Gently does it

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She visited  the Tate Modern Art Gallery’s  new Switch House yesterday and thought that I might prefer the view from the window to the exhibits.

Tate Modern Switch House 08.07.16 010

I had a rather disturbed night, being woken by the sound of pounding rain accompanied by thunder and lightning.  As a result I was more than happy to have nothing on my schedule for the day more arduous than nibbling on Dropscone’s traditional Friday treacle scones with our coffee.

I had a look out of the door before he came and it was still raining lightly but it soon stopped and I went out to see how the flowers had fared.

To my surprise, they were soggy but unbowed.

dahlia, rose and poppy

The birds were out in force soon too and I had to fill the feeder twice during the day.

busy feeder

After coffee, I mowed the middle lawn.  It had dried out remarkably quickly after the overnight rain and gave me no trouble.

When I had finished, I walked round the garden.

Euphorbias are a source of constant interest to me.

On the edible side of things, Mrs Tootlepedal’s turnips are very good and taste absolutely delicious and the blackcurrants are very nearly ready for picking.

blackcurrants and turnips

After lunch in an exciting development, I went out and finished sieving the compost in Bin D.  Mrs Tootlepedal uses the finished product when she is planting out her annuals.  As Bin D was now empty, I started the job of transferring the compost from Bin C into it.

The sieved compost ready for use and Bin C half emptied into Bin D

My joints were a bit creaky after yesterday’s bike ride so I was happy to stop half way through the transfer and use the second half  of the latest stage of the Tour de France as my siesta.  The tour this year has been very good value and today’s stage was a gripper.

After the stage was over, I went out for a walk.  The plants along the dam at the back of the house are looking good and the first crocosmia of the year has come out to join the potentillas.

crocosmia and potentilla

I went down to the suspension bridge and my eye was caught by several splashes of colour on the gravel banks between the Wauchope and the Esk.

I thought one of the splashes was a clump of orchids but it didn’t seem likely when I went down for a closer look.  I would welcome a suggestion as to what this  might be.

Pink flower by river

Nearby was a brilliant flash of yellow.  Once again, I have no idea what it is.

yellow flower by river

Both plants are growing in gravel which the river will cover when the water gets high.

I walked along to the Esk until I came to the carved owl in Mary Street….

Carved owl

…and chatted to Ian, the owner of the tree stump from which it has been fashioned.  There is still quite a bit of work for Robin, the artist, to do – beak, eyes and claws and so on and the decoration of the base….

Carved owl

…which is in book form representing the bible is still to be completed.

The proud owner told me that he thinks that the carving is greatly enhanced by its position on the bank of the river and on a day like today, I couldn’t argue with that.

Carved owl

I crossed the Town Bridge and walked down to the Ewes Water keeping an eye out for oyster catchers.  I had seen one flying down the Esk and there was another at the meeting of the waters without a leg to stand on.

oyster catchers

I walked across the Castleholm and over the Jubilee Bridge and there was no shortage of things to look at as I went along.

tree fruits
Trees had things hanging from them
Flowers had insects on them
berries and flower
Berries on bushes and a tiny flower probably only 1 cm across
Self heal and a nettle
Self heal (thanks for those who told me the right name for this) and a nettle
bracket fungus
A large bracket fungus high in a tree near the nuthatch nest

Mrs Tootlepedal had told me of a forest of fungus growing on a pile of vegetable matter on the neglected site of an old mill so I finished my walk by going to check her story.  She was quite right of course.

fungus at Ford Mill

I got home in time to watch Andy Murray make short work of the final set of his semi final at Wimbledon and this rounded off a gentle and restorative day for me.

The flower of the day is not a flower at all but a very pretty patch of pale grass beside the Ewes water above the Sawmill Brig.  I don’t know whether it was a trick of the light but I don’t think that I have noticed grass of quite this colour before.

Grass beside Ewes water

The flying bird of the day is an obliging Kilngreen gull.

blackheaded gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Gently does it

  1. What a great many interesting and beautiful things you saw as you walked here and there today. I love all those close ups, saves me having to bend over to see more closely.

  2. I don’t blame the carved owl owner for being proud. I think I would be too.
    I’m not sure if that’s an orchid but if it isn’t it should be. It’s beautiful. I’m guessing that Clare will probably know.
    The tiny white flower is one of the stitchworts I think, but I’m not sure which one, lesser or greater.
    Those are fine looking turnips. Now I’m thinking of stew.

    1. I am making stew tomorrow but the turnips will probably be served on the side as they have a strong flavour in the stew and tend to dominate.

  3. You said in a comment to my blog that you enjoy variety, that’s evident in your post today, from the variety of colors of the flowers to the variety of birds, and with a few fungi and a bee thrown in for good measure. Still, the most exciting part of this post has to do with sieving and turning compost, you’re certainly living on the edge. 😉

  4. The owl is most impressive – looking forward to seeing the finished sculpture.
    The pale grass is a most unusual colour and very attractive.

  5. I went to the Switch yesterday and the view from the top level is hard to beat. Beautiful flowers in your post and I really like the silvery green grasses.

  6. I love that grass photo, it is beautiful color with delicate seed heads. You would love the variety of grasses here. There is one which grows on our farm which is tall and reddish. I will catch of photo of it when it comes into peak color.

    That owl is amazing. Very well done. People carve a lot of statues like that out of dead trees here in the Pacific northwest as well. In town, I have seen a cougar carving and a very tall and imposing Sasquatch.

  7. I do admire the owl carving! At first I thought it was stone until I read your words and saw the base of the stump. What a great idea to carve it out of the remains of a tree. You’ve probably mentioned it somewhere and I’ve missed it but I wondered what kind of timber it is. Here we would probably have trouble with the wood decaying and/or infestation with termites. I guess the artists seal the wood with special marine varnishes? It looks wonderful in that position too.

  8. I am honoured that Allan is sure I’ll know what your unknown flowers are! The purple ones do look as though they could be orchids – maybe Marsh Orchids – and the yellow ones might be from the cabbage family but (and here is the excuse) I am away from home at present and my ancient netbook doesn’t give a clear or large enough image for me to say for sure what they are. I’ll have another look when I get home in a few days time. A look at the leaves would help.

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