The last song until September

Mont Ventoux

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my old teaching colleague Ada.  She and some of her family have just spent time in France.  Guess what her husband, sister and brother-in-law did.

Mont Ventoux

I went cycling myself this morning and climbed a hill too.  It was slightly less awesome than Mont Ventoux though as it was just ten miles and a few hundred feet of climb up to Mosspaul.

It was just as sunny here though and I was glad to be cooled down by a brisk wind as I cycled up the ten miles to the hotel.  They have a fine monkey puzzle tree in their garden.

Monkey Puzzle

My favourite crossword setter, now deceased, used this tree, the Araucaria, as his nom de plume .

It was quite hard work against the wind so I was pleased to be able to turn at the top and look back down at my route home.

Just follow the power lines!

I went up the gentle hill at an average of 11 mph and went back down at 21 mph, which made the return journey very enjoyable.

I had a little time for a walk round the garden and a cup of coffee before we had to set off for Carlisle and the last concert of the choir season.

The garden was looking as though it was enjoying the fine weather too.


The alliums are getting very spherical.


There are still not nearly enough bees about but those that are here are keeping busy.

bumble bee

I was thinking pale and pink today.


The first rose of the season…
The second rose of the season
…soon joined by another
Looking up at an Aquilegia

I did take one look at a stronger colour.


I had just enough strength left after pedalling to chase round the garden after the painted lady butterfly which was making a return visit.

painted lady

I hope that it is joined by a friend or two soon.

Our trip to Carlisle for the Carlisle Community Choir summer concert went well.  We have been a bit short of practice for some of the songs in the programme as we have been concentrating on the competitions that we took part in but we had a good go through them before the performance and things went pretty well.

A friend, who has sung in many choirs over the years, came to listen and she thoroughly enjoyed the concert and gave us a very favourable report whihc was very heartening.

We had had to leave our unlocked car in a public car park for five hours while we sang so it was an added bonus to find it still there when we went to look for it.  This perhaps is one advantage of driving a car which discerning car thieves would not be seen dead in.

We had a walk round the garden when we got home and I was impressed by signs of growth in the strawberries.

Mrs Tootlepedal likes the colourful ornamental strawberry on the left. I am thinking of eating the real ones on the right in the not too distant future.

Now that both of our choirs have finished for the summer, we will have more free time so we expect the weather to take a turn for the worse as we always seem to get the best weather when we have to go to a choir practice.  Such is life.

The flying bird of the day is a bee.


PS: We shed a tear for Andy Murray, beaten again by the inexorable Novak.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “The last song until September

  1. Another gorgeous day and bike ride over in Scotland. Another 94 degree day here. It is unusual for this kind of heat to set in so early, but that seems to be the new normal now.

    Your colors are now looking more like early summer there, and the photos are beautiful, ending with a perfect flying bee. That pink and white Aquilegia is quite striking, and I will have to look into additional colors of them for here. So far, only the deep purple ones have shown up, the seeds having stowed away in a bag of rabbit manure from our friends’ manure mine. They do very well in our hot dry summers.

    1. Mrs Tootlepedal complains that the coloured ones revert to the rather colourless originals within a very short time. The blue ones seem to last though.

  2. Loved the flying bee! I do hope your prediction of bad weather doesn’t come true. I also laughed about the discerning car thief’s thoughts on your car. I used to drive cars I knew were safe to leave unlocked but my new one is a little more desirable. The pale pink flowers are very nice indeed.

  3. Join you in shedding a tear for Andy. Loved all the flowers and am pleased the strawberries, my second favourite fruit, are coming on so well.

  4. Great photo of the flying bee! I also loved all the flowers, especially the alliums, both the close up and the wider shot.

    I know that you’ll miss singing with the choirs this summer, but I’m sure that you’ll find something to do to pass the time.

  5. Another walk worth taking. (I imagine myself walking along–very quickly–as you cycle.) I’m sorry about the bee deficit. We have had problems here, too, although the beekeepers are optimistic about the season.

    Lots of images to admire, but the delicate aquilegia stood out.

      1. I’m cautiously optimistic. We’ll all be in quite a fix if we have to take on the job the bees have been doing.

  6. I’m happy to see that some bees are showing up. And I love monkey puzzle trees–the shape, the name, everything about them.

  7. Pink in the garden is lovely and that rose is beautiful ( do you know the name?) and the little pink strawberry flower is very dainty. I didn’t know the ‘correct’ name for the monkey puzzle tree but I do now! Love the bee flying off from the allium.

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