It didn’t rain today

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia and shows a green woodpecker visiting a hornbeam in her garden.  DShe says that it made a tremendous amount of noise.

green woodpeckerMrs Tootlepedal spent the day visiting Matilda in Edinburgh while I made the most of a second sunny day at home.  To make the day even better, there were no threatening clouds or passing showers.

I was very good though and spent the first hour after breakfast putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  This post finished off 1890 and it is always a great moment when another year is tucked away.

Luckily Dropscone was on hand with freshly made scones to go with a cup of coffee (or two) when I had finished.  Fortified by this, I went out on the fairly speedy bike to test my creaky knee.

I did walk round the garden first though.

Dahlias
The sun had brought on the two new dahlias
nasturtium
A nasturtium’s mouth looked like rather a dangerous place.
apple and rose
There was promise of further delights to come
nicotiana and lupin
The first nicotiana and the last lupin
Polemonium and musk
Two lasting old friends, polemonium and musk. I like the way that little footprints lead into the heart of the musk.

I put the camera away and got started.  It was a wonderful day for cycling….

Kerr…with light winds which were behind me on the exposed parts of the route and against me when I was in the sheltered sections.

Sensibly I slowed down a bit as I got onto the gently uphill section back to Langholm and this gave me a moment to enjoy the wild flowers in the verges.

Old A7
There is still plenty of colour left on the old A7
Old A7
A closer look

I got home in very good order and after a light lunch, set about some garden tasks.  I mowed lawns and I sieved compost and felt very virtuous.  So virtuous in fact that I had to sit down in an easy chair to recover.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Edinburgh, having had an enjoyable visit to Matilda.

It was Summer Fair today in Langholm, the eve of our annual Common Riding and it is celebrated with music so after tea, Mrs Tootlepedal and I walked up to the High Street and joined the crowd in the Market Place who were listening to the Langholm Town Band playing a programme.

Langholm Town band
It was a glorious evening

After the band finished, we walked back home but I was soon out again to watch the Flute Band march round the town.  The flute band meets the last train of the day into Langholm,  greets returning emigrants and then leads them through the streets.  The fact that the last train arrived in Langholm nearly half a century ago doesn’t make any difference.  They still go to meet it.

Flute band
There seemed to be about 50 flautists in the band tonight

…and even more people following along behind it.

Shortly after the Flute band had passed by, the Langholm Pipe Band also marched through the streets of the New Town.

Langholm Pipe bandThey too have their followers….

band followers
Pipe band enthusiasts on the left and flute band fans on the right

It is one of the best things about the Common Riding and its proceedings that the streets of the town, for  short time at least, are reclaimed by its inhabitants from the grip of the motor car.

Although my camera makes it look as though it was still quite light, a full moon was looking down benignly from the sky above the town as the bands went by.

full moonThe end of a very good day.  It looks touch and go as to whether the weather will be as kind to us tomorrow.

I did look at the birds in the garden from time to time and the sparrows were as hungry as ever…

sparrows…even to the extent of sharing a perch.

sparrowsIt will come as no surprise that the flying bird of the day is another sparrow (though I should have been able to get a better picture on such a sunny day).

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

42 thoughts on “It didn’t rain today

  1. I nearly had to put my sunglasses on to view your post, Tom. All that lovely sunshine took me surprise. I particularly like the first shot of the bright dahlias. I’m so glad you had a lovely ride. How wonderful for the spirit. I am always delighted to see how many wildflowers you have there. Yes, it sounds like you certainly deserved a rest after being so virtuous. 🙂

  2. Enjoyed the post and wonderful images. I’m jealous of your bird pictures! How do you get your shutter speed high enough for the fast paced smaller birds? What camera do you use?

    1. A Nikon D7000 with a 70-300mm zoom. I keep the ISO as high as I need to get the shutter speed up to 1000th or better. I am helped as the birds are almost always approaching a feeder so they are slowing down when I catch them.

  3. What a fantastic day! I have just been reading the Langholm online site about the Common Riding. What a wonderful custom to have with all the bands playing and the horse riders beating the bounds. All the photos today were very fine and such a variety too.

  4. Your countryside looks so green and lush! The porch thermometer hit 102 here today.

    I like photos of the Summer Fair and the bands. Looks liek a fun day. Saw the same moon, bright and full, last night. Summer nights are for moon viewing and watching creatures of the night out and about.

    1. At this time of the year. many of the creatures of the night are returning from Common Riding related nights out and tend to be on the raucous side.

  5. What cheerful bright sunshiny photos! We’ve been rain-free for days as well and the intensity of the sunshine is almost blinding. Love all the photos and the variety but the nasturtium is other-worldly.

  6. What a wonderful day on all fronts, weather, cycling, gardening and archiving, how splendid. I loved the photographs of that nasturtium and the moon, amazing.

  7. Enjoyed the pictures of the three different bands – a great turn-out on the eve of Common Riding.

  8. The first three flowers photos are all very good individually, but the way that you arranged them in this post is excellent!

    Whether it was the sun or moon lighting the scenes, Langholm and its inhabitants looked very bright and cheerful. I know that you’ve talked about how bad the weather has been, but I didn’t notice it in your photos until these, shot on a good day for a change. I hope that it holds for you.

  9. Wow! A green woodpecker, that is really awesome to see! I’m glad Venetia sent you that photo. Your dahlias continue to amaze. I love how the Common Riding has so much history and tradition associated with it and how it brings the town together. It must be somewhat magical to be part of something like that.

    1. She goes to Lockerbie (18 miles away) by car and then gets the train which takes an hour. It would be cheaper on the bus (free bus pass) but lengthier and much more uncomfortable.

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