Not a lot


Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Mary Jo from Manitoba in a probably vain attempt to stop me complaining about the weather.  Her thermometer is in the shade on the North side of her house, and the picture taken around supper time.  If that was the case here, I would have to move.  I wouldn’t be able to take it.

thermometerIn contrast to that excessive heat, we had a fine and sometimes sunny day here but the temperature never climbed above 16°C.  It was fine if you were sheltered from the breeze but when I went out on my bike, it was decidedly chilly in a brisk wind.

I started the day before breakfast by taking ten photos (and a dish of blackcurrants) down to the hall at Canonbie for the flower show.   On the way back, I stopped on the Canonbie by-pass to admire a splendid show of daisies which have recently appeared.

by-pass daisiesThe whole roadside gleams with them in places.

by-pass daisiesAfter breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal and I had an involved conversation about a potential bike ride but following a good deal of to and fro, we couldn’t find a suggestion that met both our requirements so we agreed on a ride for tomorrow and Mrs Tootlepedal did some gardening while I went for a solo pedal.

I had a quick walk round the garden before I went.

The opium poppies opened their petals to the sun.
The first sunflower of the year.
wild flowers on the front  lawn
Wild flowers on the front lawn
wild lawn
The wild lawn is showing some signs of progress (if shot from the correct angle).

In spite of the sunshine, I went back in and put a second layer on.  I did a familiar 25 mile circular route and thanks to the chilly wind, I had to keep my head down and pedal hard rather than look for photo opportunities.  I was pleased to see though, that I had been unnecessarily gloomy about the possibility of wild raspberries….

wild raspberries…as I passed several spots dripping with fruit.

I need some black and white shots for future competitions so I did stop at a ruin at Bailliehill…

Bailliehill…but I never seem to get that punchiness which is needed for a successful b/w shot.

Colour is no problem just now as everywhere is looking as green as can be.  This was taken from the same spot, looking back into the valley that I had just climbed out of.

Looking back from BailliehillI got back in good order and after lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for the flower show at Canonbie.  It was very busy and we had to park a long way from the hall.

The picture that I took two days ago of the Skippers Brig won first prize in a very hotly contested class (even though Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it was too saturated for her taste) but all I had to show for the other nine was a second in a small class and none of the four (which I thought were quite good) cloudscapes troubled the judge at all.  Such is life.  As a consolation, my blackcurrants scraped second prize in a class of three.

We went down to the field behind the hall where an enterprising farmer from Loch Lomond was demonstrating herding Indian Runner ducks with a collie.

ducks and collieTo tell the truth, the ducks seemed to be as well trained as the collie and might well have been able to do the show without the dog.

There were the usual static engines to admire….

static engine…and highly polished vintage tractors too.

vintage tractorsWe left the show for a while and enjoyed a walk along the banks of the Esk below the church.  We passed many sand martins flitting across the river in search of insects to take to their nests in the river bank.   I would have taken several more (potentially superlative) shots of the walk and the show if my camera battery hadn’t run out.  I have lost my spare battery and in spite of looking for it everywhere for several months, it hasn’t come to light so after this fiasco, I ordered a new one  as soon as we got home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had some more gardening to do when we got back and I turned some compost from Bin C into Bin D.  I have almost finished this task and one more go should free up Bin C to received the contents of Bin B.  True happiness this way lies.

I also took a picture or two while I was out.  Clematis were on my mind.

white clematis
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that these greeny white flowers are not petals at all.
These are growing side by side. Are they all the same flower?

On the other side of the garden, a new field poppy and the first Japanese anemone have poked their heads up.

poppy and anemoneThe forecast is offering us a good day for our proposed pedal tomorrow and I have charged my camera battery so I am looking forward to the outing.

I didn’t have a lot of time to watch the birds today but the mean pigeon was back again…

pigeon…and the dialogue between the chaffinches and siskins continued.

chaffinch and siskin…and the better light allowed me to get a more satisfactory flying bird of the day today.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Not a lot

  1. We have a purple clematis much like yours. This year I was barely able to keep it alive and the few blooms it sported this year were half the normal size. it is normally covered in blooms, but not this one.

      1. The older vines are surviving, as the roots go down a good 5 or 6 feet. Newer plantings are needing spot watering. My test rows of pinot noir I generate cuttings from are heavily mulched which helps.

  2. The wild lawn is off to a good start: thank you for posting that shot of it. Congratulations on your photo competition win! Re. the white clematis: if the white blossoms are not petals, are they considered part of the foliage?

  3. The daisies on the hillside make traveling that road much nicer, I’m sure.
    The flower show looks like one of our county fairs, which have most of the same events and exhibitions, plus carnival rides and side shows.
    I’m glad the wildflowers are taking hold in the lawn. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. I stopped mowing the rear lawn one summer and had some beautiful flowers appear.

  4. I really liked that photo that won, it was deserving of a prize! I have the same problem as you when it comes to black and white, mine never look as good as every one else’s do.

    I also like the wildflowers that you and Mrs. T have selected to plant in the wildflower garden, I hope that it takes off and looks as good as I think that it will.

  5. Glad you had some success at the show and I loved those daisies, what a show on the bank. It was good to see the wildflowers in their place in your garden, success!

  6. Not surprised to hear that the Skippers Brig picture took first prize. Well done.
    Interesting mauve flower that cannot count.

  7. Congratulations on your first prize shot! I am sure your others were very good as well. I’m always surprised and delighted by the display of wildflowers you see on walks and rides. Also, you have more flowers in your wild patch of lawn than my whole garden at the moment! It’s looking good, Tom. I do like the black and white ruin picture. I suspect it is more difficult to get punchy shots when you often have cloudy skies.

  8. Congratulations on the Skippers Brig photo win – totally deserved, in my humble (very humble 🙂 ) opinion. Congratulations also on reaching the bottom of bin C, nothing beats the joy of progressing to the next bin.

  9. I admired the prize winning photo at the time, glad it did well for you.

    Does Mrs T know the name of the greeny white clematis? I have a weakness for greeny white flowers.
    The bachelor buttons are looking great in the lawn, one of my favourites.

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