A sonata sort of day

Queen Mary's garden, Regent's Park

Today’s guest picture shows Queen Mary’s garden in Regents Park in London.  My sister Mary was passing through last week.

Queen Mary's garden, Regent's Park

My day was divided into three movements, Adagio, Moderato and Lento.

The morning was very adagio indeed and the casual observer might have had quite a lot of difficulty in telling whether I was asleep or awake.  It was a pleasant and dry day so I roused myself enough to walk round the garden.

The most striking thing there was the first opium poppy of the summer.  It was hard to miss.

opium poppy

It was joined by a newly out clematis which is shown here flanked by two Dutch irises.

iris and clematis

The mixed cornflowers continue to please the eye.  One had been joined by a friend.


The warmth had brought out another first, a day lily, seen here with a gorgeous courgette.

courgette and day lily

There is abundance on all sides.

geraniums and philadelphus
Geranium and Philadelphus

Among the flowers, a diffident young blackbird posed for me.


I went back in and kept an eye on the bird feeder.  There were regrettable incidents of sparrow stamping.

siskins and sparrow stamping

The sparrow was more than up for it though and the siskin flew off unable to shake it loose.

A visitor for Mrs Tootlepedal arrived and while she was being shown round the garden, I noticed that the Astrantia was attracting even more bumble bees than usual.  It seemed as though almost every flower had a friend.  The Cotoneaster was a draw as well.

white tailed bumble bee

There were other bees.

bee on astrantia

Although I am very happy to see so many bees about, I would be happier still if they were joined by some butterflies.  We are a butterfly free zone at the moment.

After the quiet morning, a bit more action was required so I got the fairly speedy bike out and set off to see where it would take me.

There was a brisk wind in my face and I was far from a bundle of energy but I pedalled steadily along in a low gear and soon found myself at Paddockhole, 10 miles from home.  I was seriously  thinking of turning back at this point, fed up with the constant wind but curiously enough I found myself pedalling on up the hill to Corrie Common.

A cow was cross that I had disturbed her and stamped her foot.


Once at Corrie Common, it only seemed sensible to go on to Lockerbie and return to Paddockhole by the other road so this was what I did.

I stopped to photograph the golf course at Lockerbie, which was looking very well kept.  This may be have been helped by the fact that there didn’t seem to be anyone paying golf on it.  It is much easier to keep a course looking neat if it doesn’t have a lot of old men on it hacking chunks out of the turf.

Golf course Lockerbie

Cycling home with the wind behind was a treat and I stopped again to add to the recent wild flower collection.

vetch and rattle
Vetch and rattle (I think)

My reactions weren’t very quick today and I saw several interesting plants, including an orchid, but by the time that they had registered on my conciousness, I was well past them and too lazy to go back for a second look.

For the first time, I saw all six of the new windmills in action though some of them seem to be sited behind a ridge rather than on top of it which is odd.


Still they were all going round so perhaps the owners know what they are doing.

Those interested in the cycle route can click on the map below for further details.

garmin route 5 July 2016

The gentle speed was in keeping with the tempo of the day.  In my defence, it is a very undulating route.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had only just come in from a hard afternoon of work in the garden.  She had been doing lots more hedge trimming….

hedge trimming

…but there are still some left to do.

The late afternoon and evening provided a tranquil end to the day.

I realise now why the years seem to go quicker as I get older.  It is not that time moves more quickly at all, it is just that I move a lot more slowly.

The flower of the day is a Martagon Lily with its dancing shoes on…

martagon lily

…and the flying bird is a sparrow.

flying sparrow

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “A sonata sort of day

  1. Nothing says a gardener lives here like a well trimmed hedge and a sharp edge on the lawn.
    I love the bee macros. They don’t seem easy to get for me this year.
    Growing opium poppies is illegal here so chances are I’ll never meet one in person.

  2. How I’ve missed the beautiful flowers and the birds of the Tootlepedal garden and the delightful scenery of Langholm. I’ve started my catch up today and it’s such a treat to arrive back on your blog again, Tom. Thank you for the uplifting photos and your always interesting commentary. I look forward to delving back into the archives. I’ve also missed your wit. 🙂

  3. I could get ‘high’ just looking at your poppy and all the other beautiful flower photos. I think I’m addicted to your blog!! Love it.

  4. Well done for the long ride, and for the beautiful flower pictures.
    That sparrow was very brave – or stubborn.

  5. The poppy is stunning, and the birds are remarkably rough on each other! How many times in an average year do you have to do the major hedge trim? (If you’ve mentioned that in an earlier post, please forgive my inattention!)

    1. Once a year for the internal hedges and perhaps twice for the one along the road so it is not too bad but it feels like a lot when the time comes to do it.

  6. I’m so happy to see all those bees! Wonderful shots of the sparrow stomping. Aggressive little fellows you have there. The lily photo is exquisite. Love the dancing shoes.

  7. Such an interesting variety of photographs, the flowers in your garden are especially beautiful. I do like the young blackbird’s expression and the wispy feathers on its head.

  8. I am glad you are seeing more honeybees. We are not. We are not seeing as many larger birds either, such as robins and jays. The blueberry patch has very few bird strikes, and I am harvesting a good portion of the berries. I heard one robin out there, but normally in peak season I am being scolded by the larger birds as I work the patch, and they are making raids right in front of me.

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