Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for Jun, 2017

Today’s  guest picture was taken by my brother Andrew on a recent visit to Birmingham.  It is a city of many canals.

Birmingham canal

I had slept very badly and was enjoying a much needed lie in and snooze when the phone rang twice.  My mild irritation was assuaged when I discovered that it was Dropscone offering to bring round the traditional Friday treacle scones at coffee time.  This galvanised me enough to get me out of bed and, after a light breakfast, out into the garden to survey the damage to the delphiniums.

It was considerable.

damaged delphiniums

The wind and the rain had been too much for them.

Mrs Tootlepedal got busy with the secateurs…..

damaged delphiniums

…but the flowers were not discarded and by the end of the day they were brightening up the kitchen…

damaged delphiniums

…assisted by some surplus Bobbie James, Philadelphus and Sweet William.

It makes washing up a whole new experience.

While Mrs Tootlepedal was wielding the snippers, I was doing some snapping.

It is best to take pictures of the roses in the morning…..

roses

Clockwise from top left: Crown Princess Margareta, Ginger Syllabub, Lilian Austin and the Wren

…because if you leave it until the afternoon or evening, they tend to get covered in little flies.

Queen of Denmark

The Queen of Denmark suffering from lèse-majesté

After yesterday’s wind and rain, there was even a drop of golden sun today….

bee on geranium

…but only a drop or two.  It didn’t last.

I like to peer closely at a Lamb’s Ear….

Lamb's ear

…just because they seem so much more like textiles than plants.

I had to peer very closely to find the lily that is hidden behind the dogwood and the tree peony.  It is doing well in its hideaway, protected from the unkind elements.

lily

Dropscone arrived on schedule and we enjoyed scones from the Old Town of Langholm and coffee from Peru.  Kings and princes can only gawp in envy at our good fortune.

After Dropscone departed, I mowed the greenhouse grass and had another walk round the garden.

There are a few clematis on the go at the moment…

clematis

This one is against the wall beside the front door

…but there are more to come.

I walked out of the garden and had a look at the colour along the back wall of the house.

back wall

These are all growing on a narrow strip of poor soil between the back of the house and the dam.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been out having coffee with ex work colleagues and when she came back we had lunch and then, while she went out to work in the garden, I got into my cycling clothes and gave my fairly speedy bike a thorough wash and brush up.

The result was a very silent ride when I went out for the 20 mile round trip to Canonbie and back.

The smooth running of the bike may explain the cheerful nature of my pedalling which got me round the route in a record time for this year so far.   Once again, the direction of the brisk wind was such that it kindly blew me down to the bottom of Canonbie at an average of 16 mph and then didn’t hurt me too much on the way back.

I only stopped once as there was always a threat of rain in the air but I did find a good place to stop at.  It was rich in interest.

There were these….

orchid, trefoil, plantain and daisy

…and these…

umbelifer, campion, rattle and clover

…and these too…

insects, flies, soldier beetles

…all within a couple of paces of where I stopped the bike.

And those were by no means all that I could have photographed.

When I got back, things were going so well that I mowed the middle and front lawns to complete my happiness.

Mrs Tootlepedal was still busy trimming hedges and planting out even more poppies so I had another walk round with the camera.

Two more clematis caught my eye…

clematis

…along with the dancing feet of the honeysuckle…

honeysuckle

…the wild gestures of the Christmas Tree…

Christmas tree

…the first hosta flowers…

hosta

…and a pretty well perfect iris.

iris

I retired indoors for a shower and took the opportunity to lean out of an upstairs window and use the panorama function of the camera to get a general view of the garden.

garden panorama June 17

Click on the picture for an enlarged version.

To round off a good day, Mike and Alison came round in the evening.  They have been on holiday in Wales and they like to browse the many bookshops there.  Alison had discovered no less than three second hand pieces of music for us to play.  They are by Nicholas Chedeville (1705-1782), Nicola Matteis, (c 1675) and Marin Marais (1656-1728) all published 50 or 60 years ago.  They are approachable pieces but they all have plenty of problems requiring serious practice for both of us so we won’t be short of something to do when the long winter evenings begin to draw in.

The forecast for tomorrow is good so I hope to start July as I have finished June, with a an enjoyable bike ride and the chance to take a few pictures.

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my younger son, Al.  He took this picture of Mr Grumpy’s Edinburgh cousin in reflective mood in the Botanic Gardens.

edinburgh heron

It was a perfectly horrible day here, wet, windy and chilly so it was just as well that our morning was brightened by a visit from our friend Bruce who shared a cup of coffee with us while he entertained us with his description of a visit to a very grumpy back specialist.  Bruce has suffered from his back for a long time and was quite surprised to be given exercises to do fourteen times a day by this chap.  He feels that his back may well improve though as long as he doesn’t pass away from fatigue first.

The wind and the rain has taken its toll on the delphiniums and we saw the first casualties of the year today.

delphiniums

The Sweet Williams are more compact and are made of tougher stuff.

Sweet Williams

It wasn’t a day to be cycling or outside in the garden at all so we were quite pleased to be going to Edinburgh to visit Matilda rather than just sitting indoors looking out at the rain.

We were less pleased to find out that our train was late yet again.  I seem to have spent a lot of my life staring hopefully down the track from the platform at Lockerbie Station.

Lockerbie Station

Not the most scenic view

However, we got to Edinburgh in the end and spent a very cheery afternoon with Matilda and her parents.

I asked Matilda if I could take her picture and she gave the matter some serious consideration…

Matilda

…before kindly giving me the big “cheese”

Matilda

She then settled down to making biscuits with granny…..

Matilda

…before beating me all ends up at Pelmanism and snap.

We enjoyed an excellent meal (a cheese flan provided by Mrs Tootlepedal) before going back in the persistent rain to catch our train home.

This was on time and I was happy to find that it had stopped raining by the time that we got to Lockerbie so the drive home was by no means such a puddle filled adventure as I had feared.

A better forecast for tomorrow.  Fingers are crossed.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who was impressed by this polite message on an Edinburgh tram…especially as the delay was only for three minutes.

tram message

The jet stream is currently rushing down one side of the British Isles and up the other, trapping some quite chilly air over the top of us and bringing some brisk winds and unsettled weather with it.

Under these circumstances, today was a pretty good day, quite cool for the time of year and windy too but dry from morning till night.  As I was expecting far worse weather it took me some time to get adjusted to the reality but I managed to get going in the end and went for a cycle ride, mowed the drying green, sieved some compost, did some dead heading and shredded a lot of hedge clippings arising from the activities of Attila the Gardener so I didn’t waste the day entirely.

The first thing that I did was to take the new camera out into the garden and have a poke about with it.

A red poppy stood out, the first of the year.

red poppy

I was looking straight down on it so my feet also figure in the shot

Ironically, this is not one of the many that Mrs Tootlepedal is nurturing with great care in the flower gardens but one that came up of its own accord on a path in the vegetable garden.  Such is the gardener’s life.

The ligularias are just beginning to show….

ligularia

….and Crown Princess Margareta (top left in the panel) has come to join the other roses.

roses

The philadelphus between the lawns is a great sight…

philadelphus

…but there are other varieties in bloom too.  This one is in the back bed.

philadelphus

I took a walk round the vegetable garden where there are encouraging signs that Mrs Tootlepedal’s pea fortress is paying dividends.  I hope to be able to provide pictorial proof of this soon.  Meantime, the blackcurrants are colouring up…

blackcurrants

…and it will be a race between me and the birds to see who can get most of them as it is too much trouble to net them.

The potatoes are flowering freely….

early potatoes

These are the early potatoes

early potatoes

And this is a main crop

We have had radishes, lettuces, assorted leaves, beetroot, spinach, turnips, strawberries and gooseberries already so on spite of a cool dry spring, things are going reasonable well.  If it wasn’t for a voracious flock of sparrows, Mrs Tootlepedal’s bêtes noir, things would be even better.

After coffee, Mrs Tootlepedal kindly cut my hair and left me looking very well groomed.

She then went off to help with the lunches at the Buccleuch Centre and I had a bowl of soup and got the fairly speedy bike out.   I had watched my neighbour Ken set off for a 30-40 mile ride in the morning but my ambitious were more modest in view of the brisk easterly wind and I settled for a run round my 20 mile Canonbie route with stops for wild flowers.

The wind was strong enough to make me hold on to the handlebars pretty firmly as I went across the exposed hilly section of the route but by good luck, the wind mostly came at me from one side or the other and I hardly had to pedal straight into it at all.  The result was a most enjoyable ride.

I saw that the orchids in the verge which Genghis the Grasscutter had missed were developing well….

wauchope roadside wild flowers

…and they had company too so I was able to take all four photos within a few yards of each other.

The wind was very favourable as I went down the Canonbie by-pass so I admired the many orchids there in passing.  I would like to have got some pictures as there were some fine flowers but stopping after you have seen a good subject when you are doing 20mph means that you have always gone too far beyond the photo to make it worth while walking back.

I waited until I got to a slower section where Genghis has not yet visited with his cutter before I stopped again.  This is what a verge should look like.

wild verge

I saw a fine thistle….

thistle

…the first rosebay willowherb….

rosebay willowherb

…and lots of both of these.

umbellifer and meadowsweet

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden when I got back and this was when I did the mowing and sieving.

And a little more flower shooting.

delphinium, sweet william and Rosa Mundi

Delphinium, Sweet William and Rosa Mundi providing ‘Glorious Technicolour’

I had taken my old Lumix with me on the cycle ride as I thought it might rain and I didn’t want to get the new camera wet and these garden pictures were also taken with it.  It is on its best behaviour just now and I will keep using it on cycle rides until it gives up entirely, as being stuffed in a sweaty back pocket and bumping up and down on poor road surfaces is probably not the best environment for a camera.

The nectaroscordum have finished flowering and are looking a little bit like the turrets on French Chateaux now.

nectaroscordum

The plums are looking promising….

plums

…but we will need a bit of warmer weather to bring them along.

The bee population on the astrantia had changed today and there were a great number of white tailed bumble bees tucking in.

white tailed bumble bees

After tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to enjoy a screening of Verdi’s Otello from Covent Garden at the Buccleuch Centre and I went off to sing at a practice for Henry’s compact Common Riding choir.

We both enjoyed ourselves very much in our own way.

Thanks to the cooler weather, the bees were less flighty today so the non flying non bird of the day is one of the bumble bees on the astrantia.  It posed for my macro lens on the Nikon.

white tailed bumble bees

I would like to thank all those who commented on yesterday’s post.  You can imagine how good is it to receive such encouraging remarks.  I will try to live up to them.

Read Full Post »

A waiting game

Today’s guest picture is the last from our son Tony’s visit to Anstruther.  He found a new friend crawling about there.

crab

My new Lumix has arrived so it was a bit annoying to find that the forecast was quite right and we had a very gloomy, cool, windy and wet day today, not at all suitable for trying the camera out.  By the time that the rain had got bored and stopped, the light had gone.

It was not a day for cycling or golf either so it was lucky that Dropscone and I had scones and coffee to pass the time in the morning.  I had a little strawberry jam on my scones but Dropscone is a purist and doesn’t like to mar the beauty of his scones with additives.

When he left, the rain eased off for long enough for me to go to the corner shop to pay my bill and then take a quick walk round the garden.

The new camera did its best.

wet rose

A wet rose

wet rose

Another wet rose

wet iris

A wet iris

I think that that says all you need to know about the day and I wasn’t unhappy to have a quiet day inside after some quite energetic days recently.

I used the time to make soup, bread and another couple of jars of strawberry jam and I also stewed a few more thinnings from the gooseberry bush.

When I wasn’t doing that, I had a crossword and the new camera’s manual to puzzle over as well as plenty of music to practise so I wasn’t bored at all.

Yesterday the forecast said it was going to rain every day for the next ten days but today it says it is hardly going to rain at all for the next ten days so I am going to keep my fingers crossed and believe today’s forecast and hope to be able to give my new camera an outing shortly.

I should say that we had the first turnips of the year from the garden with our tea tonight.  They were very sweet and tasty.

No flying or sitting birds or bees today, just another soggy flower.

ornamental clover

End Note:  I have just passed my seventh anniversary of posting pretty well every day and have now notched up 2559 posts so I would like  to take this opportunity to thank the patient and kindly people who have been fellow passengers for all or part of this long journey, with particular thanks for those who have been there from the start and those who have found time to post comments.  It is always interesting for me to read them.

It is a curious fact that many more people sign up as followers of a blog than actually read it so although just over 5000 people (or robots) have signed up as followers, the actual daily number of visitors is normally just over 100 and as not every reader visits every day, the regular readership might be between 100 and 200 people.

I am always very touched when people tell me that they enjoy reading the posts and/or looking at the pictures, because I have really enjoyed both writing the posts and learning how to use a camera (up to a point) to illustrate them.

As a result of writing the blog, I have naturally found myself reading many other people’s blogs on a regular basis and this has greatly added to my general  enjoyment, my appreciation of photography and my knowledge of both nature and life in many parts of the world.

I would also like to thank most warmly all those who have contributed guest pictures of the day over the years.  My brother Andrew and sister Mary, who have contributed countless excellent photos, get a special mention here.

Here’s to the next seven years, if spared.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from our neighbour Gavin who met these sea creatures while on a walking holiday in the west.

sea creatures

According to the forecast, the weather for the rest of the week and beyond is going to be cold, wet and windy so we tried to make good use of a very pleasant day today.

After breakfast I had a little business to do on the computer and then I went up to the Archive Centre to pick some more of the sheets that the industrious data miners had piled up ready for entering into the database.

After that, I spent as much time out of doors as I could.  Mrs Tootlepedal spent all day out in the garden, planting, trimming, tidying and generally providing me with as many beautiful things to photograph over the next few months as is humanly possible in our climate.

I spent time shredding hedge clippings, trimming the clematis over the back door so it doesn’t get into the gutter….

clematis

…sieving compost and mowing lawns.

The front lawn is still very mossy so I got the scarifier out and scarified it for the third time this year.  I am anxious not to have to re-seed the lawn so I have the scarifier on a gentle setting but Mrs Tootlepedal was still impressed by how much moss came out.   I was rather de-pressed.  We shall see in a week or two whether the work was worthwhile or not.

I had plenty of time between tasks to appreciate the fruits of Mrs Tootlepedal’s labours.

philadelphus

The philadelphus between the two lawns is superb this year.

philadelphus

There are other varieties around the garden.

The white Scotch roses are looking well too.

scotch roses

I trimmed one side of the yew before the perennial nasturtium crept round the corner….

tropaeolum

…but I can’t trim this side at the moment.  The nasturtium is growing furiously.

tropaeolum

Today Wauchope Cottage, tomorrow, the world.

The Rosa Goldfinch is also thriving and makes a grand sight from a distance….

rosa goldfinch

…and from close up.

rosa goldfinch

As well as the usual crowd on the astrantia there were visitors elsewhere in the garden…

rose and insect

hawkweed and bee

…and there was a very satisfactory buzz about the place.

The violas and ox eye daisies in the bed round the bird feeder are doing exceptionally well this year and they continue to provide a feast of colour…

violas and daisies

…with the help of some geums and Welsh poppies.

For added colour, more coral peonies are coming into flower.

peony

I was anxious not to waste what might turn out to be the last decent cycling day of the month so I got the fairly speedy bike out and pedalled gently up and down the Wauchope road for 22 miles.  This brought my monthly total to 400 miles.  This means that even if I don’t get out again before July comes, I have covered enough miles to hit my target for the month of June.

I stopped on my way up the road to admire a spiky yellow wild flower….

spiky yellow wild flower

…which Mike Tinker tells me is agrimony.

Nearby, an umbellifer had the inevitable visitor.

umbellifer with insect

If you find one of these on a dry day without a friend or two, it is most unusual.

And there was also this to catch the eye.

thistle

Three flowers for the price of one stop was very good value.

I made a second stop when I was pedalling along the banks of the Esk in the town to have a look at two oyster catchers beside the river.

oyster catchers

I wonder if this is mother and child

I did stop again on my third lap when, out of the corner of my eye,  I saw that Genghis the grass cutter had failed in his attempt to slaughter every orchid beside the road.

orchid

I hope that this one will survive.

I got home in time to pick a few strawberries to make some more jam as the last batch has proved very popular and is disappearing rapidly.

My flute pupil Luke came and we did some more work on our Haydn trio.  Working out the timing for a slow movement with a good mixture of demi-semi quavers, semi-quavers, quavers and crotchets (with the occasional triplet thrown in) requires a lot of hard work and concentration but we are progressing.

After tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and playing works by Telemann, Boismortier and Mozart gave us great pleasure.

If this does prove to be the last day of good weather for some time, at least we were able to enjoy it thoroughly.

The flying bird of the day hasn’t quite taken off yet.

oyster catcher

The third oyster catcher beside the river this afternoon

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture comes from a visit my sister Mary paid to Queen Mary’s Garden in Regent’s Park.  She seems to find good weather for her visits to the park.

Queen Mary's Garden, Regent's Park

I have been a bit wimpish lately about cycling in brisk winds so I made a plan to get up promptly this morning and to get dressed straight into my cycling gear, thinking that I would be too embarrassed not to go cycling even if it was windy.

This plan worked quite well,  though not quite as promptly as I had hoped but all the same, by the time that Mrs Tootlepedal had gone off to sing with the church choir, I was ready to go out on the fairly speedy bike.

The second part of my plan involved a change of my usual tactics.  On a windy day, I try to choose a route that will leave me with the wind behind me for my return home.  The trouble with this plan, which seems quite plausible on the surface, is that it means starting my cycle outing by heading into a brisk wind and this can be discouraging and often ends up with a shorter trip than I would have liked.

Today, therefore,  I decided to start off downwind and this resulted in my doing the first 20 miles at 16 mph and feeling open to adding quite a few miles of the rest of the trip.

On my way along the Canonbie by-pass as I went from the Hagg to the Hollows, I noticed a large number of orchids so I stopped to have a look.

canonbie by pass orchids

I must have seen at least a hundred over the whole length of the by-pass.

My next stop was to look at the River Lyne as I crossed the bridge south of Longtown.

River Lyne

I often stop to look at this view as I like its peaceful nature and while I was there today, I went down to the river side and looked up at the bridge.  I saw something which I must have seen before but never noticed, if you understand what I mean.

Lyne Bridge

At some stage this bridge has either been drastically widened or undergone a major repair.  I was a bit alarmed to see so much driftwood resting against the pier of the bridge.

I stopped for a banana and a date while my bicycle had a rest beside its favourite bench at Newtown after 20 miles.

Newtown bench

Very often on a Sunday, this is my turning point and I head for home to complete a fairly easy 40 mile run but today, after such an enjoyable whistle down the wind, I took a more extensive route home through Irthington….

Irthington Church

…which has a nice church and then onto Carlisle.

I passed a couple of fine buildings.

Newby Grange and Rickerby

It was my plan to go through Rickerby Park and cross the footbridge over the River Eden but when I got there, I found that the bridge was closed so I took a look at the river near the bridge…

River Eden

…and cycled into the centre of Carlisle and crossed the river on the road bridge before dropping down into Bitts Park.  This route is very popular with walkers as it is part of the Hadrians Wall walking route.  You can’t see any sign of the Roman Wall here so I had to make do with the impressive walls of Carlisle Castle…

Carlisle castle

…past which I cycled.

I decided to take the National Cycle Route 7 from Carlisle to Dalston, an off road but well surfaced track which follows the River Petteril…..

River Peterril

A caul which I think provided a lade for a mill beside the river.

…and the railway out of the city.

At Dalston, I bought some extra bananas and sat on the grass for a while to plan my route home.

The wind was coming from the north west and I wanted to go north so I chose a route which tacked into the wind, giving frequent sections where the wind helped me for a while and the process of getting home was not too painful at all.

I passed through Great Orton and admired one of my favourite churches….

Great Orton Church

Built in 1098….the porch added later….much later.

….and then wiggled my way round the Carlisle Northern by-pass until I got near to Rockliffe.  When I looked over the fields, I could see the spire of Rockliffe Church and the River Eden, tidal at this point, looking very full indeed.

View of Rockcliffe

River on the left, spire on the right

I thought that the  river might make a good photograph so when I got to the village, I cycled down the path beside the church only to find….

Rockcliffe flood

…that the tide was so far in that my way was impassable without getting wet feet.

I didn’t fancy soggy socks so I chose a different route and headed for Gretna up the service road.

This road runs right beside the fairly new section of motorway and when they built the motorway and the service road, they didn’t stint on planting wild flowers and what might have been a utilitarian section of road is a delight…

Gretna Motorway

Gretna Motorway

…with plenty to please the eye.

My zigzagging was going so well that I did one last zigzag from Gretna to Kirkpatrick Fleming and ended up going up the A7 on the cycle route.  I had leisure enough to stop there for one last wild flower view…

Auchenrivock flowers

…before completing a 75 mile trip and arriving home really pleased with my plan for the day.

Those interested may click on the map below for more details.

garmin route 25 June 2017

The temperature was ideal for cycling, there was enough occasional cloud to moderate the heat of the sun and as you can see, there was no serious climbing at all.  Good route choice.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been busy all afternoon in the garden so I had a walk round with her when I got back.  Naturally I took a few pictures.

The Queen of Denmark was looking good.

Queen of Denmark

As were the delphiniums, which have withstood the winds very well this year.  Mrs Tootlepedal gave them early support.

delphiniums

We came across a very curious sight deep in a flower bed…..

cat in flowers

…which turned out to be the back end of a neighbour’s cat having a snooze.  It gave us a scornful look and tucked back in under the leaves.

I liked this…

euphorbia

…which Mrs Tootlepedal tells me is a Euphorbia (an Euphorbia?) which we bought earlier this year.

There are still Dutch irises coming out and the first of the Calendulas have appeared…

calendula and iris

…so we are not short of colour.

And the bees were coming in numbers onto the astrantia.

bee on astrantia

I thought it was only appropriate to take a picture of Special Grandma in honour of the gardener.

special Grandma

I made a sausage stew for my supper and cooked three little beetroots which have been picked as thinnings.  Both turned out well and that rounded off a day strictly on the credit side of the great ledger of life.

While I was in the garden, I met a young blackbird on the lawn.  It is the non flying bird of the day.

blackbird

 

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture is another from our older son’s visit to Anstruther and shows that he took his friends with him.

Tony's dogs

Another of the regular Moorland bird feeders was away on holiday today so I had a second opportunity this week to act as a fill-in feeder filler so I went up after breakfast to do my duty.  If the weather is good, which it was today, the duty is also a pleasure as it gives me a chance to sit in the hide and watch the birds.  We are not feeding birds in the garden at present so it is an extra pleasure to do a little bird watching from the comfort of the hide.

I had a good variety of birds to watch today.  There was a host of siskins….

siskins

…but only one greenfinch and tree sparrow that I could  see.

tree sparrow and greenfinch

Either a jay paid several visits of several jays paid one visit each but one way or the other, there were plenty of opportunities for jay watching.  (I was hoping to get a shot of jay walking but alas, no.)

Jay

There were a very few blue and great tits about…

blue tit great tit

…but I didn’t see a coal tit today at all.

My chief entertainment came from some very obliging woodpeckers who came up close to the hide and stayed nice and still and sometimes even ‘watched the birdie’.

My Lumix was on its best behaviour after having refused to work at all and it came in handy.  (It knows that I have ordered a new camera. Too late now.)

greater spotted woodpecker

The one in the bottom left corner was the first arrival.  The other three pictures are all of another bird which arrived twenty minutes later.

After our recent warm weather, it was a lot cooler today and I began to feel a little chilly and left the woodpeckers to it and came home.

I had a cup of coffee, did the crossword and then went out into the garden to see what Mrs Tootlepedal was up to and to take a picture or two while I was out there.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out new flowers and I looked at some old friends.

Rosa Wren and Rosa Mundi

Rosa Wren and Rosa Mundi

A Rodgersia and a Spirea had a competition to see which could pack most flowers into the smallest space.

Rodgersia and Spirea

I think that the Rodgersia won

At lunchtime, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre which was putting on a show for children and I had some potato soup and cheese to get my strength up and went out and mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green and then sieved some compost.

There was a lot of buzzing so I paused from time to time to look at the cotoneaster and the astrantia which are still attracting a lot of interest.

bees

Mrs Tootlepedal came back and got straight down to some more planting and tidying and I lent a hand and did some dead heading and tidying of my own.   I even did some weeding on the middle lawn.   The large amount of grass and flower pollen floating about at the moment is not helping my breathing so any work I do is done at a very gentle pace with regular visits indoors for a little rest.  Mrs Tootlepedal on the other hand just carries on regardless.  She is a human dynamo in the garden.

She notices things too and called my attention to a red admiral butterfly sunning itself on a path.

red admiral butterfly

Like the woodpeckers earlier in the day, it sat very still for its portrait.

red admiral butterfly

I love the little torches it has sticking out of its head.

I took a last set of flower pictures….

melancholy thistle

Melancholy thistle, Martagon Lily and just about the last pale blue Iris Siberica

…and then we went off shopping to stock up on food and supplies.  By great fortune, our food shopping managed to include some scones and clotted cream.  We are not quite certain how this happened but we managed to get rid of them when we got home by eating them with the recently made strawberry jam.  We haven’t had a cream tea for ages so this was a real treat.

I was considering an evening cycle ride in the hope that the wind, which had been boisterous all day, would have died down by then but the fresh wind persisted so I went for a walk instead.

It was a lovely evening as long as you could keep out of the wind.  I chose a sheltered route and enjoyed my stroll a great deal.

I divided my attention between things that were close….

slow worms at Pool Corner

A heap of slow worms at Pool Corner

yellow wild flower

I would welcome a suggestion as to what this pretty flower might be called

….things that were a bit further away…

A sandpiper on the Esk

A sandpiper on the Esk

Stables on the Stubholm

Stables on the Stubholm (Arty shot)

….something that was quite far away…

The round house seen from Easton's Walk

The round house seen from Easton’s Walk

…and some views.

Wauchope graveyard and Warbla in the background

Wauchope graveyard and Warbla in the background

Castle Hill

Castle Hill

Stubholm and Whita Hill

Stubholm House and Whita Hill

It was a much better choice than battering into a strong wind on my bike and getting depressed.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had her tea and was back out in the garden trimming hedges when I got home.

In a vain effort to improve my brain power, I had fish cakes for tea.  It hasn’t helped my typing.  I could get the blog done in half the time of i didn’t have to correct eevry other wird.

The flying bird of the day is the jay seen from a distance……

flying jay

…and I normally would have been quite happy to finish a post with it it but it is outshone today, in my view, by a relaxed greater spotted woodpecker.

greater spotted woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »