Today’s guest picture is a second helping of vegetables from our daughter’s allotment. She is obviously doing a good job there. Mrs Tootlepedal is very envious of the beetroot.
I didn’t have very much time to look at our veg today as it seemed to start to rain as soon as I went out into the garden in the morning. It didn’t rain very hard and soon stopped after I went in but when it had done it two or three times, I took the hint and gave up any thoughts of flower pictures or lawn mowing and devoted myself to crosswords, music and occasional ill tempered muttering instead.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see Matilda in Edinburgh and I avoided the garden and any more rain by making for the hills (or at least one of the hills).
Now that I was clear of the garden, the weather got much better and I was able to enjoy the flowers beside the track as I walked up to the Meikleholm Hill.
There were no cattle on the hill so I was free to walk where I liked and the sheep took my presence very calmly.
I was vaguely hoping that I might see a lot of orchids as I walked round the side of the hill but the hillside was covered in tormentil for the most part….
…and it was obvious that I was a few days too early for the orchids. One or two were to be seen in an early stage….
…and there was more vetch than orchids to be seen.
I climbed gently round the back of the hill until I came to the gate on the col….
…which marks the divide between Wauchopedale and Eskdale.
Eskdale was looking beautiful.
I did think about going through the gate and further on along the ridge but there were enough grey clouds about to persuade me that a route nearer home might be advisable. Indeed as I walked over the top of Meikleholm Hill back towards the town, the wind became very gusty and the temperature dropped a little so I feared the worst.
Whatever the weather, it is a treat to walk along the top of this hill….
…and I soon got some splendid views across the town (click the pic for a bigger view).
This side of the hill was covered in low growing cow parsley….
And although I saw one or two early orchids, the vetch was still easier to spot.
Looking across the Esk to Castle Hill, I could see a big scar made by clear felling the woods there.
After a last look up the valley…
…I left the open hill and took to tracks through woods and along meadows for the rest of my walk….and of course, the sun came out.
On my way I saw a red admiral butterfly basking in the sun….
…a wall engulfed by spleenwort…
…decorative wild flowers….
…and I crossed bridges both small…..
I got home after a four and a bit mile walk in a very cheerful state of mind as I hadn’t expected to get such good walking weather.
When I went out into the garden to pick some spinach leaves for my tea not long after I had got back though, I found it was pouring with rain!
After tea, Susan came and we went off in her car to play recorders with our group in Carlisle. We are meeting monthly now and it is an extra treat to meet and play when it is not quite so routine as it has been for many years.
The standard of biscuits with the après-tootling cup of tea has not dropped so it was a satisfactory visit all round.
No flying bird or bee today. Instead a yellow dung fly takes the starring role. I met it on the hill and I think it was finding a place to lay its eggs