Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent, Fiona and shows her resident garden hedgehog on the left with one of four new hoglets on the right. She thinks that the hoglet is three or four weeks old. We are very envious.
We had a slightly cooler but still sunny day. With our final concert of the season due tomorrow and a brisk breeze blowing, I decided that once again a reasonably restful day would be sensible with the added advantage that it would give me time to keep looking at the songs which we have to learn by heart.
I wasn’t entirely idle.
I started the day with some shopping at the Producers’ Market at the Buccleuch Centre and then went on a bee hunt with my macro lens. I haven’t by any means mastered using the macro lens and the results tend to be very hit and miss so although I got quite a good fly picture…
…I managed to get a sharper picture of some of the petals of an allium than I did of the bee that I was trying to catch as it approached the flower.
And I managed to take a wonderful picture of the bees knees….
…when I was trying to capture its head.
I was sometimes a bit more successful…
…but I hope that I will get some more sunny days soon to hone my skills.
I had two goes at an orange hawkweed with variable results as well.
Still, there are obviously a lot of possibilities and I will stick in.
I had a cup of coffee and went back out for more floral fun.
The white spirea is covered in flowers with what look like rather spotty petals…
…but a closer look shows that the spots are not on the petals but floating on front of them.
Once again, I am in awe of the amount of varied detail Mother Nature has put into designing her flowers.
On the more colourful side of things, large poppies are popping up….
…and Lilian Austin has spread her wings.
I liked these two irises in a shady corner…
…and in complete contrast, these two Sweet Williams blazing in the sunshine.
I found a snail hanging upside down on the surface of the pond, perhaps trying to keep an eye on the tadpole below.
I quite often see snails like this and I don’t know whether they have had an accident or are just warming themselves in the sunshine.
Two final flowers for the day, an allium on the way out but still looking very pretty…
…and a climbing hydrangea on the way in. It will soon make up in quantity for what it lacks in individual interest.
After lunch I mowed the middle lawn and the drying green and then settled down to some serious composting work. I finished sieving the contents of Bin D (the most mature of the bins) and distributed the results on various vegetable beds and then I surprised myself by turning Bin C into the empty Bin D, then Bin B into the empty Bin C and finally Bin A into the empty Bin B. When I had finished, it all looked like his….
…much like it did before but now with all the compost shifted a metre to the right. Bin A, on the left, is empty and ready for fresh material to be created by Attila the gardener.
Some people may well wonder why I don’t just leave the compost to rot where it is and stop bothering it all the time. This is a fair question but then what would I do for fun?
Actually, turning the compost speeds up the decomposition process and beaks up any stubborn layers of material that are refusing to decompose properly and are just sitting half way down the pile in a sullen, soggy lump. Big systems using continuous turning methods can make compost in seven days.
To add to our composting joy, Mrs Tootlepedal received a gift of three bottles of liquid worm compost from Mike Tinker’s wormery.
Suitably diluted, this is very good stuff to add to the garden.
The flying bird of the day is a bee with a prominent proboscis.