On and off

Bass Rock Matilda

There are two guest pictures from Clare today which show why Matilda was so cheerful yesterday.  She went on a boat trip round the Bass Rock with her aunt and cousin……

Bass Rock Matilda

…and saw lots of gannets. (This one was taken by Clare with her phone while holding Matilda in a rocking boat.  That takes great skill.) …..


…which is quite enough to make anyone feel cheerful.  I am very envious.

We had one of those days today.  If it was raining, the sun was about to come out and if it was sunny, it was about to rain.

I should have got up earlier because the best sunny spell was before and during breakfast.  The lawn was busy with thrushes and blackbirds.

thrush and blackbird

There were  two thrushes and lots of blackbirds.


I don’t think that we have ever had so many blackbirds in the garden in summer.  I wouldn’t mind but they are eating all my raspberries.

I got up into my cycling gear but wasted a lot of time in sitting and thinking before I finally got going.  There had been a lot of overnight rain and the river was quite full as I cycled over the Hollows Bridge…

River Esk

…but it had obviously been quite local as I passed from dry roads to roads awash with enormous puddles several times.

I was taking things easy again as my back is not quite at 100% yet but managed a few more gentle hills than on my last excursion.  I didn’t take many pictures as it kept on raining and I spent a lot of time putting my rain jacket on and taking it off again.

I did take a picture of the old church at Half Morton, now a family home…

Half Morton church

…and although it was in the sun, you can see the next shower looming up behind it.

On one of the occasions that I stopped for my rain jacket, I saw a fungus by the roadside. ..


…and I am surprised that I haven’t seen more considering the wet weather.

The rain showers didn’t last long and it was reasonably warm so I enjoyed my ride well enough.  I was rather clammy when I got home though.

I had a late lunch and a shower and then I went out to join Mrs Tootlepedal in the garden.  She was planting out her three new purchases and I hope that they will flower soon so that I can take a picture or two of them.

In the meantime, I sieved a couple of barrows of compost and mowed first the middle lawn and then the front lawn.  Although they were both very soggy at one stage of the day, a brisk wind and a warm sun dried them out just enough to be worth cutting.

I also looked at a flower or two.

We may get more sunshine in the garden soon
battered poppy
The weather was too much for the poppies today
I had to stand on tiptoe to take this shot of a Rudbeckia. Mrs Tootlepedal has just bought a shorter one.
The clematis on the fence is battered but (mainly) unbowed. It has its back to the prevailing wind.

With the poppies keeping their heads well down today, dahlias and nasturtiums were the most colourful things on display…


…with the exception of the phlox which has been brightening up our dull weather a great deal.


I even saw a red admiral butterfly on the phlox today but it fluttered off before I could fetch a camera.

More rain showers drove us indoors and we rounded off the day with a meal of lamb garnished with courgettes, spring onions and potatoes from the garden.

It is very difficult to make a good plan when the weather is so changeable but sadly, the forecast for the next few days shows that the cool showery spell is going to continue.

The flying bird of the day is a rather grey cow from my bike ride, not a colour that you often see.

grey cow



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “On and off

  1. I wish I could get a shot like that with my cell phone. Even though it’s new I doubt it could do that.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the sunflower open. I haven’t seen any blossoming here yet.
    The clematis on the fence has great color, battered or not.

  2. Glad Matilda had such an exciting outing.
    Good that you managed to fit in a ride between showers.
    Fine picture of the cows to finish with.

  3. That nasturtium would brighten even the gloomiest of day! Sounds like Matilda had a very exciting day.

  4. You made the best of the changeable weather, that’s for sure. It could be because you’ve gotten so used to it this summer.

    The thrush was a nice addition today, I can’t remember if you’ve ever posted a photo of one before. It must be frustrating when the birds eat so much of the food from your gardens, but what would the world be without them?

  5. That’s a splendid photo of a gannet. Right in front of me on my desk is my gannet…a hand puppet bought long ago …Matilda would love it! Thrushes and blackbirds are lovely visitors to the garden when they remember their manners and try not to eat all the fruit! Look forward to seeing a photo of the short Rudbeckia and the other new plants. Just looked your blue grey cow up on Wiki….another interesting bit of knowledge from your post….if I remember it!

  6. Sorry you seem to still be deluged. We have had a bit of a break from the oppressive heat. 80s and 90s is much better than the 3-digits we have been keeping.

  7. I am envious of your nasturtiums. None of our nasturtiums thats self-seeded last year came up this year, possibly due to the long, cold and wet winter and spring.

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