Tea and cake

A garden, walled on three sides, has flower borders around an orchard

Today’s guest picture shows Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire, a National Trust property, which my brother visited for his bank holiday treat.

A garden, walled on three sides, has flower borders around an orchard

After a rainy night, the morning was relatively calm and dry and I might have gone for a pedal if I hadn’t been waylaid by some freshly made treacle scones.  Dropscone is going on holiday to Denmark and Germany next week so I had to take a treacle treat while I could.

When he had left, I took advantage of the dry weather to mow the drying green, the greenhouse grass and the middle lawn.  I have been keeping on top of the mowing lately and the weather has been reasonably co-operative so mowing is easy and the results are surprisingly good for this time of year.

While I was in the garden, I couldn’t but help notice quite a lot of butterflies about.  We have two buddleias out and they both had customers.

Most of the butterflies were whites….

white butterfly

…but there were coloured ones to be seen too, sometimes all at the same time.

butterflies white and peacock
Three cabbage whites and a peacock

On the red buddleia, a red admiral was to be found….

red admiral and white butterfly

…along with another white.

I noticed that our silver pear tree actually had a silver pear on it….

silver pear

…but as it is less than an inch long, it wasn’t very impressive…..(and there were no partridges to be seen at all).

After lunch and a very searching look at the weather, we got our bikes out and pedalled down to the church at Canonbie with a view to having a cup of tea and a slice of cake there.

This was the first time that I had been out for a cycle ride with Mrs Tootlepedal for quite a while and I enjoyed myself very much as we made good time down to the Hollows Bridge where we stopped to admire the view for a moment or two.

Hollows Bridge
There is the merest hint of autumn colour among the trees

As we pedalled along the old A7 past the Canonbie sawmill, we were stopped in our tracks by our friend and neighbour Gavin….

Gavin and Gaye

…and his wife Gaye.  They were going geocaching and one of them may be a touch more enthusiastic about this pastime than the other.  They had just come from tea and cake at the church so we left them to their fun and pedalled on.

The tea was welcome and the chocolate cake excellent.  It was served by an ex colleague of mine from Canonbie School who is now retired and volunteering and while we ate and drank, we were joined by another old friend who also volunteers at the cafe so we had a very sociable time while we were there.

We left our bikes for a while and walked down the river bank to the Dead Neuk…

Dead Neuk

…a striking red sandstone cliff.  The name comes from an ancient tragedy when many villagers were drowned crossing the river in a big flood to get to church before the present bridge was built.  I could just see one arch of the bridge up river from where we were.

Canonbie Bridge

And the church stood on a rise behind me.

Canonbie Church

Among the ducks on the river was a lone goosander…..


…which swam off down stream as we left.  This is the same bird in both frames and shows once again what a difference the direction of light makes to what the camera records.

We collected out bikes and pedalled back up the gentle hill to Langholm.

The weather was looking quite promising when we got home so I rang Sandy up and we arranged to go for a short walk.

While I was waiting for Sandy to arrive, I walked round the garden.  The beds at the end of the drive have done very well this year.

Beds at end of drive

And it is not only flowers that are adding colour at the moment.


Sandy came down and we set off.  He told me that he had tried to go for a walk earlier in the afternoon but that it had started to rain so he did some Archive work instead.  He was obviously a proper Jonah today because we hadn’t gone more than a quarter of a mile before it started to rain again and we gave up.

The rain didn’t last long though and I pedalled down to the river in search of leaping wagtails.

A curious light played on Whita on the far side of the town.

The sky in the background was a threatening grey but a shaft of sunshine lit up the monument.

When I got to the river, there was a wagtail on every rock it seemed…


…but the ones in range of my lens insisted on flying sideways….


…instead of rising straight up so I went home again.

We are getting to the end of the plum harvest but there were enough left for baked plums on toast for a pudding with our tea.  Scrumptious.

In the evening, we were joined by Mike and Alison Tinker and Alison and I had a good time playing sonatas while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal tested out a new box of wine.

The flower of the day is a triple dahlia…

With plenty more flowers still to come

…and the flying bird of the day is a rook which flew past while I was wagtail watching.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Tea and cake

  1. I’m hoping to find tomorrow that there is no hint of autumn color among our trees. It still feels like summer just started.
    The river looks low in that shot with exposed gravel bars. Ours look much the same right now.
    I was looking at a very similar stand of tall yellow flowers at the edge of a forest the other day. Yours look like a variety of Helianthus, same as ours.

    1. If you are referring to the bed at the end of the drive, the yellow flowers are marigolds, crocosmia and sunflowers starting from the front and going backwards.

  2. I’m envious of your nasturtium. I’d planted two small, one died, and the other hasn’t done much of anything. Maybe next season. Your garden is delightful!

  3. The rook is a very handsome bird. And the dahlias – bliss! They’re so many colours and shapes, and all are beautiful.

  4. I like the rook too! I like the idea of a cycle ride to somewhere that serves tea and cake. If only we had a place like that here! The dahlias are lovely and your friend Gaye’s face is a picture!

  5. A great photo of the rook, even if the wing is clipped out of the picture. They are very wise looking birds, and I’ve read they are quite intelligent.

    Signs of autumn have started here already. We don’t get the bright colors of my native New England, unfortunately. The annual drought mainly results in yellows and browns.

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