A tidy up

Today’s guest picture comes from my South African correspondent, Langholm exile Tom.  He has passed on a picture of a Strelitzia taken by a friend of his.


I started the day by going up to the Archive Centre and meeting with Sandy and Nancy.  Recent work by a plumber required access to a little used cupboard filled with ‘stuff’ and as this ‘stuff’ was now spread all over the place, it looked like an ideal opportunity to sort the ‘stuff’ out and throw most of it away.

Quite a lot of it went into the back of my car and I drove off with it while Nancy did some heroic work with a hoover and a damp cloth.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy with a paint pot and brush when I got home so I had time to have a coffee, do the crossword and, since it was dry for a while, walk round the garden.

As usual, the poppies caught my eye.  Some have had their centres battered by the bee onslaught….

poppies with bee

…but new pollen providers are always coming on stream.

I sieved some compost while I was out.

It was a changeable day and having checked out the weather, I hung some washing out to dry.

Then I took it in again as it started to rain.

After lunch, we took the Archive Centre ‘stuff’ to the council dump near Annan.  It was sunny when we went out to the car so we walked round the garden before setting off.

There were less bees than usual today, perhaps because it had been chilly and wet again but other insects were available.

poppies with hoverflies and flies

They had visited the sedum and dahlias too.

sedum and dahlia with flies

A touch of colour caught my eye just as we were getting into the car.

red admiral butterflies

Red admiral butterflies were visiting.

I took a close look at one.

red admiral butterfly

You can’t tell me that it doesn’t have little electric light bulbs built into the ends of its antennae.

Leaving the butterflies to feed, we set off to the dump and passed through a heavy shower of rain almost immediately after we had left the town.  It had poured down on our last visit to the dump but we were luckier this time and it had faired up by the time that we arrived.

The drive back was very pleasant and I had a quick walk round the garden….

sweet peas

…..but it started to rain again not long afterwards so I abandoned any thoughts of cycling and waited until a promising gap in the clouds appeared and went for a short walk instead.

I admired a striking dahlia on my way out of the garden.


It was sunny when I started out and in spite of any amount of threatening clouds….

Langholm and Kirk Wynd

…it remained dry for my two mile outing.

I had hoped to find some fine photographical fungi on my way but others had got there first…

nibbled fungi

Yellow flowers proved a good substitute.

yellow flowers

I liked this yellow flower in particular.

yellow flower

It seemed to float rather than to be attached to its plant.

I walked through the park on my way to the Stubholm and saw what looked like a flock of ominous birds perched on top of a tree….

noble fir

…but a closer look revealed that it was some birds and a lot of noble fir cones.

My walk took me along a picturesque track….


…and past a slightly ramshackle set of stable buildings which I thought might look better as an oil painting.

stubholm stables

I arrived at Skippers Bridge and paused for the obligatory photo op…

Langholm Distillery

…and noticed that Colin, one of our neighbours, was indulging in his favourite occupation down below me.

colin fishing

A man of great patience.

Walking back from the bridge on the road side of the river is less interesting than the walk down but there were more yellow flowers to be seen….

yellow flowers

…along with some vivid red berries….

red berries

…and a dipper below the suspension bridge.


When I got back, I put the some of the accompaniment for the new piece which Luke and I are learning onto the computer and that largely concluded the business of the day.

It had started to rain again after I got back from my walk so my timing was good.  I had met a friend while out walking and conversation naturally turned to our miserable summer weather but in light of events in Houston and the Caribbean, we agreed that it was definitely better to be permanently mildly distressed than to be overcome by a catastrophe.  We counted our blessings.

The flying bird of the day is Mrs Tootlepedal’s completed butterfly.

embroidered butterfly


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A tidy up

  1. The pollinators are wonderful and it’s easy to see why they’re attracted to your garden. Kudos to the creator of the flying embroidered butterfly. And I like the obligatory postcard photo.

  2. The knobs on the butterfly’s antennae do look like light bulbs but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a butterfly at night to be sure.
    That’s another dahlia with its own inner light, but this one looks like a sun.
    The yellow jewel weed is nice to see. It’s rare here but we do have it. Yours is a more intense yellow than our paler blossoms though.
    Mrs. T.s butterfly looks like quite a lot of work. And quite a lot of patience is required too, I would imagine.

    1. She enjoys doing these small embroideries and can get them done with care and attention but no stress.

      Thank you for the plant ID. I should have looked at your posts more carefully because I am sure that I have seen jewelweed in them.

  3. I like your yellow flower which is a Touch-me-not Balsam. It is a Nationally Scarce plant, native to central Wales and The Lakes so I am assuming it is a native to Langholm too.
    Well done Mrs T! I like her butterfly very much.

    1. I found out following your response and that of the NHG that Touch-me-not balsam and jewelweed are one and the same thing. This is lucky as I couldn’t believe that one or other of you could be wrong. It is certainly not at all common round here.

      1. We had the orange jewelweed back east. I remember these plants well. The juice was said to take the itch out of poison ivy welts and mosquito bites.

    2. Oh I do wish ours was scarce. Here on the Washington coast, it is a noxious weed that we are supposed to eradicate, and I do love it so. We have an orange one, and a lavender and white one known as “policeman’s helmet”. Maybe the latter is the most invasive.

  4. I like the blue and red in Mrs. T’s embroidery – and was going to say it was completed very quickly, but then I remembered whose hand plied the needle. Glorious purple sweet pea, and very interesting oil painting effect.

  5. Beautiful photos as usual and Mrs Tootlepedals embroidered butterfly is ready to fly in all its glory.

  6. Glad you got your walk during a dry patch. Well done for all that clearing out – most satisfactory, and congratulations to Mrs T on a beautiful butterfly.

  7. I also enjoyed Mrs T’ s butterfly and applaud the sorting of some ‘stuff’. The collection of rustic outbuildings was my favourite today, oil painted or not.

  8. Mrs. Tootlepedal’s butterfly is just lovely. I thought the first picture of the yellow flower was a jewel weed. The shape was the same but in central Maine, I have only seen orange ones. New Hampshire Garden Solutions confirmed my guess. And, yes, that admiral does look as though it has light bulbs on the end of its antennae.

  9. Just been caught in the garden looking closely at a red admiral and its little torches…amazing! Just a tinge of autumn colour in your lovely walk photos let’s hope we have a late indian summer soon! Love the colours and the careful stitching on Mrs T’s beautiful butterfly …but no little torches!

    1. The Indian summer has been promised in the newspapers which makes me doubt that it will ever come as their record on forward weather forecasting is appalling. 🙂

  10. Mrs T’s butterfly is every bit as pretty as real ones.

    Spectacular photo of butterfly light bulbs

    I think your yellow floating flower is an impatiens, which might be a touch me not, which might get translucent seed pods that burst most satisfyingly when touched. Maybe.

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