The storm after the calm

Returning to Grasmere as the sun comes out

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.

Returning to Grasmere as the sun comes 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.

Verges near Tarcoon

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….

aquilegia

….and enjoying the roses which are coming along nicely.

roses

Mrs Tootlepedal likes the candelabra primulas by the pond….

candelabra primulas

…..and I like them too.

I did some butterfly chasing…

sweet rocket and orange tip butterfly
The sweet rocket is a magnet to the orange tip butterfly

…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…

astrantia and geranium
Astrantia and geranium

…but the most eye catching thing in the garden at the moment is probably the white clematis over the back door.

clematis

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…..

plums and apples
The plums are doing quite well but the apples are verily flourishing

…and soft.

strawberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants
Strawberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants

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…

lupin and polemonium
It is surprising how many different shades of white there are in a garden

…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…

allium and iris
Allium and iris

…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….

silverweed and birdsfoot trefoil
Silverweed and birdsfoot trefoil
crosswort and an unidentified pink flower
Crosswort and an unidentified pink flower (with added beetle)
pine flowers and red campion
Pine flowers and red campion

…and a very nice river of bluebells flowing down the hill…

river of bluebells

…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….

hawthorns

…and from further away.

hawthorns

The bank beside the road is covered with them.

hawthorns

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.

blackbird

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “The storm after the calm

  1. I loved the photograph of the orange tipped butterfly, such lovely designs on its wings. Your garden and surrounding countryside are full of beauty, I love the close ups in particular.

  2. Your monthly figure of 350 miles cycled makes me feel good about my 146 miles walked this month. There’s still life in the pair of old dogs yet.

  3. Your clematis is certainly flourishing. Lovely flowers in your garden and beyond. The hawthorn is spectacular. Loved the bird of the day.

  4. I know the unidentified flower is in the pea / bean family but that’s as far as I can go.
    The river of bluebells and the hawthorn trees are quite a sight. I can’t imagine why the bluebells would grow that way.
    That’s a beautiful clematis. I don’t think you could add another blossom if you wanted to.

  5. The clematis over the door is lovely – the kind of shot you see in travel books about the UK countryside. I like the bird of the day.

  6. I like the way you group and frame your flower photos. I particularly like the Astrantia and geranium combination. They look like they should be on the wall of a gallery somewhere.

    The stream of bluebells and stand of hawthorns are impressive with all the blooms. Our trees also put on quite a show of blooms this year, and we are seeing lots of cherries forming. Sadly, it looks like the pear tree blossomed during wet weather and was not well pollinated.

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