Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She has just spent a week in the Lake District and enjoyed some good weather. On this occasion, she was returning to Grasmere when the sun came out.
We were actually quite grateful this morning here when the sun went in as it was still very warm. I set off for a short cycle ride after breakfast and with a brisk wind blowing and the sun behind thin clouds, the conditions were very tolerable, even if the temperature was still over 20 degrees C.
The cow parsley in the verges was blending in with a fresh outbreak of buttercups so in spite of the grey sky, my ride was quite colourful.
I didn’t take my camera with me as the forecast threatened us with thunder and rain and I didn’t want to be caught out in those conditions. As it happened, the sun came out before the end of my ride and I was pleased to get home before being thoroughly cooked.
The twenty miles took me up to my monthly target of 350 miles and with a few days still left, I may be able to put a few miles in the bank against my annual target.
When I got back, I spent the rest of the morning in the garden watching Mrs Tootlepedal at work planting stuff out. I looked at flowers, taking in one of my favourites….
….and enjoying the roses which are coming along nicely.
Mrs Tootlepedal likes the candelabra primulas by the pond….
…..and I like them too.
I did some butterfly chasing…
…and was yet again amazed by how active butterflies are. They must fly great distances in a day.
Two strongly coloured flowers caught my eye…
…but the most eye catching thing in the garden at the moment is probably the white clematis over the back door.
I think that it is fair to say that it is doing well this year.
I had a quick check on the fruit, both hard…..
Considering that we nearly cut the blackcurrant bush down earlier this spring because it had a bad attack of big bud, it is doing amazingly well as you can see.
After a last look around…
…we went in. We had a light lunch and then we came out again as the promised rain had not materialised (except for two or three heavy raindrops) and it was still a very pleasant day.
I mowed the middle lawn and sieved some more compost for Mrs Tootlepedal. Her first sowing of poppies and cornflowers has suffered badly from unfavourable weather conditions or slugs (or possibly both) and she is having to start again.
I looked closely at a couple of flowers…
…and then we got into the car and drove a mile or two up the road to let me take pictures of interesting things that I had passed on my cycle ride in the morning but hadn’t been able to photograph as I hadn’t got a camera with me.
There were plenty of roadside wild flowers….
…and a very nice river of bluebells flowing down the hill…
…but what I had really come to see was the hawthorns. Mrs Tootlepedal had been impressed by them when she had driven past on Thursday and you can see why, both from close up….
…and from further away.
The bank beside the road is covered with them.
We were only just in time. As I got back into the car, it started to rain and by the time that we got back to the town is was raining heavily. Shortly afterwards we were treated to a steady roll of thunder lasting many minutes. Occasional rather vague flashes of lightning came and went but the thunder stayed rolling for an unusually long time. I think that the explanation for this would be that the actual storm was some way away from us.
The thunder was accompanied by a really heavy rain and hail storm but it soon ended and all is quiet as I write this later in the evening.
As far as the hawthorns go, I think we can safely say that ‘May is out’ but as far as ‘casting a clout’ goes, the forecast is for temperatures to drop back into much cooler regions next week so I am not packing away my jumper just yet.
A sitting bird of the day today.