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Archive for Jul, 2016

Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent.  She tells me that her husband Mario met these attractive creatures at at Weetslade country park, another of the North East’s redeveloped former pit sites.

Mario's snails

I felt remarkably well when I got up but was quite pleased to find it was a grey and drizzly day which gave me an excuse for not doing too much in the way of outdoor activity.

I put the time to good use by putting a week and a bit of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database.  I have been very idle about this and I am still putting in some weeks of 1893 while Sandy is busy entering data for 1894.

I did do a bit of gardening in a dry spell when Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church and I took the opportunity to admire the poppies.  Mrs Tootlepedal’s packet of mixed seeds is beginning to show a bit of variety.

mixed poppies

My favourite poppy gets a solo portrait and it shows that there are plenty more poppies to come.

poppy

On the down side, one of the disappointing peony poppies added to its lack of attraction by causing a mess on the lawn.

poppy mess

I cheered myself up with a look at one of the cornflower patches.  They seem to last for ever.

cornflowers

With the bird feeder not in action, the garden is quite quiet as far as feathered friends go but there are still a few blackbirds to be seen every day.

blackbirds

When Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Church, we went off to do some shopping and returned in good time to watch the final stage of the Tour de France and the ladies’ race which preceded it.

As the real action doesn’t get going until the last few kilometres of the main event, I went out for a walk between the end of the ladies’ race and the end of the men’s stage.

It was still drizzling on and off and the light was poor but there was enough to see a good selection of birds.  On the Esk there were the usual oyster catchers and pied wagtails but today I saw a grey wagtail as well.

wagtails and oyster catcher

Lurking under an arch of the Town Bridge a few yards away was the familiar figure of Mr Grumpy in a reflective mood.

heron

I walked over the bridge and through the Clinthead garden, where I saw a thrush hiding under a bush…

thrush

…and was entertained by many flying birds on the Kilngreen.

black headed gull and mallard

There were black headed gulls in the sky and mallards over the river but the most obvious flying bird was almost right under my nose.

heron

I got quite a start when Mr Grumpy flew past me.  He had come to pose in better light for a portrait.

heron

I walked over the Sawmill Bridge and onto the Castleholm, keeping an eye out for fungi.  I didn’t have to look very hard.

fungi on castleholm
Other creatures had obviously seen them first.

fungi on castleholm

On the other side of the Castleholm, a large patch of colour beside the race course stood out.

Knapweed

It was lesser knapweed.

knapweed

It started drizzling again so I took the shortest route home over the Jubilee Bridge, stopping to look at a tree as I crossed.

Helicopter seeds

I used to love playing helicopters with seeds like this when I was a boy

It had stopped raining by the time that I got home so I peered over our hedge and saw the view of the garden that casual passers by get.

Garden from the road

Even on a very grey day, there is a colourful corner somewhere in the garden.

Ligularia, phlox and Bobbie james

Mostly Ligularia, phlox and Bobbie James

I got home on good time for the finale of the tour and wondered to myself what I will use as an excuse to be idle now that the three week race is over.  Perhaps I will have to lead a useful life.

Yesterday’s sausage stew provided us with another meal and that ended the entertainment for the day.

The shot for the flying bird of the day reveals the complicated arrangements that Mr Grumpy has to make when he comes into land.

heron landing

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother, who found some gorgeous heather when he was walking on the Cleveland Way.  Langholmites looking for heather for their heather besoms will be very jealous.

20160723_144203

It was a cool, grey morning with light winds so perfect for an early start and some long distance cycling.  Encouraged by some loud cries from Mrs Tootlepedal, I actually got up quite early, kept any footering about to the minimum and was out of the house by half past eight.  No one was more surprised than me.

I got home eight hours later having spent seven of those hours on my bicycle.

In order to keep weight down, I didn’t take any cameras with me so my phone was conscripted into use to take a few pictures as I went round.

I tried to keep stops to the minimum but I had to stop at that level crossing yet again…

level crossing

…and to make matters worse, I was stuck behind a very smelly muck spreading tractor.

I stopped again at Bowness for a jam sandwich after forty miles.  I was seated on a recycled plastic bench and looking out over the Solway from the English shore towards Scotland.

Solway shore Bowness

Unfortunately, the tide was so far out that the view consisted almost entirely of mud flats.

From Bowness, I cycled right round the coast, making a circuit of a very large radio station…

Anthorn

As you can see, the poles are well braced against the winds which on many days will howl off the Solway and through the site.  It was quite calm today but there was still enough breeze to make me glad when I rounded the point and finally had the wind behind me after fifty miles.

Although the radio station looks rather bleak it is an interesting place.

My route took me across the bridge over the River Whampool…

whampool bridge

…but the view from the bridge wasn’t up to much because the tide was so far out.

river whampool

I turned after 53 miles and headed back to a pub at Port Carlisle where they served me a half pint of excellent beer and a plate of egg and chips with far too many chips.  I must have looked hungry.

The ride home was made very bearable by the wind behind me.  I stopped for one more picture…

motorway banking

…because I like the way that the powers that be have planted this new motorway banking with such a good range of wild flowers.

I was hoping to complete my 100 miles in under seven hours but rather annoyingly, I was two minutes over time.  Details of the route can be found by clicking on the map below.

garmin route 23 July 2016

There was a large crowd out on the street when I cycled back into Langholm but they weren’t waiting to cheer me home.  The cornet had led his mounted followers over the hill to the Castle Craigs and Cronksbank earlier in the afternoon and they crowd was waiting to welcome the cavalcade on its return.  The mounted procession rides through the town preceded by the pipe band and I was able to park the bike and catch them as they came along Thomas Telford Road.

Castle Craigs ride out

Castle Craigs ride out

Cornet Simon Tweddle and left hand man Dale Irving gave me a friendly wave as he passed the school where I used to teach.

Cornet Simon Tweddle

And last year’s cornet, Jamie Fletcher, the right hand man to Simon this year, followed with a cheerful smile.

Jamie

They riders go up to Holmwood and then come back down the brae onto Eskdaill Street where I saw them again.

Castle Craigs ride out

The pipe band struck up and they marched off into the evening while I went home and cooked a sausage stew for my tea.

I sneaked a moment while the stew was cooking to walk round the garden.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s packets of mixed dahlia seeds continue to produce delights.

dahlias

Small but perfectly formed.

The yew bush is getting covered with little nasturtium berries.

nasturtium

And the peony poppies, which should be a sensation, continue to disappoint.  They are flowering well but mostly just look grubby.

peony poppy

There was no time to hang about as Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to a screening of a concert at the Buccleuch Centre straight after tea.

The event was a screening of André Rieu’s annual  Maastricht concert.  It is not perhaps an occasion for the musical purist but it was a riot of fun from start to finish and included cheerful music, tuneful singing and an excellent Brexit joke which went down very well.

No flying bird but a welcome appearance of the sun is the flower of the day.

sunflower

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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother and sister’s visit to the north east.  Once again it is transport picture but instead of bridges it shows Lindisfarne monks carrying St Cuthbert’s remains.  Apparently his remains travelled quite a lot

Lindisfarne monks carrying St Cuthbert's remains

We had a warm but rather grey day today, with occasional drizzle discouraging any great thoughts of being out and about.  I spent the morning disposing of coffee and treacle scones with Dropscone and mowing almost every blade of grass that I could see in the garden.  There was also a lot of dead heading heading to do and of course, time needed to be spent in solving today’s crossword.

There were moments of floral photography.

rosa wren

And a welcome butterfly arrival.

white butterfly

This is probably a small white

But generally things were rather wet and droopy.

poppy

It was warm enough to make me feel like having a pedal after lunch but once again I was too easily tempted into indolence by the prospect of a really exciting stage of the Tour de France.  This fully lived up to its billing though it was painful to see several high speed crashes as the rain poured down in France.

Because so many every day cyclists have at one time or another fallen off themselves, it makes watching other cyclists hitting the deck a very painful experience for the viewer so I certainly hope that they have better weather for the last mountain stage of the tour tomorrow.

I was just getting up to go for a pedal after the stage had finished when I looked out of the window to see quite heavy rain descending.  I didn’t feel very keen to go out on wet roads under the circumstances so I waited for the rain to stop and went for a short walk.

The rain held off while I went round Gaskell’s Walk and I stopped from time to time to peer at my surroundings.

Plants grow freely from a wall near Pool Corner.

A colourful wall at Meikleholm

Wild geraniums and a pretty purple plant that looks like a nettle have provided colour in the verges for a long time this year.

nettle and geranium

The chief colourist of the day was rosebay willowherb…

rosebay willowherb

…which could be seen on all sides.

rosebay willowherb

I saw some kind of  burr near Stubholm and was surprised to see that one head was quite colourful.

burr

I was hoping to see some fungi and I was not disappointed.  I couldn’t miss these two writhing heaps of fungi right beside the path.

fungus

And when I got near the park, I saw a flash of white among what looked like fallen leaves.  Closer examination showed that the ‘fallen leaves’ were a lot of mostly very low lying brown fungus and the white splash was the same fungus with mould on top of it.

fungus

Nearby an old tree stump is host to a few large and ancient fungi.

fungi on tree stump

High above my head, the noble fir was carrying some large cones….

noble fir

…and it is lucky that these cones don’t normally fall from the tree as they might well brain a passer by if they did.

Secretly I had hoped to feast on wild raspberries as I went along the track but a demon raspberry picker had been along before me and there were scant pickings left for me. I saw an example of the riches that I had missed…

wild raspberries

…but sadly the reason that these had been left was that they were well out of reach of even my long arms.

I took a moment to admire a flourishing hosta in our front garden when I got home…

hosta

…and the even more flourishing rambler rose on our back fence…

rambler rose

…before I went in to cook my tea.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I put some hard work into a set of nine short pieces by Jean-Philip Rameau.  They are very promising but quite a lot more work will be needed before we can play them well.

It was too grey a day to spend time trying to catch a flying bird* so a near perfect Jacobite rose will have to stand by itself as flower of the day.

white rose

*Our bird feeder is still out of action as Mrs Tootlepedal quite fairly got fed up with the large flock of sparrows which it encouraged into the garden and which ate her vegetables as fast as she could grow them.  It will return, I hope, after the growing season is over.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother.  He has got back from Belgium and us visiting Hartlepool with my oldest sister.  They went to see the transporter bridge at Middlesborough and for the price of 60p each way, they crossed over and back.

Transporter Bridge, Middlesborough

We had a nearly perfect summer day today, with sensible temperatures even in the sunshine.  This enabled me to do some useful gardening in the morning (when I wasn’t drinking coffee with Sandy) which included some dead heading, a bit of propping up a flagging rose, some clipping of box balls and a first dose of compost sieving for Bin D.

A reader recently complained that there have not been enough exciting compost bin pictures lately so here is Bin A being instantly refilled by the ever busy gardener and Bin B, shut up for a while before the next compost convulsion.

Compost bins

From time to time, I wandered around with my camera.

A pink poppy

A pink poppy makes a welcome addition to the many red ones.

Lilian Austin rose

Two stages of the Lilian Austin rose side by side

Not all the flowers are outside.  Mrs Tootlepedal cuts the sweet peas.

sweet peas

I spent quite a bit of time sorting through my pictures to find six for our forthcoming camera club exhibition.  They printed out very well which was a relief as often pictures seem magically to print out very differently from how they appear on screen.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to visit Matilda in Edinburgh and had a good time there and I allowed myself the luxury of snoozing in front of the telly while cycling heroes completed the mountain time trial in the Tour de France.

I was so tired watching them by the time that they finished that I decided to limit my own cycling to a single mile first along the river, then over three bridges and quickly back home.

I saw my  oyster catchers at the usual spot where the dam from behind our house eventually enters the River Esk.  I suspect that it must carry some extra nourishment down with it as the oyster catchers seem very busy pecking away there.

Oyster catcher

A few yards away there was a disturbance.  Looking around I saw that it was being caused by a young wagtail demanding food from its parent.

Wagtail and young

I pedalled on and looked over the Town Bridge to see Mr Grumpy standing on a rock.

Mr Grumpy

He must have been behaving as he wasn’t being harassed by gulls today.

When I got back, I mowed the middle lawn and then had another look round for some interesting flowers.  Mrs Tootlepedal has planted out dahlias all over the garden and this one was at the end of the lawn which I was mowing.

dahlia

Nearby a crocosmia has reared its head.

crocosmia

And we are getting flocks of phlox.

phlox

The Rosa Wren has not been flowering profusely to say the least, but when the flowers do come, they are worth waiting for.

Rosa Wren

On the other hand, there are a large number of knapweed flowers.

knapweed

Wheels within wheels

In the evening, Susan picked me up and we went to Carlisle to play with our recorder group.  There were only four of us instead of our usual five and as a result we played a lot of music that we don’t play very often which was a treat.

As a sign of the turning of the year, Susan had to put the car lights on as we drove home.  Tempus fugit.

No flying bird of the day today I am afraid but that pink poppy makes a reappearance as floating flower of the day.

pink poppy

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Edward Winter, a blog reader from Sheffield who came to visit us not long ago.  He thinks that his version of Mr Grumpy is quite the equal of ours.  It is called Crazy Crane.  I don’t think it is getting enough to eat.

CrazyCrane

After our hot and humid day yesterday, it was to be expected that a little rain might fall and we were woken up by furious drumming on the roof accompanied by thunder rolling round the hills.

I did the sensible thing and rolled over and shut my eyes again.  By the time that I got in touch with the real world, the rain had stopped and we were able to go out into the garden to assess the damage.  Some things had stood up to the heavy rain pretty well.

dahlia and fuchsia

Some were not too bad….

marigold

…and some had thrown in the towel.

poppy

I am a bit disappointed that Mrs Tootlepedal’s eryngium (Miss Willmott’s ghost) is grey and not blue but on close examination, I can see that it does have a bit of blue in there.

eryngium

It was still pretty soggy outside so I went back in, got my hair cut by my resident barber and then hid until after lunch when the prospects were much better.  The clouds cleared away and with light winds, it looked like a good afternoon for a pedal so I got my cycling gear on and…..

…foolishly stopped for a moment to see how the Tour de France was getting on….

…and two hours later, I finally got on my way.  By this time the wind had got up quite a lot so it served me right for dilly dallying.

My joints were feeling the effects of clambering about on the hillside yesterday so I settled for a short, slow ride with plenty of stops for shots.

The Wauchope was showing where all the rain had gone…

Wauchope cascade

…but the roads were dry and the sun poked through the clouds from time to time. As I went on my way down to Canonbie across the hill, I could look back to see the Monument on the top of Whita where I was walking yesterday.

View of Whita

The tower to the right is a communications mast and quite ugly but we pretend that it isn’t there.

The first part of the route is through sheep and cattle farming country often with rough pasture…

Rough pasture

…and frequent vistas.

Whita

The second part of the route follows the River Esk from Canonbie back to Langholm.

I cross several bridges and I was looking at the lichen on one (as one does) and took a picture out of habit.  When I put it on the computer, I saw that there was an almost invisible fly on the lichen.  Can you spot it in the  left hand frame?  It’s there.

lichen with fly

I passed Gilnockie Tower too.

Gilnockie tower

It is a sixteenth century tower but it was fully restored in 1978 which is why it looks so neat today.

I parked my bike by a fence on the bike path and walked down to the River Esk a mile or two south of the town.

River Esk at Broomholm Island

The two arms of the river coming together after passing round  Broomholm Island

A bright flower beside the river caught my eye.

flower

And there was something even more delightful nearby.

Wild raspberry

The wild raspberries tasted as good as they looked.

Nearer the town, I stopped on Skippers Bridge for the obligatory view of the old distillery.

Langholm Distillery

And since I was in bridge mode, I stopped on the Town Bridge too.

Meeting of the waters

You can see that the Esk on the left has much more water coming down it than the Ewes which shows how local the rain storm over night was.   We were lucky as there are  reports that “gobstopper-sized” hailstones dented cars at Eastriggs which is less than 20 miles away from us.

All in all, apart from the brisk wind, it was a surprisingly mellow day for a gentle pedal after the early thunderstorms.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and I took a moment to admire the rambler roses on the fence beside the vegetable garden.

rambling roses

The vegetable garden itself is doing very well and provided runner beans for our lunch and then turnips, potatoes and broad beans for our tea.  Perhaps thanks to a lot of sunshine in June, the vegetables seem to be full of flavour this year.

The flower of the day is a moody shot of a clematis, taken just after the storm abated this morning.

clematis

And in the absence of a flying bird, last night’s full moon, taken before the rain came, will have to do.

full Moon July 2016

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Today’s guest picture comes from fellow archivist and Hibs supporter Ken.  Sadly he is having to leave the town to return to the north east of England for family reasons and he kindly sent me this picture of the Saltburn Viaduct, taken some years ago, which I hope will be the first of many from his new home area.

Saltburn Viaduct

After a generally cool start to July, we were promised a properly warm day today and we certainly got it. It was 18°C when we got up and 25° by mid afternoon.  As the sun was out all day, it was pretty warm when you left the shade.

Under these circumstances, I got the front lawn mowed as soon after breakfast as I could and then did the middle lawn after having had coffee with Dropscone. As a side note, our coffee was accompanied by a mound of croissants.  Dropscone had acquired them at a very reasonable price just before closing time at a supermarket in Hawick on his way back from a golf committee meeting in the borders last night.  They went down very well.

The lawn mowing and croissant eating in high temperatures took its toll and there was quite a bit of sitting and panting between times but I did find a moment to wander round the garden with the camera in hand.

Poppies were go.

poppies

I tried to capture the beauty of the back of the house potentillas with a panoramic shot but the camera had its own rather bent ideas.

potentilla panorama

I went back into the garden and looked at some clematis.

clematis

After lunch, I cycled up to the High Street to do some business and incidentally to check if I would make enough breeze while cycling to keep myself cool.  I did the business and decided that it was too hot for cycling so I went for a walk instead.

I wanted to get up to where a gentle breeze would fan my fevered brow so I put on some sun cream and an amusing hat and walked up to the monument on the top of Whita hill.

I stopped almost before I had started when I saw a commotion on the river as I crossed the suspension bridge.

family of goosanders

A family of goosanders were cruising down stream and I spent some happy minutes watching them dart about.

goosanders

Leaving them to their business, I adopted a sensible pace and headed uphill.  I stopped to take pictures from time to time.

Going up the Kirk Wynd, the left and right sides offered a contrast in colours.

fireweed and nettles

There was plenty to look at, some quite obvious and some mysterious.

gorse seeds and red thing

Gorse seeds on the left but I can’t work out what the red thing is. It looks like a leaf.

A horse minded its own business as I passed.

Horse

I looked back at the town below as I climbed.

Langholm

My target was the monument on the top of the hill…

Monument

…and it was very pleasant on the summit when I got there.

I had a close look at the obelisk.

Monument

As the inscribed writing in the stone is rather hard to read, some helpful person has transcribed it onto a tablet set into the base.   I always try in the intercourse of polite life to be an ornament and delight of every society but I am not so successful as Sir John Malcolm evidently was.

You can read more about him here.  He was a very distinguished chap and by no means the worst colonial ruler of his time but he opposed the Reform Act which counts against him in my view.

The views from the summit were glorious.

Panorama from Whita

A more successful panorama. (click to enlarge a bit)

My favourite view up the Ewes valley.

Ewes valley

I was standing beside a trig point and looking across the Esk valley, I could just see the matching trig point on the top of Timpen, where Sandy and I stood a few days ago.  The Lumix could see it much more easily.

Trig point on Timpen

It is the small black dot on the top of the hill at the front.  It is 2 miles away and the windmills behind are another mile off.  Smart camera.

It looks from the shot as though I was much higher on Whita than I would be on Timpen but the difference is only 25 metres or so.

I looked down to the Solway.  On a really clear day you can see the Isle of Man, 60 miles away across the Irish Sea but today I could only just make out the Cumbrian coast.

Solway

Instead of going straight back down the face of the hill, I walked along the ridge and scrambled down beside a wall to the quarry.   In some of the rougher spots, I reflected that a sensible person of my age might have brought his walking poles with him but when I looked round, there was no sensible person about so I just staggered on.

Quarry

A lot of the stone to build the town came from here in the early days.

There is a handy stile over the wall below the quarry…

Quarry wall stile

I popped over the stile and followed the old quarry road back to Whita Well, where I took a refreshing drink of water and dropped back into the town.

I was more than ready for a cup of tea when I got home.  It was only a 3.6 mile stroll but the walk to the summit from the centre of the town is a mile long at a gradient of 16% and on a hot day, it was quite strenuous.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre with Sandy and we fought another losing battle with an unresponsive Wi-Fi hotspot there.  We can’t afford our own internet connection in the Centre so it is annoying that the BT hotspot is so unreliable.

I didn’t have the breath left to go off to find a flying bird today so a rather showy poppy as the flower of the day will have to stand by itself.

poppy

It may have been a short summer (we are promised rain and thunder tomorrow) but it was very welcome and we enjoyed it while it was here.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my neighbour Liz’s recent jaunt to Spain.  She saw the point.

cactus

The morning radio was full of talk of heat waves and burning sun but when it came to our part of Scotland, low cloud and a pleasant warmth was the order of the day.  As I am not very fond of very hot weather, this was fine by me and I was able to do quite a lot of useful work in the garden after we had had coffee with Liz and Ken and mastered the art of getting Spanish pictures from her phone to mine.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Carlisle to do some shopping and I turned Bin A into Bin B, edged the lawn, sawed some logs and trimmed the front hedge along the road.  I felt quite good about this and rewarded myself with a tomato and feta cheese salad for my lunch and a good sit down afterwards.

At various times during the morning I wander ed round the garden looking at flowers.  I often concentrate on single poppies and cornflowers so today, I took a more generous view.

poppies

cornflowers

poppies

The perennial nasturtium is going to seed…

perennial nasturtium

…but I like the little green berries as much as the flowers.

I was just enjoying a little snooze (and watching the Tour de France at the same time), when I was disturbed by the phone ringing.  It was a welcome call from my daughter who was sheltering indoors from the fierce heat in London.

I was just settling back when the phone rang again and this time it was an even more welcome call.  What could be more welcome than a call from our daughter? It was the power company ringing up about the Archive Centre electricity supply.  At last, after months of delay, a person who knew what he was talking about to talk to.  This may be connected to the fact that I had told the customer service man last week that I would go to the ombudsman if no one contacted me.

After some conversation, he wiped off the amount that they claimed we owed them, reduced our monthly payments, assured me that our meter was now telling the truth and that readings could  be successfully submitted and promised me that we could go to another supplier without penalty.  Oh frabjous day!  It has only taken since November for this happy state of affairs to come about.  Mind you, I wait for the written confirmation of all this before I open the champagne.

When Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Carlisle, she was quite impressed by my industry in her absence except in the matter of edging the lawn.  It turned out that although my lawn trimming looked neat enough, there was still a large fringe of grass overhanging the actual edge and this needed remedial action by an expert.  She did it quickly and efficiently.

The sun had come out by this time but it was still far from unbearably warm so we sat and had a cup of tea under the walnut tree.  I looked at the vibrant honeysuckle behind the bench and the fading euphorbia in front of me.

honeysuckle and euphorbia

I had taken a picture of the Rosa Wren in the morning and looking at the flower as we sat and sipped, I was impressed by how much a good day had brought it on.

Rosa Wren

Six hours work

But not everything had improved in the same time.  I took a picture of a new poppy in the morning and looked in vain for it in the afternoon.

poppy

Not great value. There was a breeze but not a gale.

Mrs Tootlepedal drew my attention to some pinks that she had been given by our older son Tony and his partner Marianne on Mother’s Day back on May 6th.  They came in a fancy little wicker basket and after keeping them for some time, Mrs Tootlepedal planted them out.  They are doing very well indeed.

pinks

That’s what I call a good present

After the tea had disappeared, I went off on the slow bike to pursue a flying bird.

I passed the oyster catchers in their favourite spot on the bank of the Esk.  They were having their tea too.

oyster catchers

I soon found an obliging gull or two by the Ewes.  Once again they came straight to the point.

gull

I pedalled over the Saw Mill Brig, across the Castleholm and then over the Jubilee Bridge.  I have often mentioned it and I thought it deserved a portrait on such a nice evening.

Jubilee Bridge

The sides really do lean in, it is not a camera aberration.

As I had a little time in hand, I pedalled on up to Pool Corner, which was also looking quite mellow.

Pool Corner

I checked to see if the slow worms were in their warm spots.

slow worms

They are very companionable animals. Youngsters on the left and adults on the right.

The phlox was looking very fine when I returned.

phlox

It has stood up well this year.

When I got home, I heated up yesterday’s chicken in a gravy with mushrooms and peppers and it went down very well with another of our large new potatoes.  There was some gooseberry fool left for afters.

In the evening, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and we had a good time playing sonatas by Boismortier, J C Schickardt and Telemann.  There isn’t a large repertoire of pieces for flute, cello and piano so we have to play the same pieces several times over the year.  Tonight we felt that we might actually have played one or two of them better than ever before.  There may well be room for more improvement though.

The flower of the day is a day lily…

day lily

…and the flying bird is a young black headed gull.

blackheaded gull

 

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