Today’s guest picture shows Puffin Island off Anglesey. My brother took the picture on a visit to Anglesey in May.
We were offered a bright and breezy morning and I took the opportunity to gird up my loins and get out on the fairly speedy bike for the first time in October. Because it was breezy, because there was always the possibility of rain and because I couldn’t think of anything else, I did three repetitions of the nine mile round trip to Cleughfoot and back.
My internet acquaintance known to me as Quercus pointed out recently that cycling on a familiar route could be considered recycling so I suppose that cycling three times on a familiar route might even be rererecycling.
I had my camera in my back pocket but a brisk wind in my face inclines me to keep my head down and not notice anything and whizzing along when the wind is behind means that I have passed anything interesting before I have registered it.
I did stop, because I had to, at my turning point and couldn’t avoid noticing a brilliant display of haws on a hawthorn…
…and I did notice, because I was specially looking out for them, a really fine crop of healthy sloes on the Cleughfoot road.
I don’t think that I have ever seen such a good crop before.
Mrs Tootlepedal was at work in the garden when I got back. She had just moved a delightful orange flowered potentilla with a view to finding a place where it will not be as crowded as it was this year.
I gave it a good watering in and then went to look at the poppies. They are still very good value…
…though the rather cold air seemed to have discouraged any bees from visiting today.
My favourite poppy of the day was floating above the pond.
The colours are just as they came out of the camera. I have not improved them in any way. Indeed, I think that it might be impossible to improve on such a lovely flower.
The dahlias were worth a look too.
You can see that hoverflies seem to be more weatherproof than honey bees.
We went in for lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal went back out to do more gardening while I finished the crossword. I then went out to cut back the blackcurrant bush and when I had shredded the clippings, I went to see what Mrs Tootlepedal was doing.
She was cutting, shifting and stamping bits of turf at the end of the middle lawn as part of her new project for better beds, better paths, better space and better everything in this area next year.
It is a task that needs a lot of supervision so I selflessly took on the role.
Soon a round corner had become square….
…and a curved edge had become straight.
It will all look very neat and tidy by next spring.
(Notice that indispensable tool of the gardener, a piece of string, in action here.)
After the lawn work was finished, I sieved a bucket of compost but finding it a bit soggy after the recent rain, I stopped and wandered round taking pictures.
That great gardener Christopher Lloyd is very dismissive of Leycesteria in his garden shrub guide but I like it a lot even though it is invasive.
We have two sorts of jasmine on the go at the moment. Winter jasmine and jasmine officinale.
The very last of the geraniums are looking pretty.
A late daisy.
And the sweet rocket has produced a second flowering.
It was chilly working in the garden and there were one or two feeble efforts at rain over lunchtime but the relatively mild nights are keeping the supply of flowers going in a very satisfactory way.
We were quite ready for a cup of tea by the time that everything was cleared away.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre for a screening of La Bohème but as Puccini’s music generally leaves me cold, I stayed at home and did the washing up.
While the lawn works were going on, there were several sightings of the gardener’s friend….
…and we were not the only ones interested.
In spite of these two handsome birds, the flying bird of the day is not a bird at all but the sole big bumble bee that I saw today. It was really getting stuck into the dahlia pollen.