A farewell to welcoming (and a welcome)

Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who is enjoying good weather in Aberdeenshire near the former fishing village of Collieston.

Collieston

We had another day today which would have been very welcome in mid summer and it is becoming pretty clear that it will be very unlikely that summer, when it comes, could be any better than late spring has been.  It may well be all downhill from here on when this good spell ends.

Still, we are really enjoying the lovely weather while it lasts even though it does mean that quite a lot of garden watering is going on.

watering the lawn

I have given both lawns a soaking and Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy in the flower beds with hose and watering can.

I should add that we are not at all keen to get one of the torrential downpours which they have been getting in England.  A light shower would do very well.

I had an early look round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal.

I couldn’t get past the best of the rhododendrons without clicking my shutter finger.

rhododendron

The Rosa Moyesii is more modest but very pretty too.

rosa moyesii

I had to admit that I was wrong and Mrs Tootlepedal was right (there’s a surprise) because when I looked really closely at the Veronica, I could see that it is blue after all and not pure white at all.  I had to look pretty hard though.

veronica

A blackbird took a good look and agreed that it was blue.

blackbird

Our walnut tree is almost fully clothed.  It is one of the last trees to get its leaves.

walnut

I didn’t have the long to enjoy the morning sunshine as I was doing my very last stint in the Welcome to Langholm Office.  After many years, I have decided to retire as a welcomer.  I had quite a few people to welcome today but I still had enough time to put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive database.

While I was at work welcoming people, Mrs Tootlepedal was also doing some welcoming. A friend from the choir and her partner, Anita and Nick who live in Canonbie, had been visiting the dentist in Langholm and took the opportunity to come round and look at our garden which they had seen on this blog.  They gave the new bench a test and declared that it was as good as sitting in a National Trust garden.  Mrs Tootlepedal was very pleased at such a nice compliment.  Not being a photographer though, this whole event went unrecorded.

I passed a gull as I crossed the suspension bridge on my way home at midday…

gull

…it was probably wondering where all the water has gone, The river is very low.

There was plenty to see in the garden when I got there.

Beside the front door, another clematis has just come out…

clematis front door

…and almost hidden beside it, is a tiny lily of the valley.

Lily of the Valley

Across the drive, Mrs Tootlepedal has some very vigorous variegated hostas.

hosta

After lunch, I mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green and then got my cycling gear on and took the new bike out for a spin.  It was really very hot and I was wondering if I would get cooked but luckily,  a surprisingly cool and steady wind kept me at a reasonable temperature and I enjoyed a thirty mile run which brought my total on the new bike up to 250 miles.    I think that I can safely say that it is going to suit me very well.

I wasn’t the only one keeping cool.

bull keeping cool

The verges were full of interest.  I saw these flowers when I stopped for a drink after ten miles.

Gair road wildflowers

And I saw these beside the old A74 near Kirkpatrick Fleming.

Old A74 wildflowers

The dandelions may have gone over but there was ample yellow colour near Sprinkell…

Sprinkell road (2)

…and looking ahead at this point, I think anyone would have to admit that it looks like a good day and place for a pedal (even taking the vast amount of traffic into consideration).

Sprinkell road

When I got back, I had time to admire the Japanese azalea…

Japanese azalea

…before my flute pupil Luke turned up.  We are making steady progress even though wonderfully sunny weather does not make flute practice the first thing one thinks of doing.

After a really nourishing tea of mince and tatties, I went out and sat on the new bench and admired some late colour.

evening colour

Then I mowed the middle lawn and trimmed the edges which was a good way to end the day.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen a baby thrush in the garden while I had been out cycling and when she came out to admire the lawn, she spotted it again.   I fetched my camera and found that it had flown up onto a fence and was making quite a noise.

Baby thrush

Curiously it was joined not by its mother but by a blackbird which was making a noise too.  Then a small flock of sparrows started to join in and I went over to see what the racket was all about.

It was a dratted cat, stalking about among the flowers below, seeing what little birds it could snaffle. In  my view, cat owners should feed their animals so much that they lose their appetite for birds…. or at least keep them in their own gardens.

I shooed the cat away and there were no fatalities.

The mother thrush, flew up to join her infant and she became in that moment, a quite unusual flying bird of the day.

flying thrush

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A farewell to welcoming (and a welcome)

  1. The tiny lily of the valley is very pretty – they have such a delicate shape. Sad for the “welcome to Langholm” brigade that you’re stepping down, but at least now you might be able to do a crossword without interruption!

  2. Dratted cats! Seems as though if folks simply MUST have the critters, they ought to keep them indoors. Have to agree with susanpoozan that you certainly pack a lot into your days.

  3. It’s amazing how birds band together to warn each other of dangers such as the cat. They may fight over the food but when it comes to a common enemy they’re all looking out for each other.

  4. I think that cats should be kept indoors at all times, because even if they are well fed, they will still hunt and kill birds because they are driven by instinct to hunt.

    I loved all the flowers, both the ones in the garden and those along the road.

    I’m sure that the powers that be at the welcome center are sad to lose such a wonderful ambassador for the area, but ending your chores there should give you more time to enjoy the new bike, and shoot more photos.

  5. Such a treat seeing all your lovely photos of the garden and your cycling trip. Mrs T is very clever to keep such a succession of colourful flowers popping up for you to photograph and share with us all….thank you Mrs T!

  6. We’ve been dry here too. Your garden still looks great though, and the dryness might discourage more moss on the lawns.
    I think I grow that same hosta but I don’t remember its name.
    I’m glad you’re having such a sunshiny stretch.

  7. Cat’s do worse things in gardens than killing birds. I had to throw a pair of trainers away after treading in the biggest cat toilet in the world when I was working as a gardener. The thought still brings back the memory, and the revolting stench.

      1. I stopped the cat problem in our garden with strategically placed thorn clippings – they don’t like lowering their cat bottoms onto thorns. You needed to be a bit careful weeding but after a year of that they went away and didn’t come back.

  8. I think it is a wise decision to stop welcoming; I remember that you’ve spent some very fine weather hours in there. Your blog itself is the best welcome to your town.

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