Today’s guest picture is another from the Menger family’s Highland meander. It shows the daughter of the house holding a cushion starfish which they met on on a fishing trip they took from Islonia, an island kingdom near Gairloch.
For the second day running, I was acting as a relief feeder filler for the Moorland Feeders as for the second day running, the designated feeder filler had made a break for Edinburgh. The astute reader may notice a pattern here and it is probably connected with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Mrs Tootlepedal came up with me today and for the second day running, the bird hide was occupied when I got here. Fortunately on this occasion, the family left the hide shortly after I had finished filling the feeders and I was able to settle down to watch the birds while Mrs Tootlepedal scanned the skies for raptors from the comfort of the car.
She saw one bird of prey briefly but I saw a lot of small birds. Among them were…
In fact for almost the whole time that we were there, there was at least one woodpecker on each side of the clearing.
The only time when I wasn’t watching birds was when Mrs Tootlepedal’s raptor flew over the clearing and the small birds cleared off. They soon came back though.
We got home just in time for coffee but the rest of the morning was wasted on the phone as a result of an email from my internet provider telling me that they were “upgrading my service by removing my email provision”. Some one should be arrested for this act of violence against the English language.
However, several phone calls later, I got my email account reinstated for a price which means that I will reluctantly after many years as a loyal customer move to another provider. The nice lady on the phone assured me that the decision to remove my email facility without notice had been a commercial one. What a surprise.
After an early lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents and I made and ate some potato soup for my lunch. Then I settled down to some work in the garden.
I started with a little compost sieving to warm up and followed up by mowing the drying green, the greenhouse grass, the middle lawn and the front lawn in that order. In actual mowing time, this is not a long job but once getting out the different mowers required, pausing for heavy breathing, sitting down for a rest and just standing at the end of a row and looking around vacantly have been factored in, the job took most of the afternoon.
I did find time for a shopping trip to the High Street to acquire more coffee beans and two nectarines.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I had considered the poppies in the garden during the day and we were struck by how various they are in colour and design.
Although they may look superficially alike, a closer look reveals all sorts of subtle differences.
The Rosa Wren is doing very well and comes up with a fresh replacement as each bloom fades. It is hard to believe that these two flowers are from the same stem.
I made a visit to our corner shop after I had finished the mowing and purchased a smoked sausage, a pepper and some mushrooms and then with the help of an onion from the garden made them into a risotto for my tea. It went down well.
In the evening, Susan appeared and gave me a lift to our recorder group in Carlisle for our first play for several weeks. Considering that we were all a bit rusty, we played well and enjoyed a varied selection of music from Hindemith and Gershwin to Palestrina and Farnaby with others in between.
Susan got us back to Langholm at exactly the same time as Mrs Tootlepedal returned from Edinburgh and as she had enjoyed her visit a lot, we sat down to watch the highlights of another interesting stage of the Vuelta in a very good mood.
The light in the morning wasn’t good enough to let me catch a flying bird at the Moorland feeders so once again, a flower of the day is all I have to offer. But what a flower it is.