Today’s guest picture comes from my Highland correspondent Jennifer and shows her lovely garden, proving that they have had good weather up there too.
After the brief interlude with rain here, we are back to dry, warm weather. New flowers are appearing in the garden.
It was cloudy today but warm enough for me to go out for a bicycle ride exposing my knees to the grateful public. From a cycling point of view, the fact that it was cloudy was a bonus as it meant I didn’t get cooked as I pedalled but from a photographic point of view, it meant my eyes were more often turned to the verges than the views.
There was plenty to see in the verges.
The umbellifers are out in force and no plant is so reliable in my experience at attracting insects for photo opportunities.
The grasses are also at their peak in many and various forms.
I cycled down to Gretna and then took the service road beside the new motorway. The road makers have given the new road very decorative bankings.
There was red and white clover all along the way.
And I saw my first hedge rose today.
The hawthorns are beginning to go over and fading to a delicate pink as they go. This one was at the bridge over the river Lyne near Longtown.
There is no shortage of food for sheep or cattle.
And no shortage of wild flowers for me to enjoy. This is the old A7, now by-passed by the Auchenrivock diversion.
Not long before I got back to Langholm, I stopped at Hollows Tower for a cup of coffee and a Tunnock’s Tea Cake at their new little ground floor cafe. The tower celebrates the Armstrong reiving family…
…so I was relieved that no one stole my bicycle while I was drinking my coffee. I prudently parked it round the back.
When I got home, after a very enjoyable 50 mile excursion into the flatlands of England, I had enough energy left to mow the front lawn and take a few pictures in the garden.
The sun had come out by this time and it was a pleasure to be out in the garden with leisure to sit down from time to time and enjoy the views.
My eye was drawn towards pink.
Newly out was this excellent iris….
…and Mrs Tootlepedal’s geum garden is a riot of colour.
I took a moment to check on the birds. Sparrows are coming to the feeder in style.
And we still have redpolls, though not quite as bright red as before.
Later on, Mrs Tootlepedal was doing some weeding when she saw this frog.
She thinks that the frogs in the garden may well account for her slug free hostas.
My flute pupil Luke came and we had a productive time. Rather to my surprise, it turns out that he has been coming to play for so many years that he has now finally left school. Time flies when you are enjoying yourself.
Mrs Tootlepedal made some lemon curd ice cream from a recipe card that she had come across and we ate it for our pudding after a second go at the slow cooked beef stew. This came with a side order of fresh spinach from the garden and we had an excellent meal to round off a very enjoyable day.
I made an effort at a flying bird of the day and caught a sparrow checking to see who was about.
Those interested may see more detail on the bike ride by clicking on the map below. You can see that it was a very flat route.