A kindly wind

tram message

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.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A kindly wind

  1. My blackcurrant betting tip: birds 4, Tootlepedals 1.
    Hope Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed Otello as much as I did – and I’m not the greatest fan of 19th century opera. Jonas Kaufman was amazing. Transmission to 1001 screens around the world!

  2. I love those purple potato flowers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that variety.
    And of course the orchids are gorgeous as always.
    I think you’re correct about the Lumix not liking the bumpy roads. It didn’t take much of a bump to destroy my camera’s ability to focus. If it fits in a shirt pocket it might be safer.

  3. How productive your garden is! So wonderful. And, as always, you inspire me with your 20-mile bike rides.

  4. I am a recent follower of your blog and YES, I do read and look at the wonderful photos you take while tootling around the countryside and your own garden. Okay, I confess, I’m a picture looker first, then go back and read…all very enjoyable. Related your blog and showed photos to my DH in case he would like to see more of your area and places we have seen as well. Thanks so much, and keep up the great posts, I look forward to them!

  5. In a post filled with great images, the macro shot of the bee still stands out from the rest! As Allen has mentioned a few times, you’re so lucky to have so many beautiful orchids blooming along the side of the road. We have a few native orchids, but they are hard to find here.

  6. I like your description of what the nectrascordum look like after blooming. It takes me a long time to remove them because they look so interesting. Finally I do take them down in public gardens because I feel tourists will just not “get” how cool they are.

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