Over the hill

robot mower

The guest picture of the day was sent to me by my older son, Tony.  He was much impressed by this robot lawn mower mowing a public space in Edinburgh.  I was too so although it is not the sharpest photo, I have used it.

robot mower

We had another day of incessant sunshine and I was pleased to have been able to get up, eat breakfast and get out for a 25 mile cycle ride by half past seven in the morning.  The temperature was perfect when I started off but it was already getting too warm for comfort by the time that I finished.

I took a picture with my phone to give a general impression of the ride…

sunny day at Glenzier

…and was pleased to find an early silverweed flower at my foot.


They seem to like the salt that gets put on the roads in winter.

Apart from avoiding the worst of the heat, my early start allowed me to be home in time for coffee with Dropscone and since it was Friday today, this involved treacle scones.  He had laid out some of his cash on a better quality bag of flour and this had paid off as the scones were first class.

While I was awaiting for him to come, I killed a little time chasing butterflies in the garden.

female orange tip butterfly
This is a female orange tip butterfly
small white butterfly and bee
I don’t what type this very plain white butterfly is. I liked the neat pollen bucket on the bee nearby.

I couldn’t help noticing a few flowers too.  Some were big and brash….

oriental poppy
Our first oriental poppy of the year
Several peony flowers are on the go now.

Some were more delicate….

Welsh poppies
A floating cloud of Welsh poppies
Welsh poppy
A near perfect one

And the sunshine made for a couple of quite classy close ups.

Welsh poppy
Dancing feet
Delicate petals

It was good though to get back into the cool indoors out of the sun and enjoy the coffee and scones.

After Dropscone left, with a few sticks of rather weedy looking rhubarb in a bag, I thought about mowing a lawn but decided that discretion was the better part of valour today and went back in and did the crossword instead.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been having coffee with ex work colleagues at the Buccleuch Centre but after lunch, she got busy in the garden and I went out to supervise.  I did manage to sieve another bucket or two of compost for dressing the vegetable beds and we put some netting on the strawberry beds,  but mostly I drifted about, trying not to get too hot.

I noticed the first yellow rose of the year…

Scotch Rose

…and enjoyed peering into an allium.


Whenever I did get too hot, I went indoors and practised songs and/or flute and recorder pieces for the concert in the evening.

While I was out in the garden at one point, a tremendous racket announced the arrival of a bunch of starlings which sat on the electricity wires and chatted.



They didn’t stay long though and were soon off in search of food for the youngsters elsewhere.

Other birds were available.

Sparrows checking out some red pellets

I noticed that a blue polemonium had come out…


…and the lupins are now going strong.


I went back in and made a feta, tomato and potato bake for our tea and then we picked up another choir member and set off for Newcastleton where our choir concert was being held in the church.

The thermometer in the car said 30°C when we got in and even driving along with the windows open didn’t cool us down at all.  I was hoping that when we got there, the church would be dark and cool but it was just as warm inside as the day was outside and by the time that the choir and a very satisfactorily large audience had piled in, it was a bit like a furnace.

The heat didn’t affect the singing too much but playing instruments when your hand is hot and sticky is not quite what you want so although the recorder piece went not too badly, the flute accompaniment was rather streaky.  The pianist complained that he too was making mistakes because his hands were slipping off the keys.

The audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy the concert.  As well as the choir, there were poems, solo songs and a terrific contribution by three of our conductor’s students from Carlisle who sang songs from musicals and some crisp close harmony work as well.

All in all, the audience got quite good value for their entrance money, though there was enough scope  for improvement in the choir to warrant a another practice before we repeat the concert in another church next week.

The almost flying bird of the day is one of the starlings.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Over the hill

  1. I like the Welsh poppies. I can’t remember seeing them here but I’m sure I must have.
    The yellow rose is beautiful too. I’d like to have an old yellow shrub rose someday. I’ve had my eye on them for years.
    There is a Jacob’s ladder (polemonium) called “Stairway to Heaven.”

  2. Hi Tom – I can’t remember if I’ve told you but I have been getting flu after flu since March and finally, after nearly 3 weeks in hospital, it got diagnosed as mycoplasma pneumonia. I took myself into Emergency as Ming wasn’t home. Drs thought it was lung cancer (I used to smoke) so it is a great relief but have lost 5 kilos and am so weak and weepy. I am very happy to not be terminal but haven’t seen Anthony for so many weeks now that he hardly notices (I guess this is good). I did see him last week briefly, a few days after I was discharged from hospital but have been so weak that I have to force myself to get out of bed. I hope you are all well. I miss blogging but just don’t have the energy. Julie

    1. We are well here and I hope that you can get yourself back to full working order as soon as possible. Pneumonia is a hard thing to recover from so take it gently.

      1. Thanks Tom – Ming and I are speaking at a conference next week in Sydney so I am rather desperate to feel well for this occasion!

  3. I really like the glowing illumination of the “delicate petals” photo.

    Heat sufficient to make a persons fingers slip off the piano keys sounds challenging. A musician at a festival here once described an incident where a performer at an outdoor concert in Texas had their fiddle fall apart in their hands because the heat from the sun and stage lights had melted the glue.

  4. Beautiful flower photos especially the polonium and the sun shining through others. I’m taking a break from blogging over the next month so hope your garden continues to grow sweetly, your bike rides stay enjoyable and the music makes you sing and dance!

  5. So many beautiful flowers, especially the poppies and peonies. Our peonies I planted 2 years ago finally bloomed, at least one of them. We had a frost this spring which nipped the other buds and caused some browning of the leaves. The yellow rose is nice too. We have one that was given to us when a building was being remodeled and the rosebush was in the way. We finally have a few blooms opening up on our roses now.

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