I was going to use pictures from our break as guest pictures of the day this week but I couldn’t resist this picture, taken by ‘Uncle Joe’, of Matilda, who is still in the south, wondering when her parents and aunt will stop with the cheesy smiles and let her get on with her meal.
This is the picture that I was going to use. It shows Gold Hill in Shaftesbury.
We woke to a wonderfully sunny day with the winds thankfully a bit lighter than yesterday. Outside the kitchen window, a new poppy looked attractive….
…not just to me but to hoverflies as well.
I did a little dead heading and took the camera for a stroll among the flowers. The pink poppies have some subtle differences when you look at them closely.
A frog was taking in the rays on a lily pad.
The hostas have flowered profusely this year and are a real ornament to the garden.
I was just thinking of mowing the lawn when Dropscone appeared on his bicycle…
…looking very cheerful. I was cheerful too when I saw that he was bringing a bag of his scones to go with out coffee. He had been playing a lot of golf while I was a way so we had much to mull over (cruel fate, unfortunate bounces, unnecessary trees etc.)
After coffee, I had a quick look at the plum tree…
…which has quite a few more good looking plums on it than we feared after a late frost threatened the crop earlier in the year and then I mowed the front lawn. Luckily it wasn’t very warm in the town while we were away so the grass was manageable and looked quite good after its haircut.
Once the mower was put away, I had time to wander round the garden again.
Although most of the orange hawkweed has long gone over, there was a single cluster in almost full flower today.
We are entering the season of berries and the first few raspberries are ripening. I would have shown you a picture but they seem to have disappeared suddenly and mysteriously.
Instead here are berries of the perennial nasturtium which have turned from green to blue and red, together with a cluster of rowan berries on their way to ripening.
After lunch, I went out to have a look at the last of the early potatoes which Mrs Tootlepedal had just dug up. For some reason the weather this year has produced relatively few potatoes per plant but to make up for this, they are unusually large for earlies.
They turn out to taste very good when baked. This is not something that you would normally do with earlies.
The weather stayed fine so I got the fairly speedy bike out and tried out my legs after their week of rest. They worked well so I battled into the breeze for ten and a half miles up the Lockerbie road and then cruised back home at 17 mph, an unusually brisk speed for me these days. I didn’t stop for many pictures as I was concentrating hard on the pedalling but I did record this colourful verge near Westwater.
When I got back, I thought that the middle lawn was looking a bit peely-wally so I got out the watering can and put some pep-u-uppo on it. I was just on the last can-ful when a looming presence over my left shoulder turned out to be Scott, the minister, paying me a visit.
He had arrived in perfect time to join us for a cup of tea (who would have thought it) and he told us about his adventures in the big London 100 mile bike ride at the end of last month. For the second year running, accidents among riders ahead of him had caused long hold-ups and as a result the course had had to be shortened to a mere 90 miles. This had been disappointing although not entirely unexpected with 26,000 riders taking part and some narrow roads involved. He is hoping to do an uninterrupted 100 mile event elsewhere soon.
When he had gone, I went off on my slow bike to see if I could find any waterside birds. I didn’t have to look far to find a herring gull.
There was another gull near and I think that this may be a young herring gull but I am, as always, open to correction.
As there were some very black looking clouds threatening to bring a fine day to a wet close, I didn’t dawdle and was soon home.
The Olympic Games are going to be a severe test of my ability to get things done over the next few days as there is wall to wall coverage available but I am going to try to ration myself so it doesn’t take over my whole life.
The flower of the day is a dahlia….
And the flying bird is that herring gull.