Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who is on an elephant hunt in Sheffield.
We had another lovely day today, with wall to wall sunshine accompanied by gentle temperatures ideal for those who don’t do too well in the heat. The only fly in the ointment was a brisk and bullying wind which put any thoughts of cycling out of my mind.
I was quite happy about this in one way, as it let me sample the traditional Friday treacle scone couriered in by Dropscone on his bike while taking a short break from his incessant golfing activity. He joined me for coffee while we disposed of the scones. They were very good.
When he left, I went out into the garden and enjoyed the sight of butterflies hanging on to wildly waving buddleias for dear life.
I was amazed that they had the strength to hold on.
After the usual dead heading, I set about compost Bin D with a view to sieving as much of it as I could over today and tomorrow because the constant activity of Attila the Gardener over the past weeks has meant that Bin A is full to overflowing and a transfer process needs to be put into motion very soon.
Luckily, the compost is in good condition and sieves well so I made good progress both before and after lunch. Our robin took a close interest in the garden activities.
Mrs Tootlepedal dug up a couple of potato plants and the robin took advantage of this…
…checking to see if we had any objection to worm hunting.
After I had done enough sieving, I had a wander round the garden clipping off all the hosta flowers which are now over, leaving just a set of new white ones under the plum tree.
The plums are looking very good and supplying us with a steady stream of ripe fruit to eat….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal has been cosseting the Golden Syllabub rose with good results.
At the other end of the garden the curiously named lobelia is also doing very well.
The warm sunshine had encouraged enough grass to grow to make it worth mowing the front and middle lawns for the second day running. Mrs Tootlepedal was impressed by the amount of grass that came off as she thought that perhaps I was wasting my time. Regular mowing works wonders though and both the lawns are looking good.
We sat for a while on a bench in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and feeling that life wasn’t too bad at all and then after a cup of tea and a biscuit, I went off for a short walk.
I took a familiar route down by the river and enjoyed the large number of wagtails that were flitting about over the water or standing on rocks on the shore.
I crossed the Town Bridge and came upon bigger birds flying along the Ewes Water at the Kilngreen.
I looked in vain for any oyster catchers but they seem to have moved on, probably fed up by being harassed by paparazzi.
I walked over the Sawmill Brig and up the Lodge Walks, keeping an eye out for fungus. One of the conifers that is being felled had many fungi growing in its cracks and crevices.
I think that perhaps the number of trees that blew over in last winter’s gales have made the estate keep a close eye on the health of their woodlands. The Lodge Walks are much used by both cars and walkers and although only the Sawmill Bridge got slightly damaged by falling trees last winter, there might easily have been a worse outcome.
In the picture above you can see the remains of another felled tree on the Castleholm but there are also several little fenced enclosures where new trees have been planted to replace the ones that are gone. The enclosure will protect the trees from grazing sheep.
As I strolled on, I stopped to take pictures of the three different heads on a single umbellifer…
…a selection of berries….
…and another set of aged fungus high in a tree.
It was a beautiful evening and the wind had begun to calm down a bit so it was a great pleasure to be out and about.
At one stage, I thought that the path I was following was covered by a thick carpet of fallen leaves. This seemed strange as the trees round about still had leaves on them but a close look revealed that they were not leaves at all but probably the wings of lime trees carrying the seeds to the ground.
I got home to be greeted by a trio of starlings sitting on the wires above the garden.
Considering that they were within a few feet of each other and I stood in the same place to take all three pictures, it is odd how different the sky looks in each portrait.
Mrs Tootlepedal made good use of the plum tree’s bounty for tea and we enjoyed a pudding of baked plums on toast, glazed with sugar and butter, made in the oven and topped off with some custard. Delicious.
In the evening, we were joined by Mike and Alison and Alison and I enjoyed ourselves playing flute and keyboard pieces in a somewhat haphazard but always enjoyable manner.
The flower of the day is a very fine small fuchsia which Mrs Tootlepedal bought for me at the Gardener’s World show in Birmingham earlier this summer…
…and the flying bird is a black headed gull.