden shears for the box balls but an electric trimmer for the hedges and as it soon started to drizzle, Mrs Tootlepedal didn’t get much done before she had to give up.  I hardly need to add that as soon as she had got everything safely indoors, it stopped raining.

I took a few flowers pictures before the rain started.

phlox and geranium
Phlox and geranium make a colourful corner
The poppies last about a day each but new ones keep arriving.
The perennial nasturtium buds have turned to flowers
There are geraniums all over the garden.  This one is in the back border.
rambler rose
The rambler roses are beginning to come out at last
runner beans
The runner beans are looking more promising by the day.

As the weather looked gloomy, Mrs Tootlepedal settled for what she had done and retired inside to watch the ladies Tour de France cycle race up and down the High Street in Paris in heavy rain.  We were reminded of how dangerous cycling in the wet can be by the unnervingly frequent sight of these expert bike handlers crashing to the ground while negotiating the corners.

During the afternoon it started to rain in Langholm too and I was glad that I had got my little pedal in while it was still dry.

As well as watching the bike racing, I spent some time looking out of the kitchen window.  For some reason, the feeder was very busy today and I had to fill it three times.

Sparrows were the ones who were doing the most to eat me out of house and home.


Though there were a few siskins too.
And later on they were joined by a greenfinch

Though it was mostly sparrows.

…and going….
…in all directions at once.

We then watched the last stage of the tour and realised that this was the final act of a good set of summer sporting dramas (Wimbledon, The Open Golf, The Tour) which had given us an excuse to sit idly in front of the television set  in the afternoons lately and have helped to lessen the gloom that we would otherwise have felt at a miserable spell of weather.  We will have to be up and doing from now on.

My knee survived the cycling and gardening without getting any worse but it is still sore enough to stop me thinking of a long cycle ride any time soon.  My mileage target for the year will have to be severely pruned after a disastrous July.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre and retrieved the malfunctioning computer which had spoiled my Thursday night’s work and brought it home,  I was able to reinstall the defective Firefox browser from a memory stick and I hope that all will be well now.

The flying bird of the day was one of the sparrows and the poor light has resulted in a rather arty representation for which I apologise….but I quite like it myself.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Beating the rain

  1. Very arty indeed and none the worse for that. I loved the bright orange lichens and was pleased to read that your knee had survived some gentle cycling.

  2. I would’ve liked to have seen that steam train too.
    That’s a beautiful lichen. I’m surprised that it’s fruiting in summer but maybe it’s one of those that seem to fruit year round.
    Another nice impressionistic background in the flying bird of the day shot!

  3. Some very colorful lichens. Beautiful photos of your country, as always.

    Our market scone vendor is closing in on perfection regarding the requested blueberry-oat scones. A little toothier in texture, and they will be just perfect. I am hoping she brings more this Wednesday.

  4. The arty FBD was very impressive, but I was thinking how pretty the sparrows looked in all today’s photos. I tend to overlook them as they are so prevalent – I shall look a little closer tomorrow. Thanks!

    1. They do look different in a photo than in real life, brighter and more decorative but then almost anything looks more interesting when you look at it closely. I have learned that from buying a camera.

  5. Those box balls look very smart indeed. Glad you managed a pedal, even though not as long as you would have liked.

  6. I’m so glad you stopped to photograph the brightly coloured lichen. I’ve never seen lichen such a dazzling yellow-orange here. A fantastic specimen, Tom.

  7. Speaking of gloomy, it’s been a very rainy summer here in Ohio- usually, we get lots of spring rain and the summer is dry save for the odd pop-up showers. I know how you feel!

  8. The steam train is lovely. We occasionaly have one running along the line here but, somehow, I either miss it or I don’t have anything to take a photo with. It sounds like you got a fair bit difficult me in the garden before the rain stopped play so you probably deserved an afternoon doing nothing.

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