Today’s striking guest picture comes from my nephew Dan, via his father. Dan is on holiday in Iceland.
The forecast said it would rain in the afternoon and it did. Under these circumstances, it was just as well that I got up early, thanks to Mrs Tootlepedal’s encouragement, had my breakfast and got out and about on the bike promptly.
The wind was very light and the temperature was pleasantly cool so conditions were ideal for cycling. I chose a familiar forty mile Sunday morning route on main roads with no hills to speak about on the way. Although this makes for a dull ride from a scenic point of view, it is very satisfying from a pedalling point of view as you can put your nose over your front wheel and keep it there for two and a half hours and there is something very therapeutic about sustained vigorous exercise.
To tell the truth, I did stop twice to nibble a banana as I can’t pedal and eat at the same time without falling off.
A few miles before I got to Newtown, my turning point, I was overtaken by a very civil bunch of eight serious cyclists and they kindly allowed me to tuck in behind them so I got a splendid tow along. It is amazing what a difference having eight cyclists in front of you makes to the wind resistance. I was able to float up a gentle hill at sixteen miles an hour when I would have been toiling up it at 12 mph on my own.
I was home before Mrs Tootlepedal got back from singing in the church choir and as it was warm and dry still, I took a walk round the garden. The forecast for next week is for a lot of wind and rain so this might have been the last chance to wander round the garden in dry conditions for some time.
Delphiniums always seem to come out just before rain and wind knocks them over. Mrs Tootlepedal has got them well supported so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
Annual cornflowers are popping up all over the place.
A moss rose came out to join the rose family.
The dahlias are enjoying the weather at present.
And the Sweet Williams seem to get more ‘pingy’ every day.
Mrs Tootlepedal joined me when she got back and she was pleased to hear the bees in full buzz as we passed the hydrangea.
And we were surprised to find that another iris has appeared just when I thought they were all past their best.
Mrs Tootlepedal went in for a cup of coffee and I wandered through into the vegetable garden. The early potatoes are looking promising…
…so promising indeed that Mrs Tootlepedal nearly dug one up yesterday but in the end she wisely resisted the temptation as it is really too early even for ‘earlies’.
After lunch, I might have done several useful things but the effort required these days to bicycle 40 miles at 16mph was sufficient to make sitting down watching the British Athletic championships on the telly seem like a good thing to do. So I did it.
And the rain started on cue…
…and that put paid to any more excursions for the day.
It didn’t stop the siskins fighting.
A goldfinch checked to see if there was any room…
…but had to wait its turn…
…before finally getting a seat at the table.
The jet stream is flowing right over the middle of the country leaving Langholm on the wrong side of the Azores High and ushering in a queue of Atlantic lows over the next few days so I was pleased to find that today’s cycle ride has taken me over 2000 miles for the first six months of the year. As my target is 4000 miles for the whole year, this is mathematically quite satisfactory, although I would liked to have banked a few extra miles against any future injuries, ailments or prolonged bad weather.
The flower(s) of the day showcase rich profusion, actual and potential.
And the flying bird of the day is a soggy siskin.