Hopes dashed

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce.  He and his wife visited the far western end of the Roman Wall yesterday and enjoyed this signpost which they found there.  (Wallsend is at the eastern end of the wall.)

bowness signpostI was very hopeful that since today was the first day of the new school term after what has been a pretty gloomy holiday, the sun would come out and we would have lovely weather to taunt both children and teachers. It always seemed to do that when I was teaching but today there was no such luck.  We were back to thick clouds and little sign of sunshine.  Strangely though, it was warmer than of late with the thermometer showing 19°C, very reasonable for the time of year.

Sandy was away babysitting his grand children so I went up to the moorland feeders to do his usual turn.  The light was too poor for photographs of any bird that wasn’t very close….

chaffinch….but I was pleased to see a single great tit.

great titI was reduced to admiring the fungi under the feeders…

fungi…and the wild flowers outside the hide.

yellow wild flower
Can anyone tell me if this is some sort of yellow hawkweed?

Everything was very wet after overnight rain and I had wet feet so I didn’t stay long..

grass wetI got home in time to have a quick walk round the garden….

poppy and lily
Old favourites
soggy marigolds
The calendula are not enjoying the weather
Lobelia Hadspen Purple
And a newcomer: Lobelia Hadspen Purple

…before going along to the Buccleuch Centre and booking tickets for many exciting shows which are coming our way in the next three months.

Then it was time for having a cup of coffee with Dropscone.  He had played an early round of golf and instead of bringing his usual scones he brought some pain au chocolat which he had obtained at a very reasonable price owing to the proximity of its sell by date.  They still tasted good.

While we were sipping and chatting, Mrs Tootlepedal was doing more serious tidying in the garden and when Dropscone had gone, I settled down to shredding as much of the resulting debris as possible.

After lunch, she went off to help with the driving for the disabled and I watched the birds for a while….

siskin and chaffinch
The siskin and chaffinch dialogue continues

…before rather reluctantly getting the speedy bike out.  The grey clouds and a noticeable breeze were behind my reluctance but luckily my legs didn’t care about that at all and took me off up the road once I got started much more quickly than I had anticipated.  I was hoping for a photographic outing and did stop for a couple of shots on the way up to Wauchope Schoolhouse…

yellow wild flower
Another yellow wild flower which I don’t recognise.
Cut field
A mown pasture especially taken for Mary Jo, shot during the best ten minutes of weather during the whole day.

…but once I got going, my legs took over completely and wouldn’t let me stop again.  I did three laps of the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back and the twenty miles passed much more quickly than I expected.  The willingness of my legs to try hard seems to be entirely arbitrary.

When I got home, I had time to walk round the garden again…

privet flower
The privet is dropping flowers like a snowstorm now.
privet flower
Each one, a miniature cornucopia of seeds.

…before Mrs Tootlepedal came home.

While I mowed the greenhouse grass,  she got busy with the strimmer and it cannot be denied that things are looking very neat round the garden at the moment.  There are raspberries to be picked too and we had some for our dessert.

After a last look at the combination of rambler rose and pale clematis round the arch in the vegetable garden fence….

clematis and roseI went in and cooked my tea.

After tea, I went up to the Archive Centre and made some copies of our Langholm Heritage DVD about the history of the mills and the railway in the town.  These are on sale at the tourist information point and sell steadily but unspectacularly.

I also finally managed to get connected to the internet and put a week of the newspaper index into the database.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch shot in a gloomy moment.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Hopes dashed

    1. Having looked at some UK images, I think the sow thistle is bang on. Thank you once again for sharing your knowledge. The poppy was looking extra good for some reason.

  1. Woohoo – bales – thank you! And the field is even on a slight uphill climb and beside a stone fence: you can’t get better than that!

    I’ve never seen privet, but the flowers are so regular they look almost like they’re formed out of plastic.

  2. I second Sonchus sp. for your “hawkweed”; the shape of the buds is what’s swaying me. Your other yellow flower doesn’t look familiar, but I like the bristly looking bases to its flowers. I’ve never seen fallen privet flowers like that before, and it interests me that they are falling now there; we’ve had little green privet berries for months it seems here near New York.

  3. You haven’t had much summer-like weather this summer, it’s amazing that the garden and flowers are doing as well as they are. I hope that the fall is kinder to you, and that you’re able to get out on the bike more often.

  4. Lovely picture of the great tit looking thougtful.
    You did well to get out on the bike as the weather was not very encouraging.

  5. Another wonderful and busy day for you all up there in the borders. Love the privet flower photo- your photos make me look more closely at the tiny things in my garden! Do you ever go into schools and talk about your interests to inspire the next generation of cyclists, photographers, gardeners, nature-lovers, music-lovers and raconteurs?

  6. The yellow flowers look very much like something we have here called Sow/Milk Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). I see that someone else has suggested this one. I used to have a pet budgerigar as a child and it would love to eat milk thistle flowers for a treat.
    I know that feeling of the legs’ willingness to cycle being arbitrary! I’m glad you could get out for a ride even though the day was quite gloomy. Thanks for taking the time each day to share your news and wonderful photos.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I’ve been looking at those yellow plants for a bit and wondering what they were so it is good to know.

      As far as the cycling goes, it is hard to get motivated when one windy, grey day follows another and sometimes cycling feels more like a duty than a pleasure. It is always better when I am actually out and pedalling though.

  7. I have a feeling your other yellow wild flower is an especially tall Agrimony. It looks like a number of plants are all growing together making it look shrubby. Your garden is so pretty! To be able to keep it looking so bright and lush during such a cool and miserable summer is praiseworthy.

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