Keith, a correspondent from Edmonton, Canada says,”Many of the buildings here in Edmonton feature limestone that is just chock-full of fossils and hunting them is a good way to pass time when one is taking shelter from a thunderstorm.” I think that there must have been a storm because he sent me this as today’s guest picture.
We were far from stormy here today as our spell of very reasonable weather continued.
We had a lull in the appearance of new poppies so I had to settle for purple pictures from the back bed….
…and phlocks of phlox. The white ones are doing well and have flower heads almost the size of phootballs.
In the vegetable garden, the cardoon is threatening to take over the world and now towers over me.
It has a several flowers waiting to come out but sadly they may be just too high in the sky for ordinary mortals to enjoy.
While we were in the veg garden, there was quite a lot of sympathetic nodding to be done as Mrs Tootlepedal bewailed the incessant depredations of the sparrows which constantly nip the tops off growing plants. We may not get any runner beans this year at all thanks to them.
Somehow I managed to pass the morning without doing anything more meaningful than the crossword and making coffee and taking a few more pictures in the garden.
Among the new arrivals are these alstroemeria…
…and this Japanese anemone.
Welcome as new flowers are, these two signal the turning of the year and the start of the descent into autumn so the welcome for them is a bit ambivalent.
Nasturtiums are in the same camp.
It feels that the later flowers are a bit early this year but we have had an untypical weather pattern to contend with so maybe the flowers are confused.
We are not short of colourful corners though.
One thing that caught my eye today were these petals on this clematis which have neatly curled up to make a point.
After lunch, we settled down to watch a short but exciting stage of the Tour de France. I took the precaution of changing into my cycling gear, pumping up the tyres on the fairly speedy bike and filling the water bottle before I started watching the telly so that as soon as the race finished, I could get going and not loll about just thinking about going.
This cunning plan worked well and I was soon off on the twenty mile trip down to Canonbie and back. Tuesday’s long ride had left my legs in fine fettle and I pedalled away very happily, easily able to persuade myself that the casual spectator would have had a hard time distinguishing between me and a real cyclist.
in spite of the best efforts of Genghis the Grasscutter, wild flowers are still to be seen beside the Wauchope road.
Sometimes in large numbers.
I took a closer look at the agrimony and the thistle too.
I need three things to come together for a vigorous ride – good legs, good breathing and a friendly breeze and today for once, I had all three. After I had taken the wild flower pictures, I pressed on, enjoying the feeling of going well. It may sound a bit silly but so pleasant is the sensation of cycling when all is going well that it is easy to day dream a bit and remember younger days.
Small hills soon put a stop to that sort of thing but it is not a bad thing to have some illusions in life.
I stopped for a second look at wild flowers when I was nearly home. The knapweed is glorious on the old A7.
Mixed in with it were some greater birdsfoot trefoil (thanks to Clare Pooley for the ID) and a clump of bright yellow flowers which Mrs Tootlepedal thinks is yellow bedstraw.
To my great delight, I managed to achieve an average speed of 15 mph for the Canonbie circuit today for the first time this year and it goes to show what a good idea it is to watch some top class cyclists going like the wind just before you set off for a ride.
There was time for another walk round the garden when I got home.
The lilies on land are thriving….
…and there is a lily on the water in the pond too…
….though it is a bit cramped for space.
The rose of the day is Special Grandma which is flowering freely.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and more wind was expended in blowing my flute as Alison and I played through the three excellent pieces which Alison bought on her recent Welsh holiday. I will not be short of music to practise for some weeks or months yet.
The flying bird of the day was resting on a hedge.