A song and a smile

Street

Today’s guest picture from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia, shows what is going on on the street….or to be more accurate, a sunset in the churchyard in the village of Street in Somerset.

Street

I felt rather weedy in the morning with very little get up and go in evidence and as a result when Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to sing in the church choir and I had made a allegedly Bulgarian chicken dish for the slow cooker, I didn’t take advantage of  a very calm and pleasant day to do anything energetic at all.

I did manage to take my lethargy for a walk round the garden late in the morning.

The shrub roses are doing us proud.

shrub roses

I lifted my eyes from the flower for long enough to notice a row of starlings practising a Leonard Cohen number….

starlings
With some good one-legged work in evidence

…but soon got back to looking the flowers.  It is a wonderful time of year with new flowers appearing almost every day.

philadelphus and weigela
Philadelphus and weigela
dark irises
These irises appear nearly black in real life.

The later rhododendrons are coming into their own.

rhododendron

rhododendron

One bee was enjoying the Japanese azalea…

bee on Japanese azalea

…and another one was tucking into an Iris…

bee on iris

…showing the white tail which give the bee its name.

In spite of the good weather, the garden has not been full of bumble bees as I would have expected.  I really had to search around for these two.

.I hope that we will see more soon.

There are any amount of aquilegias to see though, which makes me very happy.

aquilegias

I am very impressed by the beneficial effect Mrs Tootlepedal’s pea fortress  has had on the peas.  If you keep the sparrows off, then you get good results.

pea fortress

Some flowers can look interesting even after the petals have fallen off….

fancy buttercup

…but most probably look better with the petals on.

fancy buttercup

Although I enjoy loud flowers, I like soft ones too.

pale pink flowers

The comfrey on the right is grown as green manure and will be cut down soon.

I was greatly perked up by a light lunch and felt a good deal more cheerful as we went to Carlisle for the final rehearsal with the Carlisle Community Choir before its end of term concert next Sunday.

As always, it was a pleasure to work hard under the eagle eye of our conductor, Andrew Nunn but there is no doubt that I will have to do a good deal of work at home over the next week to drum the songs that we have to learn by heart into my reluctant brain.

Although I may think that I have learned a song at home, when the time for actually singing with the choir comes round and I am trying to remember to shape the vowel sounds correctly,  get the volume right and relax the space inside my head to avoid any hint of tension on the voice, it is all to easy to forget what song you are singing, let alone whether this is the moment when you go up instead of down.

I am going to be a soprano and sing the tune when I come back in my next life.

When we got home, I was happy to find that I had remembered to turn the slow cooker on and the Bulgarian style chicken went down well for our tea.  I even had enough energy to mow the middle lawn while the potatoes were cooking.  It always looks at its best on a sunny evening…

middle lawn

…but you can still see the holes that the jackdaws made in the middle of the lawn.

Since the forecast for tomorrow is for temperatures ten degrees lower than recent days (and with added rain), Mrs Tootlepedal and I thought that we should mark the end of the short good spell of weather by going for a little cycle ride after tea.  Sadly, the sun failed to live up to the moment and hid behind thin clouds just as we set out.  Still, it was warm and the wind was light so we enjoyed our 6 mile pedal.

To make up for the lack of sunshine, a heron posed for me at Pool Corner.

heron
It had very good balance to be able to stand on a sloping caul with a good flow of water going over it.

I couldn’t help noticing the hawthorns again.  The banks along the road are lined with them for much of the distance up to Wauchope School.

hawthorns

The verges were interesting too.  We saw Helvetian bugle (ajuga)….

bugle

…and lesser yellow rattle…

rattle

…among the crosswort, silverleaf, trefoil, campion and clover which have appeared in recent posts.

We also saw dippers on the river and hares in a field but the fading light combined with the speed of the creatures meant that they went unrecorded.

As the leaves grow on the trees, getting good shots of rivers and bridges becomes harder.

Wauchope
The Wauchope Water seen from the School bridge

A good sing, a nourishing meal and the sight of some new wild flowers left me feeling a great deal better at the end of the day than I was feeling at the beginning and I look forward to next week, even though it has two choir concerts in it, with renewed vigour.

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A song and a smile

  1. i do love the views that you shoot photos of while riding or walking, but I’d be hard pressed to ever leave the garden at this time of year with so many beautiful flowers to photograph!

  2. It’s a shame that you have to go through all that to grow peas. I never knew that birds ate the seeds.
    The black iris is does look black. Plant breeders have been trying to create a truly black flower for a long time. It looks as if they’ve finally done it.
    I hope you’ll see more bees. I saw a lot of them on a holly bush yesterday but the news says that about a third of our honey bee colonies died off last year. I hope the same isn’t happening there. Or anywhere else.

  3. With your many flowers I would hope that the bees will be unable to resist a visit. My own poor garden doesn’t have as many bee attractions as I’d like so I planted giant hyssop this spring.

  4. Delighted you felt better by the end of the day, even after the challenging role of the tenors.
    The lawn looks very good, and so does Mrs T’s pea fortress.

  5. Your hawthorn looks wonderful this year! I was hoping for great things this year from ours but they bloomed late because of the cold weather at the start of the month and then fried in the hot weather last week. I have nearly caught up with reading everyone’s posts and so can make comments again.

  6. A wonderful assortment of so many colorful flowers in this post. The black irises are very interesting. I like Mrs. Tootlepedal’s pea cage. I haven’t had trouble with birds digging up seed, yet, but I have tried putting down hardware cloth in test potato bed one year to see if I could discourage gophers from filching potatoes. It did work, but unfortunately, slugs were bad that year.

    I love the birds on the wire. 🙂

    A good sing, good meal and lots of flowers is a perfect way to end a day. Glad you are feeling better.

      1. My mum and dad used to have a one-legged starling that visited the bird table for several years but I’ve never seen this one leg perching. Though, to be fair, I’ve never looked for it. I will now.

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