A sloe march

Today’s guest picture is a cabbage from our daughter Annie’s allotment.  Possibly the best cabbage ever, I think that you will agree.


We had a forecast of persistent rain all day so I resolved to put the day to good use by doing things that needed to be done.

It was indeed raining when we got up.

I started off by grasping my umbrella and setting off to the town, taking some of the Archive Group postcards to the paper shop where they kindly sell them for our funds and following that up by a visit to the Archive Centre to collect some more weeks of the data miners’ work.  Then I went down to the Langholm Initiative office to put in a bill for sales of Langholm Archive stuff at Welcome to Langholm.  Here my busy morning was somewhat waylaid by meeting an old friend, Dr Barlow from the Moorland project, whom I hadn’t seen for some time and having a cup of tea and a chat with her.

This meant that the morning was quite well advanced by the time that I got home.  The rain, on the other hand, had retired and it was now a pleasant morning so I walked round the garden.

Both day lilies and lilies that last more than a day are  doing very well.


New hosta flowers and old lupins added a bit of delicacy.

lupin and hosta

The blackbirds were no more cheerful than they were yesterday.


I walked round to the back of the house and looked at the splendid set of flowers along the dam.

Damside flowers

potentillas and crocosmia
Potentillas and crocosmia

Somehow lunch time slipped past without much happening and I went out to help Mrs Tootlepedal who was attacking the yew with her new secateurs.

They yew is on one side of the pond and she thought that she might have disturbed a frog.  Sometime later I looked at a curious brown spot on the box ball on the other side of the pond.

box ball with frog

She definitely had disturbed a frog.

box ball with frog

I have heard about a bird in the bush but I have never seen a frog in a bush before.

I spent quite a lot of time during the day mounting and framing some photos for a friend in preparation for a camera club exhibition later this month and followed that by selecting and printing a few of my own pictures for the show.

This is a tedious business because trying to pick six or eight pictures out of several hundreds is very hard and when you have picked one, it never seems to print out just as you would like.

And then there was tennis to watch. To celebrate Andy Murray’s victory, Mrs Tootlepedal made some scones and we had them with strawberry jam and some cream, which appeared as if by magic.  Mike Tinker’s scone radar was working well and he arrived in time to have one too.

It is annoying when the forecast rain doesn’t appear after you have made plans for a rainy day but it was a pleasantly warm and still day in the garden so I picked another pound of blackcurrants and took a picture of a rain battered poppy….


…which still looked quite exciting.

In the evening, as it seemed that the rain had gone for good, I went for a walk round Gaskell’s.

There was loosestrife and a hint of a good blackberry crop to come at Pool Corner…

loosestrife and bramble

…and a beckoning hand to encourage me up the Manse Brae.


The verges on the way to the Auld Stane Brig were alive with red campion…

red campion

…and the path through the woods was lined with this flower….

blue flower

…whose name I have forgotten.

I do know that this is St John’s Wort…

St John's Wort

…because kind readers told me so when I saw it on my last walk round Gaskell’s.

But I don’t know what this is…

yellow wildflower

…but I thought that it was well worth a closer look.

yellow wildflower

It looks a bit like birds foot trefoil but it was growing on the end of quite a long stalk.  It might be a yellow vetch of some sort, I suppose.

The willowherb is coming along nicely and the path should soon be ablaze with it.


A foxglove did its best to stop me in my tracks.


…but I sneaked past.

I was hoping to see some fresh fungi but had to settle for some fine old specimens.


Gin drinkers will be encouraged to see that it looks as though we should have a good crop of sloes this year.


When I got back, we had mince and tatties for our tea.  This was made extra good because the tatties were from the garden and they were accompanied by some tiny carrots and three small beetroot from the same source.

Rather unexpectedly, there was still tennis to watch after tea, as the last set of an exciting match between Muller and Nadal went on for over two hours.

We are promised a warm, still and dry day for tomorrow.  I hope that the good forecast for tomorrow is more accurate than the bad forecast for today was, as I intend to go bicycling.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A sloe march

  1. I’ve never seen a frog in a bush but I was trimming a privet hedge once and a snake popped up out of it.
    The unknown blue / purple flowers are self heal, also called heal all. I thought the yellow ones were bird’s foot trefoil but the long stem is confusing.
    You’re lucky to have so much willow herb. I have to drive for an hour to see the only two plants I know of.
    That is a great looking cabbage!

    1. I am much happier with a frog than I would be with a snake. Thank you for reminding me (again) about the self heal. Maybe it will stick this time. Mrs T spends quite a bit of time taking willow herb out of her flower beds.

  2. I’ve found frogs in odd places after a rain before, but never in a bush like that. It makes sense though, I’m sure that it found plenty of insects in the bush that never expected to be ambushed by a frog.

    It doesn’t matter if it’s the flowers in the gardens, or the wildflowers that you see on your walks, they’re all gorgeous. Since I can’t ID the local flowers here, I’m not about to try IDing the ones that you saw.

    1. The frog looked quite happy, I must say. I am very happy to see a pretty flower which I can’t ID but I am happier when kind readers help me out.

  3. A very enjoyable set of photos and descriptions! It will likely be a long time before I see another frog in a bush. The dam behind your house is very pretty and it would be lovely to be able to live so near to running water. Sadly, a dam like that in Manitoba would be so full of mosquitoes that you’d never be able to leave your house!

    1. We have midges in most years but thankfully we are too chilly for the mosquitoes (though global warming may sort that out for us in the long run).

  4. Excellent flora and fauna. Potatoes and carrots and beetroot (which I happen to know are a particular challenge) from the garden sounds great too.

  5. That is an impressive cabbage!
    Question for you please, just to validate my mother’s memory.
    I mentioned before that she remembers delivering milk to your cottage,back in the thirties. Her memory though is of delivering to the back door, along a path beside the dam. There’s evidently no path now, but is there any evidence that the cottage used to have a back-door on the dam side?

    1. We still do have a back door on the dam side and there used to be a path to Walter Street which was fenced off in 1974. This so annoyed the lady who had put down a deposit on the house that she went off in a huff and we got the benefit of the deposit when we bought the place.

      1. Not the back door with the clematis over it though, Mum will be pleased she remembers that correctly. I don’t remember a path particularly, but I can remember playing pooh sticks in your dam. This would have been while visiting my grandparents back in the 60’s.
        That was an expensive huff then, good that you benefited though:-)

  6. Love that frog in the bush! And new potatoes, oh my! Hope the weather allows you to go for a bike ride.

  7. That frog in a bush photo is a definite winner in the aaah stakes today! The cabbage wins the wow prize and the wild flowers and poppy photos all deserve a medal! Brilliant tennis matches to watch and enjoy bring the competitive streak out in me.

  8. A fine cabbage from your daughter Annie, and a fine frog from you! He does look a bit disturbed about what shaking his house in the bush. I love the blackbird panel. I wonder what might cheer up that youngster?

    No shortage of beautiful flowers, and artistic fungi, in your area. 🙂

  9. That is a truly superb cabbage. I once found a power cable in a hedge. The electric hedge cutter stopped and there was a bang as the house fuse blew. On balance I would rather find a frog.

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