Thank you legs

Venice storm

Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie who is in Venice working.  She caught La Serenissima in a less than serene mood.

Venice storm

A bright start to the day here soon faded to grey but at least it didn’t rain.  It was decidedly chilly for the time of year and I was pleased to have a visit to the dentist after breakfast to keep me off my bike.

When I got back, I watched blackbirds for a bit.  A small group were eating our plums but were not grateful enough to pose properly while actually pecking the plums.

blackbirds on plums

In a neighbouring back yard, another set were devouring rowan berries but I got my camera settings wrong and messed up a couple of ‘beak and berry’ chances.


There are plenty of berries left….


…so I hope to get another chance.

I looked at two good clumps of flowers at the back of the garden before I went back in.


Japanese anemones

After coffee and a slice or two of bread and marmalade, the lack of rain made even a chilly day too good to resist and I got my fairly speedy bike and set off.  It was cold and grey, I was cycling into the breeze and the distant hills were so shrouded in mist that it looked as though I was heading into a rain shower.

My spirit was very weak and I nearly turned for home.

Luckily my spirit may have been weak but my legs were surprisingly strong and drove me on regardless.  In the end, I had a dry and enjoyable 43 mile ride, though it was so grey that I didn’t stop for any pictures of wild flowers or views.

I did stop at Gretna Green for a snack though and noticed a mound next to the car park which I hadn’t seen before.  It had been spiralised…

Gretna Green mound

…so I followed the spiral until I attained the summit and looked at the view.

Gretna Green view

Not very inspiring.

On the other side, inventive entrepreneurs had constructed a courtship maze…

Gretna Green maze

…though why they think that anyone should want to come to a car park in a rather dull and  flat corner of Scotland to do their courting is a mystery to me.  They probably know best though.

Of more interest to me was a small flock of birds on wires nearby.

birds at Gretna Green

Normally if I see birds like this, I assume that they are starlings but on this occasion there are clearly two different sizes of perchers perching.  I have decided that the larger ones are starlings and the smaller ones, sparrows.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and I had a wander round there too.  She has been using a bit of compost to improve the soil here and there so I sieved a couple of buckets to top up the supply.

I checked out the new clematis…

white clematis

…and a late burst of flowers from Lilian Austin.

Lilian Austin

There are three in the picture although you can hardly see the two behind.

We have had an excellent crop of plums….

Almost the last of the crop

…and for once we got exactly the right amount.  Usually with plums it is glut or starvation but this year we got a steady supply of sweet ripe plums to eat every day for a couple of weeks, with just enough surplus for a plum crumble last week and today’s special, an oat, ginger and plum bake.  It was delicious.

Cosmos, dahlia and poppies are doing their best to cheer us up….

poppy, dahlia , cosmos
The dahlia is sensational

…and I even saw the very last lupin and some late astrantia too.

lupin and astrantia

I dead headed the poppies and cornflowers and anything else that I could get my snippers on  and took a final look round before going in for a cup of tea and a slice or three of the oat and plum bake.

There are still more flowers to come.

The sedum is waiting for a bit of sunshine.
A salvia looking promising

It was time for a shower after the cup of tea and cake and then, as things still looked rather gloomy outside, we sat and looked at the telly in amazed horror at the amount of rain that has fallen on Texas.   It made our month of August, the coldest for thirty years, look positively benign.

We are getting quite excited here as we are promised some sun tomorrow.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Thank you legs

  1. It’s been chilly and fall like here for a few days too, but also dry. They say as much as 60 inches of rain could fall on parts of Texas over 5 days, and that’s unheard of anywhere in this country.
    Interesting that the courtship maze wall is built of stacked gabions. A gabion is basically a wire cage filled with in this case rocks, but they can be filled with just about anything, even glass bottles.
    That dahlia really is fantastic.

  2. While I may be running out of things to say about your photos and your blog overall, I never tire of looking at the beautiful flowers grown by Mrs. T, or your birds, or reading your witty commentary that makes up your blog.

    1. There is no legal obligation to comment on a blog you know! I realise that as my life is quite dull, one blog is quite like another so it must be hard to find something to say. All the same, your comments are always appreciated.

  3. Love the birds and berries! We have been watching the Houston news closely as our daughter and her husband just moved there at the beginning of July. Thankfully they are safe, if stranded.

  4. That’s a really special clematis and a lovely flower to be blooming at this time of year. The rose is beautiful too. You’re fortunate that the frost didn’t get your plum blossom or the birds haven’t eaten them all- the oat and plum bake sounds delicious. Hope the sun arrives for you and the rain stops in Texas.

    1. We may not have had any warmth but we haven’t had any of the late August frosts which can follow a clear sunny day so we must be thankful for small mercies.

  5. I believe the Pacific Northwest has your sunshine and heat at the moment, although it is very hazy again with smoke from fires. The thermometer on the porch reads 98 this afternoon. I would gladly send you some of this heat.

    The birds, berries and plums make beautiful panels, although my favorite today is the one of the poppy, dahlia and cosmos. They radiate good cheer.

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