Sunny afternoon

Bridge over Ouse

Today’s guest picture shows a very fine bridge over the River Ouse near which my brother Andrew had a cup of coffee recently.

Bridge over Ouse

We were blessed with another day of unrelenting sunshine but, in the morning at least, it came with a bearable temperature and very light winds so when I went out on my bike after coffee, it was a perfect day for pedalling.

I had cleaned and oiled my chain before I started so it was happy and I had chosen a fairly flat and unchallenging route so I was happy but sadly, the only dissenting members at the party were my legs which for some unknown reason were on a go slow.  There is no arguing with legs when they are in this sort of mood so I calmed my expectations down and pedalled gently about the countryside for thirty miles humming cheerfully to myself.


There was a lot to see.

Before and after my ride, I had strolls round the garden.

Wren and poppy

dahlias and cosmos
Flowers grown from seed flourishing in light or shade
The butterflies were back

After  a shower, some lunch and a bit of gardening, I went off for a walk with Sandy.  By this time it had got very warm so it was lucky that we had chosen a short walk by the river as if we had gone any further, we might have melted.

We parked at Hollows Tower….

Hollows Tower

…and walked down through the fields to the Esk, stopping on the way to record anything that caught our eyes.

Sandy at Hollows
Sandy has an unfair advantage. He can crouch down…and then get up again.

I was looking at seeds and fruits…

bramble, acorn and winged seeds
The first blackberry of the year up here.

..and wild flowers.

wild flowers

The river was looking very peaceful…

River Esk

..and in the distance we could see a heron perched on a caul.


The caul provides water for a mill stream that powers the Archimedes screw which has appeared on the blog before.

On the far bank of the river we could see strata of rock. perhaps 300 millions years old, making me think of just how recently human beings have arrived on the scene.

River Esk strata

We walked down the river to look at the sluice gate for the mill stream…

sluice gate at hollows

…and have a closer look at the caul.

caul at Hollows
The sluice is on the left of the river as we look.

We did think of going on down to look at the bridge at Hollows but by this time we were nearly roasted so we pottered back to the car and drove home.

I had a last look round the garden when I got in.

lily, anemone, cornflower and marigold

Mrs Tootlepedal had dug up one of our main crop Hungarian potatoes and the crop looked to be slug free which is always a relief.


The onions are drying in the greenhouse.


A blackbird caught the evening sun…


..and above our heads, a butterfly got some late warmth on the roof tiles of the house.

butterfly on roof

During the day, I mowed the front lawn and having looked at the front and middle lawns, I think that this might be the one day of the year when they look quite good.

The lawn seasons starts in about February when the lawn master walks around sucking his teeth and saying, “Oooh, the moss is very bad this year, there’s no hope.”  Preliminary work, scarifying, fertilising and if necessary a little weed killing starts in April or May and then a programme of regular mowing is put into practice while the lawn master walks around saying, “Oooh, it’s not looking very good.”

Then one day in August, it looks like this.

middle lawn

front lawn

And the lawn master is happy.

And then of course it is all downhill again.  Worm casts, rain, cold, moss, moss and more moss and then the lawn master walks round saying, “Oooh this looks bad”….and the whole thing starts again for another year.  But today makes it all worthwhile.

The flower of the day is a poppy at its its poppymost.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “Sunny afternoon

  1. The oriental lily is a beauty. I can’t grow them anymore due to lily beetles and I miss their fragrance.
    The lawns always look great in any photo I’ve seen and enhance the beauty of the garden.
    That’s a clever way of drying onions that I’ve never seen.

  2. I enjoyed the lawn master narrative – how fortunate that he has one good day a year! The rock strata are beautiful.

    1. Some Olympian athletes only get 20 seconds or so before their event is over for them. Considering that they have been practising for four years, I feel privileged to have a whole day of enjoyment every year out of my hobby.

  3. The lawns and the garden both look fabulous, both the lawn master and Attila the gardener should be proud!

    I enjoyed the photos from both the ride and the walk, but my favorite is the blackbird in the evening sun, you can’t beat sunlight from the golden hour.

  4. I also am envious of Sandy’s ability to crouch down and get up again. Just looking at your photo hurts my knees. The one of the young blackbird in the evening sun restores me.

    1. They are blight resistant and seem to be fairly slug proof too so although they are not the tastiest potatoes in the world, they suit us very well.

  5. It’s amazing what you manage to do in a day when your legs aren’t 100%! A delightful summery post to enjoy with a country stroll followed by beautiful flowers, butterflies and home grown veg all in a perfect garden setting- I’m humming too now!

  6. The gardens look beautiful, and I like the view from above which shows the layout. The views from your walks and rides are always pleasing to see.

    The onion drying rack caught my eye. That is a great idea for drying the crop. A Mrs. Tootlepedal invention? The potatoes look very healthy as well. Not much slug damage to our potatoes this year, but I have seen more Limax maximus, which prey on other slugs, lurking about at night.

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