Today’s guest picture shows a very nice bridge that my sister Mary met in the Lake District last week. You can see Lancrigg Hotel in the background. She tells me that Wordsworth used to sit and write poetry there.
After our brief burst of unseasonably warm and sunny weather, we were promised a day of continual rain and temperatures of no more than 13°C to start the new week off. I was prepared to spend a day indoors, well wrapped up, doing those useful tasks which had been neglected while the great outdoors had been so tempting recently.
However it seems that changing weather patterns have made it harder than usual for the big predicting computers to grind the data accurately enough to give a reliable ‘day ahead’ forecast and in real life, we enjoyed a dry-ish day with occasional bits of rain and a very tolerable 17°C temperature.
As a result, I only did some of the useful tasks that I should have done and not quite as many as I would have liked. Walking round the garden and getting out further afield kept interrupting my work flow.
I did spend most of the morning putting a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, catching up with correspondence and memorising songs for Sunday’s concert and I only got out into the garden just after midday.
I took a few pictures with my phone camera to see how it took to flowers. I tried it on a wide view…
…and a close up…
…and on a decorative shrub…
…and I thought that it did quite well.
My Lumix is getting quite unreliable as the zoom keeps sticking and I am thinking about a replacement. An article I read suggested that compact cameras have had their day now that phone cameras are so good and it is true that when conditions are perfect, a phone can do a good job but you don’t have anything like the control that you need when things are not so helpful.
I couldn’t take a satisfactory picture of some white flowers with it at all.
I made and ate some potato soup for lunch and then went out and mowed the middle lawn and took some more flower pictures with the Lumix.
I found a pretty flower in one flower bed just the like the wild one which I had found beside the road a day or two ago. I was very pleased…
…but Mrs Tootlepedal was most unhappy. “That’s vetch,” she said, “It’s a pest, get it out of there.”
I pulled it all up as best as I could and realised that it was indeed a bit of a problem as it had crept and crawled all over the bed.
I turned my attention to safer plants.
There were a few bees buzzing around. This one was sampling the comfrey.
In spite of the forecast, the weather seemed to be set fair for a bit so Mrs Tootlepedal and I ventured out on an unexpected cycle ride. Once again we went up the Wauchope road but on this occasion we added a little extra by visiting Cleughfoot and did eight and a half miles.
I got some additional exercise by stopping to take flower pictures….
…and then racing to catch up Mrs Tootlepedal who, as you can see in the picture above, wastes no time in disappearing into the distance. Still, when I do catch her up, she is a very useful extra pair of eyes scanning the verges. She spotted this fine thistle.
I spotted one of those dandelion-like flowers which are not dandelions. It is probably a hawkbit….
…and I was not the only one to have spotted it.
Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t spot lichens but I do.
It wasn’t very windy so it was very enjoyable cruising through the countryside looking at nature. The scenery was sometimes pastoral…
…and sometimes watery.
We stopped for a while at Bessie Bell’s so that Mrs Tootlepedal could marvel at the changes that time and rushing waters have brought to a favourite picnic spot when the children were young.
I looked at wild flowers. They weren’t hard to find.
The broom has just come out so it can be described as a new broom, I suppose. It is very yellow indeed.
The birdsfoot trefoil nearby had a lot of red about it…
…and was looking very pretty.
When we got home, we were joined by Mike Tinker for a cup of tea and a biscuit and by large numbers of sparrow families who were enjoying the fat balls outside the kitchen window.
After tea, i went back to the song learning and put one into the computer which helps by playing the music for me so I can’t cheat and look at the words which I tend do if I am picking out the part on our keyboard.
In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we started work on a Haydn trio sonata.
I was out in the garden doing some deadheading yesterday when I accidentally knocked the head off an iris. Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it might flower indoors if she could find a suitable vase and she was quite right. I took a picture of it on the kitchen table and we were surprised to find that two of my cameras thought that it was quite a different colour than we did. It still looked good though.
The sharp eyed will notice that somehow or other, a greenfly has got to the flower. How it had manged this, when the flower was brought into the house completely unopened, is a mystery.
If all the forecast cold and wet days are as nice as this one turned out to be, I won’t complain at all.