Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Hull yesterday. As well as Roman bakers, he saw Hull Minster.
We had another dry day here today, cool and cloudy in the morning but (very) warm and sunny in the afternoon.
I inspected the flowers after breakfast. Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t think that I have done justice to the back door clematis yet so I had another go. It is terrific.
That one stem should produce so many flowers is a wonder.
However, Mrs Tootlepedal’s favourite flower of the moment is this elegant iris.
I like the Rosa Moyesii which has done very well this year with bigger flowers than usual.
Mrs Tootlepedal bought this meconopsis at the Buccleuch Centre pant sale last week and it is settling in well.
I had hoped to get a good long cycle ride in today but I got a call to go and see the doctor who had had a look at my recent blood test results so I had to leave the garden and see what she had to say.
It turns out that my blood iron level is very low so she gave me me a small iron girder* to nibble on to get my levels back up. This may explain why I have been finding it quite hard to get the energy up to go cycling lately. Once I am going, all is well but I have been struggling a bit actually to get on my bike in the first place so it was pleasing to discover that there may be a good excuse for this rather than just natural laziness and old age.
When I got back home, Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden and we went in to have a coffee and read the newspaper. Our peace was disturbed by some very excited calling from blackbirds so we went out to investigate.
There was an extremely vocal female blackbird on the fence behind the greenhouse…
Other birds were agitated too so I was walking round behind the greenhouse to see if there was a cat among the pigeons so to speak when my eye was caught by a slight movement in the green house itself.
No wonder the blackbirds were agitated. There was a sparrowhawk in the greenhouse and it was getting pretty agitated itself.
Mrs Tootlepedal opened the greenhouse doors fully and she went round one side and I went round the other and the sparrowhawk took the hint and flew safely out and away.
The blackbirds calmed down.
I took a picture of one of the nice effects of Mrs Tootlepedal’s planting…
…and went back inside from where I watched more peaceful bird scenes.
We had visits from jackdaws…
…siskins and redpolls…
…and a pigeon in the plum tree.
Some sparrows tried to get a fight started but it quickly fizzled out.
After lunch, I went out to check on the bees in the garden. There were plenty about today, both honey and bumble.
Then I got into my my cycling shorts and was ready to go for a ride when I was interrupted again by more heart-rending alarm calls from blackbirds. I went out to investigate. This time it was a pair….
…who were constantly flitting about and calling. We couldn’t find out what the trouble was as there was no hawk or cat in sight. We had seen a youngster earlier in the day and we wondered in the end whether it had been taken by a predator and the parents were distressed. It was a mystery.
In the end, I left them to their crying and went off for a short trip round my twenty mile Canonbie circuit. I passed the first a few of these in a soggy verge…
…and I think, though I am not sure, that it may be a marsh thistle (I would be happy to be corrected).
Nearby among the grasses, there was a lot of this red plant…
…which Mrs Tootlepedal tells me is some kind of dock. Between the two plants, the verge was very cheerful there.
Further on I stopped to admire the relaxed attitude of some local worthies…
…and then didn’t stop again until I came to Skippers Bridge, where I found the old distillery looking very handsome.
Once home, I mowed the drying green and the greenhouse grass and did some watering in the vegetable garden. There is no rain in the forecast for several days as the jet stream continues to snake round the top of the British Isles, keeping the fine weather trapped over Scotland. This means that quite a bit of watering will be on the menu if the garden is to continue to do well.
In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with a small choir that our church organist, Henry is getting up for the summer and I obeyed the doctor’s orders and gave my singing voice a rest. The doctor has told me not to sing for two weeks and see what happens. If my throat is no better then, further investigation will take place.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin…
…and the flower of the day is a front door clematis.
*The iron girder came in handy pill form.