Today’s guest picture is a very fine harpsichord, built in 1999 after one built by one of the Ruckers family of Flemish harpsichord makers of the late 16th and early 17th C. My sister Susan heard it played at a concert recently. Lucky her.
This was the last day of our very warm and dry spell and, with only a light wind, it would have been an excellent decision to get up early again and have a cycle ride before breakfast. However, you can’t expect miracles and by the time that I had risen and had breakfast, it was time to go up to the Moorland bird feeders.
I had a quick walk round the garden before I left.
Mrs Tootlepedal enjoys making use of ‘wild’ flowers in her garden….
…as well as more cultivated flowers. She has planted out some dahlias which she has grown from seed and the good weather has encouraged them to produce flowers already.
I had promised Sandy that I would fill the feeders for him as he is away on holiday and I was very happy to do it, as the feeder site is in a beautiful spot and there are often interesting birds to look at. Mrs Tootlepedal came with me in the hope of seeing some passing raptors. She was disappointed but I sat in the hide and watched several woodpeckers very happily.
On the moor, great swathes of bog cotton drifted down the slopes.
When I got home, I deferred any cycling plans and enjoyed some scones and coffee with Dropscone instead. He had found that he had some cream that was past its best so he had incorporated this into the scones and they were even better than usual.
When he left, cycling was put back again as I had four bits of grass crying out for a mow and I managed to do three of them before I had to retreat into the cool indoors.
I managed the fourth one after lunch and was quite pleased to have done them all on a single day. The combined area is not large…
…but it was quite hot enough to make any work quite hard. The drying green and the greenhouse grass are cut with an electric hover mower and the front and middle lawns with a traditional push mower. The front lawn still needs work to help it recover from being neglected last year when we failed to turn it into a meadow.
In between the mowing, I took breaks with my camera in hand. The little butterflies were back.
And there were a few more bees than of late.
There was a glimpse of colour which turned out to be the very first orange hawkweed of the summer.
I thought that I should show the very dark irises in context.
They are inconspicuous and striking at the same time.
The sunshine has brought a lot of colour out and I took a look at some colourful corners.
After I had finished the last lawn, cycling was very much back on the menu but before I could set off, my chain urgently needed cleaning so I set about this task with some zest. A clean, well lubricated chain makes a lot of difference to a cycle ride and mine had got so clogged with dust that it had come off while I was changing gear on both my last two rides so I gave it a good deal of attention.
By the time that I had finished that, at a time when the day was at its hottest, I needed another rest. Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out even more dahlias. I had to look hard to find her in the flower bed.
Then there were the strawberries to water and that took time and finally, I had to admit to the truth. It was too hot and I was too lazy. I wasn’t going to cycle anywhere other than the High Street to run an errand.
Plan B involved pro relaxing. It worked well.
I got up enough strength as a result to have one last walk round the garden with the gardener. I took a bee’s eye view of some flowers.
A bee was having a bee’s eye view of its own nearby.
I might have enjoyed a late pedal in the cool of the evening with Mrs Tootlepedal but she went off to the annual supper outing of the Ewes Women’s Rural Institute, of which she is a member. This is Langholm’s answer to La Dolce Vita and she had a good time. While she was gone, I did more well judged relaxing.
I might be sorry that I didn’t get a pedal in, however warm it was, because the forecast is offering a chance of rain for every day for the next seven days but I can’t deny that we need a little rain so I won’t complain.
The flying bird of the day is not a great photo but it is out of the ordinary for me so I have put it in anyway.