Back in action

Flamborough Head

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Flamborough Head last month.  When it came to trying to spot the odd bird, he was not alone.

Flamborough Head

With a forecast of “rain later”, it was important to leap out of bed early and get going today.   I didn’t exactly leap (it was more of a stagger) but I did get going reasonably soon and managed a twenty mile bike ride by eleven o’clock.

My reward was a stroll round the garden….

Life for the moment was a bed of roses
Mrs Tootlepedal is a bit worried that all her ‘mixed’ packet of poppies may turn out to be red.
A clematis points the finger
The alstroemeria is doing well

…followed by the arrival of Dropscone bearing scones.  I ate mine with a drop of the first local honey of the year and they went down very well.

Mrs Tootlepedal returned from tidying up the church with her church choir and did a little work in the garden while I mowed the greenhouse grass and the middle lawn.  It has been so cool in recent days that there was not a lot of growth but the temperature had risen a bit today so I thought I ought to do some mowing before things got out of hand.

All this took me up to lunch.  After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal hosted a committee meeting of her Embroiders’ Guild branch and Sandy arrived to go for a walk with me.

The promised rain hadn’t arrived so we drove a mile or two up the Wauchope road with the intention of seeing if I could recognise any wild flowers after my expedition on Saturday.

We had just caught up with a selection of grasses…


…and a very pretty blue flower…

Probably an ajuga

…when it started to rain.  Pausing only to catch my favourite gate…


…we set off back through the town and headed south as Sandy wisely pointed out that it is often drier on the side of Langholm.  He was right and we found a spot on my morning cycle route and looked around.  The light was poor but it was dry and warm.

In the next hour we walked slowly up the road until we got to the top of the short hill.

Old A7

At the bottom there was another gate.


…and as we walked up, there was any amount of wild flowers beside the road.

umbellifer probably hogweed
An umbellifer, probably hogweed


red soldier beetle
A red soldier beetle
I don’t know what this fluffy white one is but there was ‘cuckoo spit’ on its stem
There was a lot of knapweed about
And more grass

Some plants reached up to the sky.  This one was taller than me.


And some kept close to the ground.

Birdsfoot trefoil
Birdsfoot trefoil

But my favourite shot was of an early stem of rosebay willowherb.

rosebay willowherb

When we got to the top (a long walk of about 200 hundred yards!), it started to rain and so we walked back down a lot more quickly than we had walked up and went home for a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit with Mrs Tootlepedal’s committee, who had just finished their business.

We were joined by Mike Tinker and we had a convivial conversazione until it was time for everyone to go home.

Then there was time to see Andy  Murray play a quick match at Wimbledon in fine style before I went off to play trios with (another) Mike and Isabel.

In spite of neither Mike nor Isabel being in perfect health, we had a really good evening and did justice to most, if not quite all, of the pieces which we played.

The flower of the day is a nectaroscordum pretending to be a castle.

nectaroscordum castle of flowers


And the flying bird of the day is a sparrow.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Back in action

  1. I’m not sure if that’s hogweed but the flowers pretty.
    I think the fluffy white one is a spirea, but I’m not sure which one.
    The rosebay willow herb is beautiful. Ours will bloom in August.
    The nectaroscordum is an odd one, but attractive.

  2. I also like the ajuga/prunella vulgarism – very interesting structure. You and Mrs. T. certainly can pack a lot into one day – just reading your itinerary can be exhausting!

  3. I like those black & white gate photos. When the eye is not bedazzled by color, there is much detail to take in. Beautiful countryside you have, in any format.

    Fresh scones with local honey sounds like a treat.

  4. I loved the alstroemeria, rosebay willow herb, and the nectaroscordum, but all the photos were excellent as always!

    I don’t remember seeing either of those two gates before, it is quite effective to shoot them in B&W to bring out the details and textures as Lavinia said.

  5. Rosebay willowherb is an enchanting name for what is plain old “fireweed” here. It grows profusely in Alaska and marks the end of the short summer there when the blossoms climb to the end of the stalk. So, even though I don’t live in Alaska any more, it still brings a twinge of melancholy when I see it.

    1. It is alarming to think that we are well on the downward path to winter already. I never get all the things done in summer that I intend to do owing to the sad fact that months go much quicker these days than they used to….or I go much slower.

  6. Loved reading all the above comments from all over the world enjoying your splendid day in good old Britain with countryside walks, rides, wildflowers, beautiful rose filled gardens, scones and honey and flying birds. Indeed, we are fortunate to live in such a wonderful part of the world!

  7. Hello Tom I’ve been following your blog for several months now and I think it’s fantastic quite unlike any other blog I’ve read , superb words and photographs it’s nice to know there’s such a marvellous character not far from me here in Dumfries, many thanks Ryan.

  8. I’m glad you shared the beautiful details of delicate grass seeds. I never really appreciated their design much when I was younger but now I have the camera and I move more slowly, I find the close-ups just as pretty as flowers sometimes. We have many kinds here. Thank you for the rest of the glorious collection. I am always sure to be left smiling after reading your posts (well, except when I read someone is unwell of course.) These days I tend to stagger out of bed more than leap too even though I am a bit younger. 🙂

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