Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary who met this nose diving elephant at a Regent’s Park art fair.
Unfortunately, it was another fine day today. I say unfortunately because my back was still giving me trouble and I had to waste it by doing nothing more energetic than wandering about the garden and groaning theatrically from time to time.
The sunshine brought out the best in the poppies.
And once again the bees were very busy.
From the shade of the walnut tree, a blackbird stared at me.
The most striking flower was a pot marigold pretending to be a dahlia.
Though I did like a modest dahlia against a background of phlox.
My back kindly lets me lean forward without trouble so I got the hedge clipper out and trimmed two of the box balls on the front lawn and I was just about to put the clipper away when I was visited by my South African correspondent Tom, who was returning from a cycle ride. He is staying with family in Langholm for a few weeks and called in to see how I was going on.
He asked me what pictures I would like him to send and I have requested some South African wild flowers so I will wait with interest for what he sends me. Listening to his tales of a months long drought, thorny bushes and venomous snakes made me grateful for for the gentler surroundings of Langholm even if does rain quite a lot here.
We saw a coloured butterfly, probably a red admiral, whizz past us as we talked but even though I had several searches later on in the day, I couldn’t see it in the garden and had to settle for one of the frequent white visitors.
A recent picture of an American spirea in a blog that I was reading made me take a look at one of the bushes in our garden.
One of the astilbes is in top form.
Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to see Matilda. Sitting in a train didn’t seem like a good idea to me so I stayed at home. This turned out to be a very good decision as her train was held up by a broken down train in front and the journey took an hour and a half longer than it should have.
This left me still wandering about the garden as sitting down for long is not an option at the moment.
The first rudbeckia is out…
…and the Cherokee or Ooh La La clematis is lasting very well.
The day clouded over in the afternoon and I spent most of it inside relearning and instantly forgetting songs for the Carlisle choir concert in a month or so.
I did go out and look at blackbirds.
Then I set the camera up on a tripod upstairs and looked out of the window to see what the blackbirds were doing. It mostly seemed to involve sitting on hedges…
…sometimes with friends.
I feel that there are more blackbirds about in the garden this year than ever before.
Mrs Tootlepedal’s return train journey was more successful than the outward trip and she got back safely.
I did go out on my slow bike to deliver a letter during the afternoon and I passed Mike and Alison hard at work in their garden on my way. They gave me some sound back treatment advice and although I rather dismissed it at the time, I followed it when I got home and it turned out to be be very good. It is possibly a sensible idea to take advice when offered from a retired doctor and nurse.
I nearly got a genuine flying bird of the day today.