Today’s guest picture comes from Venetia. She got down to sea level in Madeira and brilliantly caught this Atlantic spotted dolphin in mid leap.
Our spell of great weather is coming to an end but we are being let down gently before rain and gales blow in tomorrow night and we had a calm, warm but rather grey day today.
The iron pills have not worked their magic yet and I am still feeling a little tired so I was happy to spend a quiet morning doing a little business and paying bills after breakfast and then doing some aimless wandering around in the garden.
I said to Mrs Tootlepedal the other day that we seemed to have a lot of philadelphus in the garden and she rather thought that I was exaggerating but when she looked round, and counted, she found that there are at least nine…
…and as they are pretty well all out, the garden is full of blossom and delightful aromas too.
I kept my eye out for new flowers and spotted the first of many Martagon lilies.
Mrs Tootlepedal is getting very excited by some small but perfectly formed blue alliums which are just about to come out.
I was pleased to see a couple of red tailed bumble bees back on the chives. They are very striking and an ornament to any garden.
I pulled myself together after a cup of coffee and set about putting some liquid fertiliser on the front lawn. The front lawn is still very mossy and I thought that what grass there is needed some encouragement. As the fertiliser is applied by watering can, it is a labour intensive activity and kept me happily occupied for some time. I did a bit of the middle lawn too.
I took time out to do the crossword and watch the birds. The feeder was quite busy today.
I was thinking about a gentle afternoon pedal but a few drops of rain put me off the idea and I went for a walk instead. It seemed like quite a time since I had been up a hill so I went up our nearest one, Meikleholm Hill.
The rain held off as I walked up the track to the hill, admiring the many grasses on the way. There was a splendid variety…
…but the star of the grass show when I looked at them on the computer later on, was this colourful spray with added visitors.
Just before I got to the gate onto the open hill, I noticed a few rabbits in the field beside the track. Most of them scampered away but one remained, pretending to be a blade of grass.
I always like this gate just before the top of the track…
…but I was glad to be finally out on the open hill and looking back across the town towards Whita Hill on the other side of the valley.
Even on a grey day, it is a view to lift the heart.
There were plenty of wild flowers to look at as I followed the track which curves up round the side of the hill…
There was a lot of tormentil which I failed to record properly and quite a bit of bird’s-foot trefoil and various hawkbits too.
I was hoping to see some early orchids too and wasn’t entirely disappointed as there were a few small flowers to be seen.
There are sheep on the hill and I don’t know if they will nibble off the orchids or not but there should be a lot more flowers as the summer goes on.
They sheep probably won’t eat these marsh thistles though.
I was considering an extended route when I got to the top of Meikleholm Hill but a look to the north….
…and the south….
…persuaded me that the straight route home might be the best bet.
No sooner had I made up my mind than the rain started and I had to skip down the hill as fast as my creaky knee would let me.
I did stop for one last photo opportunity as the racecourse on the Castleholm looked very attractive but that was the only stop as I was getting quite wet and didn’t have a coat with me.
The rain eased off without entirely stopping as I got down to the town so I was happy to get home without getting soaked through.
That was my last excursion for the day, though I did get as far as the back door later on to take a final picture of the day.
Mrs Tootlepedal finds colours and textures in flowers, grasses and shrubs and mixes them all together in a most harmonious way in my view. I am very lucky to be the beneficiary of her skills.
In the evening, she went off to the Buccleuch Centre to watch a screening of Swan lake performed by the Royal Ballet. I stayed at home because although I admire the wonderful skills and fitness of the dancers, I keep waiting for something interesting to happen and as nothing does, I get easily bored.
The flower of the day is one of our foxgloves. Some gardeners may turn up their noses at these common wild flowers but I am glad that Mrs Tootlepedal doesn’t.