The guest picture of the day comes from my daughter’s recent visit to Knightshayes garden where she encountered this interesting animal.
It is the Muckletoon* Adventure Festival weekend and we were blessed with good weather today as I went off in the morning to help with one of the guided summit walks. There was a set of walks taking in five, three or one of the summits round the town and fortunately, my walk was the ‘one summit’ effort.
It was a family affair and we stopped for a picture when we got to the McDiarmid memorial…
…and then Billy, our leader, gave a short historical talk appropriate to our location.
Our next stop was at the summit of Whita Hill where we paused for refreshment….
…and another short talk.
We were often passed by mountain bikers as we walked up the track to the summit.
Our final stop was at Whita Well on the way down the hill…
…where we could enjoy the view and another short talk….
…and a refreshing drink of spring water from the well.
Fortunately, at least as far as I was concerned, the sun continued to shine on the town…
…and up the Ewes valley but the hill that we were on had its own cloud and as a result, we walked in a very comfortable warmth rather than a searing heat.
All around us, the hill was alive with mountain bikers enjoying, if that is the right word, the many trails across the hill as part of a thirty mile cross-country ride.
The sections of the cycle route were well signposted but not all of them were sympathetically titled.
We finished our three mile walk in the centre of the town and I think that everyone enjoyed themselves.
Some of the walkers were going on to do a 5km run in the afternoon but I preferred to spend some time relaxing at home where the sunshine made everything in the garden look lovely.
The roses are thriving.
New flowers had been encouraged by the sunshine.
The sun had encouraged the white peonies to open up…
…which made life easier for visitors.
There was colour everywhere.
I mowed both the middle and front lawns and the combination of recent rain and a good day today has left them looking much more like lawns and less like ploughed fields and marshes so I am very happy.
We went off in the car to do a little food shopping and then to buy some necessities at a DIY store (some paint, a petunia and some lawn feed. The petunia jumped into Mrs Tootlepedal’s hands without even being asked. It was amazing.)
We finished out trip by a visit to a farm where the farmer, the husband of one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s ex work colleagues, had kindly bagged up some farmyard manure for our garden. Mrs Tootlepedal was very happy.
When we got back, I had another look round the garden….
…and then went in to cook bacon and eggs for my tea.
After tea, the wind had dropped and so had the temperature so I got the fairly speedy bike out and gave it a through wash and brush up and then set off to do 23 miles in the cool of the evening.
I kept an eye for orchids but only saw this….
…which was pretty but a disappointment.
The conditions were perfect for cycling so I enjoyed myself a lot more than I have recently when I have been battling strong winds and the 23 miles brought up 200 miles for the month so far. Satisfactory all round.
We have to get up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning to help with the Adventure Festival again so it is going to be an early night tonight.
Two flying birds for the price of one today.