A bit of this and a bit of that

This departed couple did not seem unhappy

Today’s guest picture shows a cheerfully departed couple whom my brother Andrew met in York Minster earlier this month.

This departed couple did not seem unhappy

Our very good spell of weather continued today and this meant that the steady supply of plums ripening on the tree continues.  I try to pick them just before they become fully ripe so that they don’t fall prey to plum predators but I am not always successful.

blackbird eating plum

Though if she is going to steal my plums, she might look a bit cheerier about it.

Blackbird eating plum

There are plenty left for Mrs Tootlepedal and me so I am not complaining.

As well as plums, I had some excellent scones today as Dropscone arrived for coffee.  He only had three scones instead of his usual four with him as his daughter Susan was off work because of the bank holiday and for some reason he thought that she deserved one for herself.  As he made up for this by bringing a tasty slice of cake, once again I couldn’t complain.  He was even kind enough to take some of our surplus runner beans away with him when he left.

I would have liked to have had some time in the garden in the sunshine but I needed to pick out and print some photos for the Westerkirk horticultural show at Bentpath.  This is a time consuming business, especially when your printer mysteriously starts making everything go pink and the whole system needs to be switched off and on again. I managed to get them pretty well sorted and my entry form posted by lunchtime.

After lunch, I went out to sieve some compost.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been doing heroic work in the garden, clearing old plants from a bed on which she has designs for next year. This is just part of the resulting debris…

plant heap

..and we will put it through the big shredder soon.  As compost Bin A is already pretty full and the revised bed will need a good dose of sieved compost to freshen it up, there was a pressing need for compost action.

I sieved the last material out of Bin D….

Bin C and D

And then turned the contents of Bin C into Bin D.  Now all that remains is to turn Bin B into Bin C and Bin A into Bin B and all will be well.  Mrs Tootlepedal sometimes gently points out that if I just left the compost to itself instead of bothering it endlessly, it would all decompose in its own good time.  This may be true but then I wouldn’t be having any fun.

Our friend took an interest in the composting.


I spotted a lone peacock butterfly on the buddleia….

peacock butterfly

…but mostly the garden was full of fluttering white butterflies today, sometimes alone…

white butterfly

…but often in pairs probably making sure that there will be a good supply of white butterflies next year too.

white butterflies

I checked to see if any new flowers were to be seen but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that we are at the end of the road as far as novelty goes so I went in and got changed.  Then I got the fairly speedy bike out of the garage, cleaned the chain and pumped up the tyres and set off for a short ride.

The temperature was perfect and the sun was warm but not burning so everything would have been perfect of there hadn’t been a brisk wind straight into my face for the first three miles.  As I climbed up past Bloch Farm…

Bloch Farm

….I stopped to admire the view (and take a breather).

Wauchope valley
The Wauchope valley

From this point on, the wind was more often helping than hindering and I whizzed along at a good speed.

I stopped on the old main road before I got to Canonbie to admire these very leafy trees…

Leafy trees at Woodhouselees

…and once again on the Skippers Bridge to take the obligatory picture of the old distillery.

Old distillery from Skippers

I got home in time to take a picture of a small lobelia….


…and have a shower before my flute pupil Luke arrived.    We puffed and blew but we were both a bit tired so it wasn’t the most progressive lesson that we have ever had.

After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and although I wasn’t playing at my best, we had an enjoyable time, perhaps hearing what we would like to have had the music sounding like rather than what it actually did sound like.  Selective listening is an art in itself.

The flower of the day is a collection from the pink, purple and red bed which continues to look really good on a sunny day…

pink, purple and red flowers

…and the flying bird of the day is a butterfly butterflying.

flying butterfly

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “A bit of this and a bit of that

    1. It certainly is fun. There is something deeply satisfying in taking a waste product and within a few months returning it to the garden as a valuable substance.

  1. Turning compost does aerate it and there are those who say it breaks down faster when aerated but I’ve turned tons of the stuff so I prefer Mrs. T.s method.
    That’s quite a hill. I doubt I could make half that distance on my bike. It was worth the climb for the beautiful views though.
    I like the leafy trees too.

    1. There’s no doubt that turning it does speed up the process a lot. I have seen community sites where the compost is turned round in two or three weeks. Quantity helps of course. The trouble with the tried and tested slow method is that it takes up more space.

  2. I liked your reference to selective listening when playing music. It certainly applies to my violin playing which at times can be compared to Florence Foster Jenkins’ singing.

  3. An alternate title for this post could have been a beautiful day in a beautiful world! I’ve said it before, but you’re so lucky to be able to walk out of the door into such a wonderful garden, hop on your bike and see the views that you do. I am envious.

  4. A slice of life, the recap of your day has me smiling! A very pleasant and productive day. The country side there is so charming! The butterfly on the buddliea is a great shot. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Whilst pedalling through that wonderful scenery and seeing all those beautiful views one can imagine you whistling, humming, even singing a suitable ditty…..? Lovely photos of all the birds and the dainty butterfly posing is my favourite.

  6. Plums fall victim here to yellow jackets (wasps in the genus Vespula), honeybees, and birds, in that order. I have photographic proof of honeybees and yellow jackets, normally mortal enemies, feeding side by side on plums.

    Everything looks lovely there in Scotland. We finally got a tiny amount of rain today, enough to wet the dust down.

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